A Case of Irrationality?

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Barberousse, Anouk
conference paper description
Were Maxwell and Boltzmann irrational to develop statistical mechanics whereas it was empirically refuted by the specific heats problem? My analysis of this historical episode departs from the current proposals about belief change. I first give a detailed description of Maxwell's and Boltzmann's epistemic states in the years they were working on statistical mechanics and then make some methodological proposals in epistemology that would account for the complexity of this case.