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See detailFundamentality and Time's Arrow
Loew, Christian UL

in Philosophy of Science (in press)

The distribution of matter in our universe is strikingly time asymmetric. Most famously, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that entropy tends to increase toward the future but not toward the past. But ... [more ▼]

The distribution of matter in our universe is strikingly time asymmetric. Most famously, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that entropy tends to increase toward the future but not toward the past. But what explains this time-asymmetric distribution of matter? In this paper, I explore the idea that time itself has a direction by drawing from recent work on grounding and metaphysical fundamentality. I will argue that positing such a direction of time, in addition to time-asymmetric boundary conditions (such as the so-called "past hypothesis"), enables a better explanation of the thermodynamic asymmetry than is available otherwise. [less ▲]

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See detailFreier Wille und Naturgesetze: Überlegungen zum Konsequenzargument
Loew, Christian UL

in von Stoch, Klaus (Ed.) Streit um die Freiheit. Beiträge zur philosophischen und theologischen Debatte um einen zeitgemäßen Freiheitsbegriff (2018)

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See detailBoltzmannian Immortality
Loew, Christian UL

in Erkenntnis (2017), 82(4), 761776

Plausible assumptions from Cosmology and Statistical Mechanics entail that it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be exact duplicates of us in the distant future long after our deaths. Call such ... [more ▼]

Plausible assumptions from Cosmology and Statistical Mechanics entail that it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be exact duplicates of us in the distant future long after our deaths. Call such persons “Boltzmann duplicates,” after the great pioneer of Statistical Mechanics. In this paper, I argue that if survival of death is possible at all, then we almost surely will survive our deaths because there almost surely will be Boltzmann duplicates of us in the distant future that stand in appropriate relations to us to guarantee our survival. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence
Loew, Christian UL

in Philosophy of Science (2017), 84(3), 436-455

A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation. The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of ... [more ▼]

A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation. The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. But why is counterfactual dependence time asymmetric? The most influential account of the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence is David Albert’s account, which posits a new, time-asymmetric fundamental physical law, the so-called “past hypothesis.” Albert argues that the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence arises from holding fixed the past hypothesis when evaluating counterfactuals. In this paper, I argue that Albert’s account misconstrues the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. [less ▲]

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See detailCauses as Difference-Makers for Processes
Loew, Christian UL

in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2017)

It is natural to think of causes as difference-makers. What exact difference causes make, however, is an open question. In this paper, I argue that the right way of understanding difference-making is in ... [more ▼]

It is natural to think of causes as difference-makers. What exact difference causes make, however, is an open question. In this paper, I argue that the right way of understanding difference-making is in terms of causal processes: causes make a difference to a causal process that leads to the effect. I will show that this way of understanding difference-making nicely captures the distinction between causing an outcome and helping determine how the outcome happens and, thus, explains why causation is not transitive. Moreover, the theory handles tricky cases that are problematic for competing accounts of difference-making. [less ▲]

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See detailCausation, Physics, and Fit
Loew, Christian UL

in Synthese (2017), 194(6), 1945-1965

Our ordinary causal concept seems to fit poorly with how our best physics describes the world. We think of causation as a time-asymmetric dependence relation between relatively local events. Yet ... [more ▼]

Our ordinary causal concept seems to fit poorly with how our best physics describes the world. We think of causation as a time-asymmetric dependence relation between relatively local events. Yet fundamental physics describes the world in terms of dynamical laws that are, possible small exceptions aside, time symmetric and that relate global time slices. My goal in this paper is to show why we are successful at using local, time-asymmetric models in causal explanations despite this apparent mismatch with fundamental physics. In particular, I will argue that there is an important connection between time asymmetry and locality, namely: understanding the locality of our causal models is the key to understanding why the physical time asymmetries in our universe give rise to time asymmetry in causal explanation. My theory thus provides a unified account of why causation is local and time asymmetric and thereby enables a reply to Russell’s famous attack on causation. [less ▲]

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See detailDie Richtung der Zeit
Loew, Christian UL

in Schrenk, Markus (Ed.) Handbuch der Metaphysik (2017)

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