PhilSci Archive

Is the Mentaculus the Best System of Our World?

Hemmo, Meir (2020) Is the Mentaculus the Best System of Our World? [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
Hemmo&Shenker-Is the Mentaculus the Best System of Our World.pdf

Download (492kB) | Preview

Abstract

Barry Loewer and David Albert put forward a theory that they call “The Mentaculus”, which they claim to be “arguably a complete scientific theory of the universe”. Albert and Loewer’s Mentaculus is an expanded version of their version of statistical mechanics. On their view - as recently updated by Loewer’s “Package Deal Approach” - The Mentaculus is the “best system” of our world in the Lewis-style sense of this term: it contains a partial description of the fundamental reality (“The Humean base”) and provides the optimal balance between informativeness and simplicity. The Mentaculus has other advantages, in particular, it is reductionist in the sense that it unifies all the sciences, and it is physicalist in the sense that the account of everything is ultimately based on physics. In this paper we examine the extent to which The Mentaculus is reductionist and physicalist. We compare it with “Flat Physicalism”, which is our version of expanded statistical mechanics, that is a reductive type-type physicalist identity theory of everything that there is. The Mentaculus is less reductionist than Flat Physicalism, since whereas both theories assume the fundamental microdynamics and suitable contingent facts, The Mentaculus assumes the Past Hypothesis and a Statistical Postulate, that Flat Physicalism derives from the microdynamics and the contingent facts. Additionally, Flat Physicalism derives from the latter all the special sciences kinds and laws, while The Mentaculus does not contain any explanatory account of such reduction. Therefore, Flat Physicalism is arguably “better” than The Mentaculus in the “best system” sense of the term.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hemmo, Meirmeir@research.haifa.ac.il0000-0002-0752-1269
Additional Information: Under review
Keywords: Flat Physicalism; Humean base; Mentaculus; past hypothesis of low entropy; probability distribution; reduction to physics; special sciences; statistical mechanics
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Meir Hemmo
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2021 15:23
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2021 15:23
Item ID: 19548
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 31 August 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19548

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item