Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.

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Cosmology Group Podcasts

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Cosmology Group Podcasts
--2012 APR 11
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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 view of time on which it has an intrinsic direction.