Typicality, Irreversibility and the Status of Macroscopic Laws

Publication Year:
2014
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10895
Author(s):
Lazarovici, Dustin; Reichert, Paula
preprint description
We discuss Boltzmann's probabilistic explanation of the second law of thermodynamics providing a comprehensive presentation of what is called today the typicality account. Countering its misconception as an alternative explanation, we examine the relation between Boltzmann's H-theorem and the general typicality argument demonstrating the conceptual continuity between the two. We then discuss the philosophical dimensions of the concept of typicality and its relevance for scientific reasoning in general, in particular for understanding the reduction of macroscopic laws to microscopic laws. Finally, we reply to various common criticisms of the typicality account.