PHIL 422 - Philosophy of Physics
Section: 001
Term: FA 2012
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
PHIL 180, 181, 196, 201, 202, 232, 234, 296, or 297 with a grade of C- or better; or graduate standing.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Probability played its first central role in physical explanations in the theory of heat. Kinetic theory and statistical mechanics provided the atomistic and mechanistic underpinning to the older thermodynamic theory. But many fascinating questions in the border area of physics and philosophy arose out of these theories. What is the notion of probability involved? How are probabilities used in explanations in these theories? What explains why the fundamental probabilistic posits work as well as they do? How does the non-equilibrium theory that is asymmetrical in time arise out of an underlying time-symmetrical dynamics? What role does cosmology play in the explanations? Is thermodynamics really reducible to statistical mechanics? Finally, does our intuitive idea that time itself is asymmetrical, with past deeply unlike future, arise out of the physical asymmetries studied in this theory? The primary text will be L. Sklar, Physics and Chance.

PHIL 422 - Philosophy of Physics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0521558816
Physics and chance : philosophical issues in the foundations of statistical mechanics, Author: Lawrence Sklar., Publisher: Cambridge Univ. Press Reprinted. 1998
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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