Abstract
This article distinguishes two different senses of information-theoretic approaches to statistical mechanics that are often conflated in the literature: those relating to the thermodynamic cost of computational processes and those that offer an interpretation of statistical mechanics where the probabilities are treated as epistemic. This distinction is then investigated through Earman and Norton’s ([1999]) ‘sound’ and ‘profound’ dilemma for information-theoretic exorcisms of Maxwell’s demon. It is argued that Earman and Norton fail to countenance a ‘sound’ information-theoretic interpretation and this paper describes how the latter inferential interpretations can escape the criticisms of Earman and Norton ([1999]) and Norton ([2005]) by adopting this ‘sound’ horn. This article considers a standard model of Maxwell’s demon to illustrate how one might adopt an information-theoretic approach to statistical mechanics without a reliance on Landauer’s principle, where the incompressibility of the probability distribution due to Liouville’s theorem is taken as the central feature of such an interpretation
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr015
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,593
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
Time and Chance.S. French - 2005 - Mind 114 (453):113-116.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Paradojas Epistémicas en la Aproximación Informacional a la Física Térmica.Javier Anta - 2020 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 24 (3):477-501.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-08-11

Total views
153 ( #71,878 of 2,462,086 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,080 of 2,462,086 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes