Winner of 1995 Lakatos Award "...[it] succeeds admirably in pulling together and making accessible a diversity of sometimes difficult material, serving simulaneously students, researchers, and readers from other areas who would simply like to get a sense of what is happening." Philosophy of Science "What we have in Sklar's work is by far the best systematic, unified treatment of foundational problems in statistical mechanics existing in the philosophical literature and it will certainly set the standard for futher philosophical work in the area." Mind "...Sklar's work should indeed be required and welcome reading for anyone interested in this fascinating subject...In my opinion, Physics and Chance is essential reading for philosophers of science and physicists who have even the slightest interest in how probabilities function in physical theory. The problems are at least as difficult as any that confront the foundations of quantum mechanics. Sklar's discussions of the various issues set the standard for future philosophical work in the foundations of statistical physics." The Philosophical Review "The range and depth of this study are extraordinary, and few experts in the areas of physics, mathematics, and chemistry have as extensive familiarity with either the philosophical or technical developments...One of the most important books in philosophy of science of the last 50 years." Choice "The book occupies itself with foundations and touches on most of the crucial issues. It is, I believe, the only available modern text that has set itself this task, and as such it is recommended." Peter T. Lansberg, Nature
Statistical mechanics is one of the crucial fundamental theories of physics, and in his new book Lawrence Sklar, one of the pre-eminent philosophers of physics, offers a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to that theory and to attempts to understand its foundational elements.