Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 271–275 | Cite as

The mind body problem and the second law of thermodynamics

  • Harold J. Morowitz

Abstract

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 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brillouin, L.: 1951,Journal of Applied Physics 22, 334–337.Google Scholar
  2. Brillouin, L.: 1956,Science and Information Theory, Academic Press.Google Scholar
  3. Eccles, J. C., and Robinson, D. N.: 1985,The Wonder of Being Human, New Science Library.Google Scholar
  4. Margenau, H.: 1984,The Miracle of Existence, Ox Bow Press.Google Scholar
  5. Popper, K. R., and Eccles, J. C.: 1977,The Self and The Brain, Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  6. Schrödinger, E.: 1984,My World of the World, Ox Bow Press.Google Scholar
  7. Wigner, E.: 1967,Symmetries and Reflections, University of Indiana Press.Google Scholar

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.

Personalised recommendations