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  1. Approximation and Idealization: Why the Difference Matters.John D. Norton - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):207-232.
    It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit systems used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but are merely approximations. A dominance argument suggests that the limiting idealizations of statistical physics should be demoted to approximations.
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  • Thermodynamically Reversible Processes in Statistical Physics.John D. Norton - unknown
    Equilibrium states are used as limit states to define thermodynamically reversible processes. When these processes are implemented in statistical physics, these limit states become unstable and can change with time, due to thermal fluctuations. For macroscopic systems, the changes are insignificant on ordinary time scales and what little there is can be suppressed by macroscopically negligible, entropy-creating dissipation. For systems of molecular sizes, the changes are large on short time scales and can only sometimes be suppressed with significant entropy-creating dissipation. (...)
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  • Ambiguities in Order-Theoretic Formulations of Thermodynamics.Robert Marsland Iii, Harvey R. Brown & Giovanni Valente - unknown
    Since the 1909 work of Carathéodory, formulations of thermodynamics have gained ground which highlight the role of the the binary relation of adiabatic accessibility between equilibrium states. A feature of Carathéodory's system is that the version therein of the second law contains an ambiguity about the nature of irreversible adiabatic processes, making it weaker than the traditional Kelvin-Planck statement of the law. This paper attempts first to clarify the nature of this ambiguity, by defining the arrow of time in thermodynamics (...)
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  • Infinite Idealizations.John D. Norton - 2012 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:197-210.
    1. Approximations of arbitrarily large but finite systems are often mistaken for infinite idealizations in statistical and thermal physics. The problem is illustrated by thermodynamically reversible processes. They are approximations of processes requiring arbitrarily long, but finite times to complete, not processes requiring an actual infinity of time.2. The present debate over whether phase transitions comprise a failure of reduction is confounded by a confusion of two senses of “level”: the molecular versus the thermodynamic level and the few component versus (...)
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  • Can the Second Law Be Compatible with Time Reversal Invariant Dynamics?Leah Henderson - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:90-98.
    It is commonly thought that there is some tension between the second law of thermodynam- ics and the time reversal invariance of the microdynamics. Recently, however, Jos Uffink has argued that the origin of time reversal non-invariance in thermodynamics is not in the second law. Uffink argues that the relationship between the second law and time reversal invariance depends on the formulation of the second law. He claims that a recent version of the second law due to Lieb and Yngvason (...)
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  • Commentary on the Principles of Thermodynamics by Pierre Duhem.Paul Needham (ed.) - 2011 - Dordrecht, Nederländerna: Springer.
     
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  • Why Thought Experiments Do Not Transcend Empiricism.John D. Norton - 2002 - In Christopher Hitchcock (ed.), Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. pp. 44-66.
    Thought experiments are ordinary argumentation disguised in a vivid pictorial or narrative form. This account of their nature will allow me to show that empiricism has nothing to fear from thought experiments. They perform no epistemic magic. In so far as they tell us about the world, thought experiments draw upon what we already know of it, either explicitly or tacitly; they then transform that knowledge by disguised argumentation. They can do nothing more epistemically than can argumentation. I defend my (...)
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  • Rational Thermodynamics.C. Truesdell - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (2):305-306.
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  • How Science Works.John D. Norton - unknown
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  • The Concepts of Classical Thermodynamics.H. A. Buchdahl - 1967 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18 (1):83-84.
  • Three Concepts of Irreversibility and Three Versions of the Second Law.Jos Uffink - 2006 - In Michael Stöltzner & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), Time and History: Proceedings of the 28. International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria 2005. De Gruyter. pp. 275-288.
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  • Réflexions Sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu.Sadi Carnot - 1979 - Vrin.
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