Probabilities in Physics

Author:   Claus Beisbart (Dortmund University of Technology) ,  Stephan Hartmann (Tilburg University)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press
ISBN:  

9780199577439


Pages:   450
Publication Date:   08 September 2011
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Manufactured on demand   Availability explained
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Probabilities in Physics


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Overview

Many results of modern physics--those of quantum mechanics, for instance--come in a probabilistic guise. But what do probabilistic statements in physics mean? Are probabilities matters of objective fact and part of the furniture of the world, as objectivists think? Or do they only express ignorance or belief, as Bayesians suggest? And how are probabilistic hypotheses justified and supported by empirical evidence? Finally, what does the probabilistic nature of physics imply for our understanding of the world?This volume is the first to provide a philosophical appraisal of probabilities in all of physics. Its main aim is to make sense of probabilistic statements as they occur in the various physical theories and models and to provide a plausible epistemology and metaphysics of probabilities. The essays collected here consider statistical physics, probabilistic modelling, and quantum mechanics, and critically assess the merits and disadvantages of objectivist and subjectivist views of probabilities in these fields. In particular, the Bayesian and Humean views of probabilities and the varieties of Boltzmann's typicality approach are examined. The contributions on quantum mechanics discuss the special character of quantum correlations, the justification of the famous Born Rule, and the role of probabilities in a quantum field theoretic framework. Finally, the connections between probabilities and foundational issues in physics are explored. The Reversibility Paradox, the notion of entropy, and the ontology of quantum mechanics are discussed. Other essays consider Humean supervenience and the question whether the physical world is deterministic.

Full Product Details

Author:   Claus Beisbart (Dortmund University of Technology) ,  Stephan Hartmann (Tilburg University)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Dimensions:   Width: 17.00cm , Height: 3.20cm , Length: 24.00cm
Weight:   0.855kg
ISBN:  

9780199577439


ISBN 10:   0199577439
Pages:   450
Publication Date:   08 September 2011
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Tertiary & Higher Education ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Manufactured on demand   Availability explained
We will order this item for you from a manufactured on demand supplier.

Table of Contents

Notes on the Contributors Preface 1: Claus Beisbart and Stephan Hartmann: Introduction I PROBABILITIES IN STATISTICAL PHYSICS 2: Jos Uffink: Subjective Probability and Statistical Physics 3: D. A. Lavis: An Objectivist Account of Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics 4: Craig Callender: The Past Histories of Molecules 5: Roman Frigg and Charlotte Werndl: Entropy: A Guide for the Perplexed 6: Claus Beisbart: Probabilistic Modeling in Physics II PROBABILITIES IN QUANTUM MECHANICS 7: Michael Dickson: Aspects of Probability in Quantum Theory 8: Christopher G. Timpson: Probabilities in Realist Views of Quantum Mechanics 9: Jeffrey Bub: Quantum Probabilities: An Information-Theoretic Interpretation 10: Laura Ruetsche and John Earman: Interpreting Probabilities in Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Statistical Mechanics III PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES 11: Tim Maudlin: Three Roads to Objective Probability 12: Carl Hoefer: Physics and the Humean Approach to Probability 13: Michael Strevens: Probability Out Of Determinism 14: Christian Wuthrich: Can theWorld be Shown to be Indeterministic After All? References Index

Reviews

the collection is of high quality Douglas Kutach, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


Author Information

Claus Beisbart is Assistant Professor at the Technical University Dortmund (Germany). He holds a doctorate in physics (2001) and a doctorate in philosophy (2004; both from the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich). During the academic year 2008/09, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. His main work is in the philosophy of physics, in particular the philosophy of cosmology, in the general philosophy of science, and in ethics and social-choice theory. Stephan Hartmann is Chair of Philosophy of Science at LMU Munich, Alexander von Humboldt Professor, and Co-Director of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP). From 2007 to 2012 he worked at Tilburg University, The Netherlands, where he was Chair in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science and Director of the Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS). Before moving to Tilburg, he was Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics and Director of LSE's Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science. His primary research and teaching areas are philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, formal epistemology, and social epistemology. Hartmann published numerous articles and the book Bayesian Epistemology (with Luc Bovens) that appeared in 2003 with Oxford University Press.

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