Was There an Ice Cube There or Am I Just Remembering It?: Does the Reversibility Argument Really Imply Scepticism About Records?

Erkenntnis 80 (S3):587-603 (2015)
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It is commonly thought that the statistical mechanical reversibility objection implies that our putative records of the past are more likely to have arisen as spontaneous fluctuations from equilibrium states than through causal processes that correctly indicate past states of affairs. Hence, so the story goes, without some further assumption that solves the reversibility objection, such as the past hypothesis, all our beliefs about the past would almost surely be false. This claim is disputed and it is argued that at least some of our records of the past can and should be thought to be veridical because the intentional contents of records are not included as part of their statistical mechanical description. The fact that the present state of the world around us coheres so well with the way we would expect it to be if our records were veridical provides good evidence for the claim that they are produced via a common causal structure



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