Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Tosh, N
Philosophy of Science Colloquium
Ensemble realism: A new approach to statistical mechanical probability
Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy
Invited Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
"What we know about a body can generally be described most accurately and most simply by saying that it is one taken at random from a great number (ensemble) of bodies which are completely described.” So wrote Willard Gibbs in 1902, but with his fingers crossed, for he regarded ensembles as convenient fictions. A century later, they are still convenient, and we still have no settled account of the literal meaning of statistical mechanical probability assignments. My aim is to show how talk of ensembles might be taken seriously.
Publication Themes
Humanities in Context, Informatics, Physical and Computational Sciences