Information-Theoretic Statistical Mechanics without Landauer's Principle

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
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr015
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Exorcist XIV: The Wrath of Maxwell's Demon. Part I. From Maxwell to Szilard.John Earman & John D. Norton - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (4):435-471.
Eaters of the Lotus: Landauer's Principle and the Return of Maxwell's Demon.John D. Norton - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):375-411.
Notes on Landauer's Principle, Reversible Computation, and Maxwell's Demon.Charles H. Bennett - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (3):501-510.
Maxwell's Demon and the Thermodynamics of Computation.Jeffrey Bub - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):569-579.

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