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Cosmology Group Podcasts

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Cosmology Group Podcasts
Cosmology Group Podcasts

Cosmology Group Podcasts

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Cosmology Group's official podcast. Please check back throughout the semester for updates.

Latest Episodes

Lecture 14; Michael Strevens, Tim Maudlin, and David Albert.mp3

108 MIN2012 MAY 4
Comments
Lecture 14; Michael Strevens, Tim Maudlin, and David Albert.mp3

Lecture 13; Sheldon Goldstein, David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

-1 s2012 MAY 1
Comments
Lecture 13; Sheldon Goldstein, David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Lecture 12; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

David summarizes his distinction between inference by prediction/retrodiction and inference by measurement, and reiterates that this can make plausible the claim that the special status of the Past-Hypothesis can ground the asymmetry in our epistemic relations to the past and future. He goes through some objections to this view that came up in the class before, which he and Tim then discuss. David relates this epistemic asymmetry to the time-asymmetries in causation, counterfactual conditionals, and our apparent ability to elicit change in the world. He argues that the very facts that make the past epistemically more accessible than the future also makes our causal handle on the future far far weaker than our handle on the past. There is a discussion of how this is supposed to fit with our pre-theoretic intuition that we have NO causal handle on the past. Tim weighs in on some of these points, criticizing David's desire for a "mechanical" explanation for temporal asymmetries. He arg...

-1 s2012 APR 24
Comments
Lecture 12; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Lecture 11; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Tim opens with a brief point about the postulation of a very low entropy past state. He contrasts the claim that, if this state is not the initial state of the world, that the entropy profile of the universe will be symmetric (intuitively, with a global minimum at the moment of the past hypothesis) and the claim that the macroscopic profile of the universe will be symmetric in the same way. David takes some time to respond to this point. David then turns the discussion to the inferential role of the past hypothesis. He starts by identifying two kinds of inferences that can be used to determine the state of the world at times other than the present: Inference by Prediction/Retrodiction (in which one takes facts about the present and applies the laws to determine facts about the past or future) and Inference by Measurement (in which one takes facts about the present plus facts about certain past events and determines facts about the past or future). Inference by Measurement is, David ...

-1 s2012 APR 12
Comments
Lecture 11; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Lecture 10; Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin and David Albert.mp3

Barry Loewer is the guest lecturer for this class. Tim starts by recapitulating the notion of typicality introduced in the previous lecture. Tim, David and Barry then engage in a debate about Tim's view of the nature of statistical explanation. Barry then gives a summary of the difference between his and David's view of statistical mechanics and Tim's view. He starts by arguing that one main point of contention is the "imperialistic" nature of his and David's project. A second main point of contention is the nature of laws and time, which is the topic for the remainder of the lecture. Barry contrasts two conceptions of laws. The first one is the Humean view of laws on which laws of nature are reducible to facts about the Humean mosaic, which goes hand-in-hand (Barry claims) with a view of time on which time doesn't have an intrinsic direction. The second is Tim's view, on which laws of nature are a primitive category in our ontology, and which (Barry argues) goes naturally with a vi...

-1 s2012 APR 11
Comments
Lecture 10; Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin and David Albert.mp3

StatCosmoLec_09.mp3

Tim and David begin by continuing their discussion of the 'Stosszahlansatz', the assumption that the number of particle collisions in a given subregion is just proportional to the volume of that region. They summarize the debate up to this point and attempt to clarify the nature of their disagreement about its explanatory value. Tim then takes over and gives a short primer on the mathematics of measure theory, connecting it with the purely mathematical notion of a "probability measure" and contrasting that with the physical notion of something being probabilistic in any real sense. Tim relates this discussion by example to the notion of Typicality. A behavior of a system is typical of that system iff the set of initial conditions that yield that behavior has measure 1 (on any normalized continuous measure). When a certain limit frequency is typical, then we have something very close in form and content to an objective, deterministic probability. Tim goes on to discuss how this model...

-1 s2012 MAR 29
Comments
StatCosmoLec_09.mp3

Lecture 7.mp3

-1 s2012 MAR 16
Comments
Lecture 7.mp3

Lecture 6; David Albert (mainly) and Tim Maudlin

Time Maudlin starts by distinguishing and characterizing three different classes of explanations of thermodynamic phenomena previously studied in the seminar (appeals to symmetry principles, to random walks in the phase space, or to features of the actual micro-dynamics of isolated systems). He explains the various ways in which the standard measure over phase space comes into play in these explanations. David Albert then examines the various ways in which one might justify appealing to this standard measure; both Maudlin and Albert reject justifications that appeal to principles of indifference, but disagree on whether the measure is to be justified solely on empirical grounds (David) or by its natural character (Tim). In the last part of the class, David starts explaining the reversibility objections raised against Maxwell’s and Boltzmann’s arguments.

-1 s2012 MAR 1
Comments
Lecture 6; David Albert (mainly) and Tim Maudlin

Lecture 4, smaller version:

-1 s2012 FEB 23
Comments
Lecture 4, smaller version:

Lecture 5; David Albert and Tim Maudlin

In this lecture, Tim Maudlin continues the statistical mechanical account of the velocity distribution of particles in a monatomic gas, and how this distribution evolves over time. David Albert and Tim disagree about the status of the 'Stosszahlansatz'', the assumption that the location of particles in the system, and the locations of critical regions required to impact on other particles, are statistically independent of each other. Tim argues that when an assumption of statistical independence such as this one is reached, no further explanation of the independence is required. David begins to argue that even in these cases, one must explain the independence by appealing to laws. Tim and David begin to outline their differing conceptions of laws.

-1 s2012 FEB 23
Comments
Lecture 5; David Albert and Tim Maudlin

Latest Episodes

Lecture 14; Michael Strevens, Tim Maudlin, and David Albert.mp3

108 MIN2012 MAY 4
Comments
Lecture 14; Michael Strevens, Tim Maudlin, and David Albert.mp3

Lecture 13; Sheldon Goldstein, David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

-1 s2012 MAY 1
Comments
Lecture 13; Sheldon Goldstein, David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Lecture 12; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

David summarizes his distinction between inference by prediction/retrodiction and inference by measurement, and reiterates that this can make plausible the claim that the special status of the Past-Hypothesis can ground the asymmetry in our epistemic relations to the past and future. He goes through some objections to this view that came up in the class before, which he and Tim then discuss. David relates this epistemic asymmetry to the time-asymmetries in causation, counterfactual conditionals, and our apparent ability to elicit change in the world. He argues that the very facts that make the past epistemically more accessible than the future also makes our causal handle on the future far far weaker than our handle on the past. There is a discussion of how this is supposed to fit with our pre-theoretic intuition that we have NO causal handle on the past. Tim weighs in on some of these points, criticizing David's desire for a "mechanical" explanation for temporal asymmetries. He arg...

-1 s2012 APR 24
Comments
Lecture 12; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Lecture 11; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Tim opens with a brief point about the postulation of a very low entropy past state. He contrasts the claim that, if this state is not the initial state of the world, that the entropy profile of the universe will be symmetric (intuitively, with a global minimum at the moment of the past hypothesis) and the claim that the macroscopic profile of the universe will be symmetric in the same way. David takes some time to respond to this point. David then turns the discussion to the inferential role of the past hypothesis. He starts by identifying two kinds of inferences that can be used to determine the state of the world at times other than the present: Inference by Prediction/Retrodiction (in which one takes facts about the present and applies the laws to determine facts about the past or future) and Inference by Measurement (in which one takes facts about the present plus facts about certain past events and determines facts about the past or future). Inference by Measurement is, David ...

-1 s2012 APR 12
Comments
Lecture 11; David Albert and Tim Maudlin.mp3

Lecture 10; Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin and David Albert.mp3

Barry Loewer is the guest lecturer for this class. Tim starts by recapitulating the notion of typicality introduced in the previous lecture. Tim, David and Barry then engage in a debate about Tim's view of the nature of statistical explanation. Barry then gives a summary of the difference between his and David's view of statistical mechanics and Tim's view. He starts by arguing that one main point of contention is the "imperialistic" nature of his and David's project. A second main point of contention is the nature of laws and time, which is the topic for the remainder of the lecture. Barry contrasts two conceptions of laws. The first one is the Humean view of laws on which laws of nature are reducible to facts about the Humean mosaic, which goes hand-in-hand (Barry claims) with a view of time on which time doesn't have an intrinsic direction. The second is Tim's view, on which laws of nature are a primitive category in our ontology, and which (Barry argues) goes naturally with a vi...

-1 s2012 APR 11
Comments
Lecture 10; Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin and David Albert.mp3

StatCosmoLec_09.mp3

Tim and David begin by continuing their discussion of the 'Stosszahlansatz', the assumption that the number of particle collisions in a given subregion is just proportional to the volume of that region. They summarize the debate up to this point and attempt to clarify the nature of their disagreement about its explanatory value. Tim then takes over and gives a short primer on the mathematics of measure theory, connecting it with the purely mathematical notion of a "probability measure" and contrasting that with the physical notion of something being probabilistic in any real sense. Tim relates this discussion by example to the notion of Typicality. A behavior of a system is typical of that system iff the set of initial conditions that yield that behavior has measure 1 (on any normalized continuous measure). When a certain limit frequency is typical, then we have something very close in form and content to an objective, deterministic probability. Tim goes on to discuss how this model...

-1 s2012 MAR 29
Comments
StatCosmoLec_09.mp3

Lecture 7.mp3

-1 s2012 MAR 16
Comments
Lecture 7.mp3

Lecture 6; David Albert (mainly) and Tim Maudlin

Time Maudlin starts by distinguishing and characterizing three different classes of explanations of thermodynamic phenomena previously studied in the seminar (appeals to symmetry principles, to random walks in the phase space, or to features of the actual micro-dynamics of isolated systems). He explains the various ways in which the standard measure over phase space comes into play in these explanations. David Albert then examines the various ways in which one might justify appealing to this standard measure; both Maudlin and Albert reject justifications that appeal to principles of indifference, but disagree on whether the measure is to be justified solely on empirical grounds (David) or by its natural character (Tim). In the last part of the class, David starts explaining the reversibility objections raised against Maxwell’s and Boltzmann’s arguments.

-1 s2012 MAR 1
Comments
Lecture 6; David Albert (mainly) and Tim Maudlin

Lecture 4, smaller version:

-1 s2012 FEB 23
Comments
Lecture 4, smaller version:

Lecture 5; David Albert and Tim Maudlin

In this lecture, Tim Maudlin continues the statistical mechanical account of the velocity distribution of particles in a monatomic gas, and how this distribution evolves over time. David Albert and Tim disagree about the status of the 'Stosszahlansatz'', the assumption that the location of particles in the system, and the locations of critical regions required to impact on other particles, are statistically independent of each other. Tim argues that when an assumption of statistical independence such as this one is reached, no further explanation of the independence is required. David begins to argue that even in these cases, one must explain the independence by appealing to laws. Tim and David begin to outline their differing conceptions of laws.

-1 s2012 FEB 23
Comments
Lecture 5; David Albert and Tim Maudlin
hmly
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