Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Talk (Work in Progress): Alex Mathie (MCMP/LMU)

Location: Ludwigstr. 31, ground floor, Room 021.

09.01.2020 12:00  – 14:00 


Two Problems for Black Hole Thermodynamics


Black hole thermodynamics is widely touted as one of most remarkable developments in theoretical physics in the last 50 years. But it’s radical claims about the thermodynamical nature of black holes, in conjunction with its reliance of analogical reasoning and lack of empirical evidence warrant philosophical attention. I discuss—very broadly, and without getting particularly technical—two problems for black hole thermodynamics. The first concerns two distinct, but interdependent, analogical arguments which are taken to underpin the claim that black holes are thermodynamical systems. The second concerns the ambiguity of ‘thermality’. What can it mean to ‘be thermal’, and to what extent can this be said of black holes?