Philosophy of Science 48 (1):65-77 (1981)
This paper considers the problem of causal explanation in classical and statistical thermodynamics. It is argued that the irreversibility of macroscopic processes is explained in both formulations of thermodynamics in a teleological way that appeals to entropic or probabilistic consequences rather than to efficient-causal, antecedental conditions. This explanatory structure of thermodynamics is not taken to imply a teleological orientation to macroscopic processes themselves, but to reflect simply the epistemological limitations of this science, wherein consequences of heat-work asymmetries are either macroscopically measurable (entropy) or calculable (probabilities), while efficient-causal relationships are obscure or indeterminable
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Robust Processes and Teleological Language.Jonathan Birch - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):299-312.
Teleology and Final Causation in Aristotle and in Contemporary Science.Michael Chase - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (03):511-536.
Similar books and articles
On the Statistical Viewpoint Concerning the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics - OR - a Reminder on the Ehrenfests' Urm Model.Domenico Giulini - unknown
Chance in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):670-681.
Some Critical Remarks Concerning Prigogine's Conception of Temporal Irreversibility.Guido Verstraeten - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (4):639-654.
Teleological Explanations and Their Relation to Causal Explanation in Psychology.Elizabeth Valentine - 1988 - Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):61-68.
Contrastive, Non-Probabilistic Statistical Explanations.Bruce Glymour - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (3):448-471.
Time, Chance and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics.Gerhard Ernst & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.) - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
Time in Thermodynamics.Jill North - 2011 - In Criag Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press. pp. 312--350.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads234 ( #14,781 of 2,152,527 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #399,788 of 2,152,527 )
How can I increase my downloads?