Advertisement

The Nature of Irreversibility

A Study of Its Dynamics and Physical Origins

  • Henry B. Hollinger
  • Michael John Zenzen

Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 28)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 1-4
  3. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 5-29
  4. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 30-40
  5. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 41-56
  6. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 57-86
  7. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 87-97
  8. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 98-112
  9. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 113-158
  10. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 159-256
  11. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 257-288
  12. Henry B. Hollinger, Michael John Zenzen
    Pages 289-303
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 304-340

About this book

Introduction

A dominant feature of our ordinary experience of the world is a sense of irreversible change: things lose form, people grow old, energy dissipates. On the other hand, a major conceptual scheme we use to describe the natural world, molecular dynamics, has reversibility at its core. The need to harmonize conceptual schemes and experience leads to several questions, one of which is the focus of this book. How does irreversibility at the macroscopic level emerge from the reversibility that prevails at the molecular level? Attempts to explain the emergence have emphasized probability, and assigned different probabilities to the forward and reversed directions of processes so that one direction is far more probable than the other. The conclu­ sion is promising, but the reasons for it have been obscure. In many cases the aim has been to find an explana­ tion in the nature of probability itself. Reactions to that have been divided: some think the aim is justified while others think it is absurd.

Keywords

concept dynamics model nature oral discourse philosophy philosophy of science time

Authors and affiliations

  • Henry B. Hollinger
    • 1
  • Michael John Zenzen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5430-4
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-8897-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-5430-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1566-659X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site