The mentaculus vision

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Building on the Boltzmann’s approach to statistical mechanics, David Albert proposed a framework for a complete physical theory that entails a probability distribution over all physical possible worlds. Albert and I call this framework “the Mentaculus.” In this paper, I provide reasons to think that the Mentaculus entails probabilistic versions of the laws of thermodynamics and other special science laws. In addition, it is the basis for a scientific account of the arrows of time and an account of counterfactuals that express causal relations. I then argue that the best way to understand the laws and probabilities that occur in the Mentaculus are along the lines of David Lewis’ best system account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStatistical Mechanics And Scientific Explanation
Subtitle of host publicationDeterminism, Indeterminism And Laws Of Nature
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9789811211720
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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