Ambiguities in order-theoretic formulations of thermodynamics

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Since the 1909 work of Carathéodory, an axiomatic approach to thermodynamics has gained ground which highlights the role of the the binary relation of adiabatic accessibility between equilibrium states. A feature of Carathédory's system is that the version therein of the second law contains an ambiguity about the nature of irreversible adiabatic processes, making it weaker than the traditional Kelvin-Planck statement of the law. This talk attempts first to clarify the nature of this ambiguity, by defining the arrow of time in thermodynamics by way of the Equilibrium Principle (``Minus First Law''). It then examines the extent to which the 1989 axiomatisation of Lieb and Yngvason shares the same ambiguity, despite proposing a very different approach to the second law.