Philosophy of Science 72 (5):751-763 (2005)

In this paper I examine Albert’s (2000) claim that the low entropy state of the early universe is sufficient to explain irreversible thermodynamic phenomena. In particular, I argue that conditionalising on the initial state of the universe does not have the explanatory power it is presumed to have. I present several arguments to the effect that Albert’s ‘past hypothesis’ alone cannot justify the belief in past non-equilibrium conditions or ground the veracity of records of the past.
Keywords Thermodynamics   Explanation   Physics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/508104
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: 57,199
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Time in Thermodynamics.Jill North - 2011 - In Criag Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press. pp. 312--350.
Statistical Mechanical Imperialism.Brad Weslake - 2014 - In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 241-257.
Is There a Reversibility Paradox? Recentering the Debate on the Thermodynamic Time Arrow.Alon Drory - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):889-913.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
54 ( #184,942 of 2,411,828 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #538,761 of 2,411,828 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes