Good just isn't Good enough. Best System Probabilities and the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics

Beisbart, Claus (25 February 2013). Good just isn't Good enough. Best System Probabilities and the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics (Unpublished). In: Frühjahrstagung der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft, AG Philosophie der Physik. Jena. 25.2.2013.

Statistical physicists assume a probability distribution over micro-states to explain thermodynamic behavior. The question of this paper is whether these probabilities are part of a best system and can thus be interpreted as Humean chances. I consider two strategies, viz. a globalist as suggested by Loewer, and a localist as advocated by Frigg and Hoefer. Both strategies fail because the system they are part of have rivals that are roughly equally good, while ontic probabilities should be part of a clearly winning system. I conclude with the diagnosis that well-defined micro-probabilities under-estimate the robust character of explanations in statistical physics.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy

UniBE Contributor:

Beisbart, Claus

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 120 Epistemology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Claus Beisbart

Date Deposited:

17 Apr 2014 17:09

Last Modified:

17 Apr 2014 17:09

Related URLs:

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/49208

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