PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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A Tale of Two Entropies

In his seminal 1939 book, von Neumann argued for the equivalence of the thermodynamic entropy and -TrpLnp, the von Neumann entropy. Recently, however, Hemmo and Shenker (2006) challenged this argument by pointing out an alleged discrepancy between the two entropies in the single particle case, concluding that they must be distinct. In this paper, I will restore the analogy by identifying a series of common misconceptions in Hemmo and Shenker's argument, which are typically made in single particle scenarios and regard the classification of entropy in the presence of an external, correlated agent, leading to all sorts of peculiar consequences.

Author Information:

Carina Prunkl    
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Oxford


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