Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 271–275

The mind body problem and the second law of thermodynamics

  • Harold J. Morowitz

DOI: 10.1007/BF00128833

Cite this article as:
Morowitz, H.J. Biol Philos (1987) 2: 271. doi:10.1007/BF00128833


Cartesian mind body dualism and modern versions of this viewpoint posit a mind thermodynamically unrelated to the body but informationally interactive. The relation between information and entropy developed by Leon Brillouin demonstrates that any information about the state of a system has entropic consequences. It is therefore impossible to dissociate the mind's information from the body's entropy. Knowledge of that state of the system without an energetically significant measurement would lead to a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

Key words

Mind body entropy information dualism second law of thermodynamics 

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold J. Morowitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biophysics and BiochemistryYale UniversityNew HavenU.S.A.

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