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Time, Chance, and Reduction
Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics

$99.00

Gerhard Ernst, Andreas Hütteman, Mathias Frisch, Craig Callender, Claus Kiefer, Jacob Rosenthal, Roman Frigg, Michael Esfeld, C. Ulises Moulines, Robert W. Batterman, Jos Uffink
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  • Date Published: March 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521884013

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  • Statistical mechanics attempts to explain the behavior of macroscopic physical systems in terms of the mechanical properties of their constituents. Although it is one of the fundamental theories of physics, it has received little attention from philosophers of science. Nevertheless, it raises philosophical questions of fundamental importance on the nature of time, chance and reduction. Most philosophical issues in this domain relate to the question of the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics. This book addresses issues inherent in this reduction: the time-asymmetry of thermodynamics and its absence in statistical mechanics; the role and essential nature of chance and probability in this reduction when thermodynamics is non-probabilistic; and how, if at all, the reduction is possible. Compiling contributions on current research by experts in the field, this is an invaluable survey of the philosophy of statistical mechanics for academic researchers and graduate students interested in the foundations of physics.

    • Is the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics possible? This and other philosophical issues explored by a range of authors
    • Compiles up-to-date research from experts in the field to provide a scholarly summary of the subject
    • Addresses the fundamental field of statistical mechanics which has previously received little attention from philosophers of science
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521884013
    • length: 218 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 179 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.598kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    1. Introduction Gerhard Ernst and Andreas Hütteman
    Part I. The Arrows of Time:
    2. Does a low-entropy constraint prevent us from influencing the past? Mathias Frisch
    3. The part hypothesis meets gravity Craig Callender
    4. Quantum gravity and the arrow of time Claus Kiefer
    Part II. Probability and Chance:
    5. The natural-range conception of probability Jacob Rosenthal
    6. Probability in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics Roman Frigg
    7. Humean mechanics versus a metaphysics of powers Michael Esfeld
    Part III. Reduction:
    8. The crystallisation of Clausius's phenomenological thermodynamics C. Ulises Moulines
    9. Reduction and renormalization Robert W. Batterman
    10. Irreversibility in stochastic dynamics Jos Uffink
    Index.

  • Editors

    Gerhard Ernst, Universität Stuttgart
    GERHARD ERNST is a Professor of History of Philosophy and Moral Philosophy at Universität Stuttgart. His main research interests are in moral philosophy, epistemology and philosophy of science.

    Andreas Hüttemann, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany
    ANDREAS HÜTTEMANN is a Professor of Philosophy at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster. His research interests include philosophy of science and early modern philosophy.

    Contributors

    Gerhard Ernst, Andreas Hütteman, Mathias Frisch, Craig Callender, Claus Kiefer, Jacob Rosenthal, Roman Frigg, Michael Esfeld, C. Ulises Moulines, Robert W. Batterman, Jos Uffink

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