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AIC Seminar Series

Objectivity, Information, and Maxwell's Demon

Steve WeinsteinDartmouth College

Date:  2002-01-29 at 16:00

Location:  EJ228  (Directions)

   Abstract

I will first discuss the extent to which various information-theoretic concepts, such as complexity, randomness, and entropy, can be regarded as "objective" properties. Then I will show that thinking of entropy as a kind of contextual property allows us to resolve the paradox of Maxwell's demon, a long-lived phantasm from the 19th centurty whose behavior is supposed to bring about a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

   Bio for Steve Weinstein

Steve Weinstein is presently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in philosophy and physics at Dartmouth College. He obtained his Ph.D. in philosophy from Northwestern University in 1998 with a dissertation on the problem of time in quantum gravity. He was a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy and physics at the University of British Columbia from 1998-99, and a visiting assistant professor in philosophy at Princeton from 1999-2001.

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