Ch-ch-changes philosophical questions raised by phase transitions

@inproceedings{Menon2011ChchchangesPQ,
  title={Ch-ch-changes philosophical questions raised by phase transitions},
  author={T. Madhava Menon and Craig Callender},
  year={2011}
}
Phase transitions are an important instance of putatively emergent behavior. Unlike many things claimed emergent by philosophers (e.g., tables and chairs), the alleged emergence of phase transitions stems from both philosophical and scientific arguments. Here we focus on the case for emergence built from physics, in particular, arguments based upon the infinite idealization invoked in the statistical mechanical treatment of phase transitions. After teasing apart several challenges, we defend… CONTINUE READING

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