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Calling for Explanation: The Case of the Thermodynamic Past State

Baras, Dan and Shenker, Orly R. (2020) Calling for Explanation: The Case of the Thermodynamic Past State. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Philosophers of physics have long debated whether the Past State of low entropy of our universe calls for explanation. What is meant by “calls for explanation”? In this article we analyze this notion, distinguishing between several possible meanings that may be attached to it. Taking the debate around the Past State as a case study, we show how our analysis of what “calling for explanation” might mean can contribute to clarifying the debate and perhaps to settling it, thus demonstrating the fruitfulness of this analysis. Applying our analysis, we show that two main opponents in this debate, Huw Price and Craig Callender, are, for the most part, talking past each other rather than disagreeing, as they employ different notions of “calling for explanation”, and then proceed to show how answering the different questions that arise out of the different meanings of “calling for explanation” can result in clarifying the problems at hand and thus, hopefully, to solving them.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Baras, Dandan.baras@mail.huji.ac.il0000-0001-6683-6829
Shenker, Orly R.orly.shenker@mail.huji.ac.il0000-0001-5716-6894
Keywords: Past Hypothesis; Calling for Explanation; Craig Callender; Huw Price
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Dan Baras
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2020 01:43
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 01:43
Item ID: 17341
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17341

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