Good just isn't good enough
Humean chances and Boltzmannian statistical physics
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 Boltzmannian accounts of the Second Law, viz. a globalist and a localist one. In both cases, the probabilities fail to be chances because they have rivals that are roughly equally good. I conclude with the diagnosis that well-defined micro-probabilities under-estimate the robust character of explanations in statistical physics.
Beisbart, C. (2014)., Good just isn't good enough: Humean chances and Boltzmannian statistical physics, in D. Dieks, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel, M. Weber & M. C. Galavotti (eds.), New directions in the philosophy of science, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 511-529.
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