• Bartricks
    5.9k
    It is often thought, by those who haven't done much of it, that dualism conflicts with the principle of the conservation of energy. It doesn't, as I will now explain.

    A dualist is someone who believes that though there is a material world made of extended substances, there are also immaterial entities - our minds - that are not extended in space. And a plausible dualist view would include the view that there is causal interaction between our minds and some of the extended substances, namely those we call our bodies. After all, our minds clearly do causally interact with the material world. Events in the material world seem to be causally responsible for my mental events, but my mental events in turn seem to be causally responsible for some material events.

    So, if dualism is true, then we have material event A causing immaterial event B, which causes material event C.

    By the very nature of the matter, scientific instruments will only ever be able to register events A and C, for event B is, by hypothesis, not a material event and is thus not sensibly detectable. And so whenever one has a material event of type A, this will be followed by an empirically detectable material event of type C. The mental intermediary will not be detected. In this way note that nothing in the dualist thesis will ever conflict with any empirical data.

    The supposed evidence that dualism is false is that there would be a violation of the principle of the conservation of energy if the A-B-C picture was correct.

    But how? First, note that the evidence that the principle of the conservation of energy is true is empirical evidence and no empirical evidence will ever conflict with dualism.

    Second, in order for the principle of the conservation of energy to be violated, some energy would need either to disappear or be introduced into the picture by the addition of event B. But event B does not do this. We have no more or less energy in the system than if one supposed A caused C directly. Thus, there is no violation of the principle.

    Perhaps the thought instead is that in order for A to have caused B, then some energy would need to be transferred - for all causal transactions, it is now being supposed, involve a transfer of energy. But that is not part of the principle of the conservation of energy. That's a new and distinct claim about the nature of causation.

    If dualism is true, then there are causal transactions that do not involve a transfer of energy. The energy is transferred from A to C 'by' B. But the causation of B by A did not involve any transfer of energy. So to insist that all causation involves a transfer of energy is just to have stipulated that dualism is false, not provided us with any evidence of its falsity. It is just to have begged the question against the dualist.

    So it seems there is no non-question begging argument that shows dualism to violate the principle of the conservation of energy.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k

    I believe the situation is sort of like this. A has a specific quantity of kinetic energy, as a property of its activity. Relative to C, that kinetic energy is potential energy. But after causation occurs, the kinetic energy is now a property of C. So when the activity of A causes the activity of C, it does this through the medium of potential energy. Therefore potential energy is B, the medium between the activity of A and the activity of C. This is the immaterial aspect of the world.
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    I am not sure I follow. It sounds as if you're reifying 'potential energy'. B is a mental event. Any transfer of energy between A and C would have been 'through' the involvement of B, but B would not be taking away, or contributing any energy to the picture, just as, by analogy, a person who is at a points intersection and redirects an oncoming train down one path rather than the other is not adding any energy to the train. That's only an analogy of course.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    What kind of "dualism" are you referring to – (ontology) substance dualism? (epistemology) property dualism?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    It sounds as if you're reifying 'potential energy'.Bartricks

    Isn't any talk of a transfer of energy a matter of reifying energy? That's the problem. When energy is reified we have to disclose the means by which the same energy might cease being a property of A and start being a property of B. We don't have to assume a mental event as the medium, we could invoke "force" or something like that. But force is just as much immaterial as "mental event" is. So in any case, mental event or not, we still need dualism to account for energy transfer.
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    I don't know what energy is. If it is not a stuff, then I do not know what is being spoken of by it. But my point remains that the transfer of energy principle is not violated by dualism. If the transfer of energy principle is nonsense anyway, then dualism isn't challenged for that reason either.
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    It is clear from the OP that I am referring to substance dualism.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Why are you framing this physical-nonphysical dualism in physical terms of "causality", "energy", "conservation laws" etc?

    What warrants your assumption that nonphysical substance shares the property of "causality" with physical substance?

    And if this assumption is warranted, then what warrants assuming that they are two, different "substances"?
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    Again, read the OP.

    I am assuming substance dualism. And then I am addressing a certain criticism that it has been exposed to and explaining why it is rubbish.

    But you seem to be asking why I am assuming substance dualism. Focus.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Again. You can't answer clear, straight forward questions for f e a r that any attempt at answering on your part will expose your utter vacuity and the incoherence of another OP. :sweat:
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    It's not my fault you can't focus on what the OP is about and need instead to find a way of regurgitating barely understood technical bilge from SEP.

    You asked a question to which the answer was clear as a bell in the OP: substance dualism.

    Now you're asking why I am assuming substance dualism. As any trained philosopher would know, that's an inept thing to do: :halo: :fear: :worry: :monkey: :shade: :starstruck: :naughty: :smile: :pray:
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Poor lil D-K troll. :ok: :lol:
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    What an entirely predictable exchange this has been (although I thought you might go with something original, like Buttrips or Dumbprick). I am disappointed, though not surprised. In the future when i post an OP I will include one of these exchanges in advance so as to save you the trouble of creating one.

    "Bitofshit, when you described the problem you were addressing did you mean token-type-type token tippy type tippy token dualism, or type-token-tippy-tip-truck-token-type dualism?" Ontological or gynecological?

    Substance dualism.

    "But why are you writing in English? What warrants the ontology of a pajama party? Do only the English eat figs? :zip: :rage: .
  • Bartricks
    5.9k
    But force is just as much immaterial as "mental event" is. So in any case, mental event or not, we still need dualism to account for energy transfer.Metaphysician Undercover

    I am not sure about that, as I literally do not know what 'energy' means. If it is a curious stuff that is not empirically detectable, then yes, it too would constitute an immaterial substance. But then they could still insist upon the truth of the principle of the conservation of energy, it's just that now the principle would concern the behaviour of some immaterial stuff. That is, I do not think the concession that energy is immaterial would, in and of itself, serve to undermine the 'conservation of energy' criticism of substance dualism about the mind.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k

    The truth is, 'conservation of energy' is not true. In reality all transactions of energy lose some energy and this is why 'perpetual motion' is unobtainable. This loss of energy is understood under the concept of efficiency. In a mechanical system energy is lost to friction for example. You might think that we could measure the heat from the friction, and this would account for the lost energy, but it wouldn't, because some would still be lost to the system of measurement.

    So 'conservation of energy' is not true, and the second law of thermodynamics has been proposed as an amendment, a way to account for lost energy. And since the second law of thermodynamics is a proposal meant to amend the falsity of another law, it is actually false itself.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Perhaps the thought instead is that in order for A to have caused B, then some energy would need to be transferred - for all causal transactions, it is now being supposed, involve a transfer of energy. But that is not part of the principle of the conservation of energy. That's a new and distinct claim about the nature of causation.Bartricks

    Is A/C is external environment as you said and B is an observer, I would imagine that of course energy is transferred to B from A.

    Is that not what an observers (B) senses pick up on: light energy (vision), sound energy (hearing), thermal energy (temperature), kinetic energy (touch) etc.

    This is the transfer of energy from A to B. This energy is used to store information (encoded) in the perceivers memories. The energy doesn't just disappear. Energy can then be transferred by one's body (the observer) back into A or as you put it "C" in the causal timeline, based on that which it received (A).

    An observer B - is not energetically removed from the system. We eat and we crap, we transform chemical energy into body heat (thermal) or leave as is to run our consciousness (ability to perceive A/C.

    There still is no violation of dualism in this case.
    E=mc2 simply means that energy and matter are fundamentally the same, and time is the difference.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    The truth is, 'conservation of energy' is not true. In reality all transactions of energy lose some energy and this is why 'perpetual motion' is unobtainableMetaphysician Undercover

    That's incorrect.
    Transactions of energy from A to B lose energy from the |AB| system as heat, light and sound energy (usually due to unavoidable friction).

    That doesn't mean energy conservation isn't true. It just means not all energy in A can be transformed perfectly into B (perpetual motion) without loss to C - the external environment (unless that environment is a frictionless/gravitiless environment - of which outerspace is a close but not perfect fit for those conditions).

    Not only that but the transaction of energy from A to B doesn't even have to be a loss. It can be a gain - from C.
    If a cold cup of water is put in a hot room, the hot room heats up (gives energy) to the cold cup system (A - the container and B the water) until the heat in the cup and the heat in the room are equal and balanced, and energy is exchanged equally in both directions, constantly.

    The sum of energy in any system |AB| plus C (the environment/ system encapsulating |AB| is conserved.

    If you don't believe that you would have to challenge all of physics based on the laws of thermodynamics (which is a lot) which I doubt will get you very far in proving without undoing all the useful technology (like fridges and AC) that work because of those principles.

    So 'conservation of energy' is not true, and the second law of thermodynamics has been proposed as an amendment, a way to account for lost energy. And since the second law of thermodynamics is a proposal meant to amend the falsity of another law, it is actually false itself.Metaphysician Undercover

    On the contrary special relativity actually resolves the first 2 laws of thermodynamics. So they are not both false but both true as well as all the technology we have made based on them.

    Energy can be conserved but unmeasurable (speed of light). In this case it is "potential" energy like that held in a spring before its let go. It is potential energy due to how distance and time change on approach to the speed of light.

    Therefore system C is finite, cannot be created nor destroyed (conserved) = 1). Newtonian physics.

    System C is limited (conserved) by the cosmic speed limit "c" of light = 2). Special relativity (some energy is matter and some is action on that matter E =mc2)

    AND

    System C cannot be fully measured at once. 3). Quantum physics: Even though energy is conserved it cannot all be measured from within time itself (Heisenbergs uncertainty principle).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    Transactions of energy from A to B lose energy from the |AB| system as heat, light and sound energy (usually due to unavoidable friction).

    That doesn't mean energy conservation isn't true. It just means not all energy in A can be transformed perfectly into B (perpetual motion) without loss to C - the external environment (unless that environment is a frictionless/gravitiless environment - of which outerspace is a close but not perfect fit for those conditions).
    Benj96

    That is just a completely unproven assumption. In fact, it has been proven to be false. You assume that the lost energy actually exists somewhere else, and is measurable in that form, somewhere, however it exists. But it has really been proven that this is false. Despite all sorts of attempts to find it, all of the lost energy has never ever been located. Therefore your assumption that it exists somewhere as energy, is simply false, having been proven to be false by many, many, experiments. Numerous experiments have demonstrated that all of the energy cannot ever be recuperated therefore we must conclude that it does not exist as energy.

    Not only that but the transaction of energy from A to B doesn't even have to be a loss. It can be a gain - from C.
    If a cold cup of water is put in a hot room, the hot room heats up (gives energy) to the cold cup system (A - the container and B the water) until the heat in the cup and the heat in the room are equal and balanced, and energy is exchanged equally in both directions, constantly.
    Benj96

    I don't see how this is relevant. There is still energy lost to this system. You could say that some of the heat from the room is lost to the outside, but if you go outside and make measurements, you will not find it all. And it makes no difference if the outside is warmer, so that heat from the outside enters the room, you still will not be able to account for all the energy.

    The sum of energy in any system |AB| plus C (the environment/ system encapsulating |AB| is conserved.Benj96

    That's exactly the assumption which has been proven to be false, as explained above. Measurements of C, "the environment", cannot account for the loss of energy to the system. And many attempts to do this have proven that the lost energy cannot ever be completely accounted for, therefore your statement is false.

    If you don't believe that you would have to challenge all of physics based on the laws of thermodynamics (which is a lot) which I doubt will get you very far in proving without undoing all the useful technology (like fridges and AC) that work because of those principles.Benj96

    As I said, the laws of thermodynamics include the second law, which accounts for the loss of energy with entropy. But the second law is just as false as the law of conservation, because it assumes that the lost energy still exists as energy, when it does not. That's where the fundamental deficiency in the laws of thermodynamics lies, in the idea that the energy which is lost (rendering the law of conservation as false), still somehow exists as energy. That assumption, that the lost energy still exists as energy, is necessary to maintain the law of conservation, which has been proven to be false by the fact that all the energy cannot ever be accounted for.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    That is just a completely unproven assumption. In fact, it has been proven to be false. You assume that the lost energy actually exists somewhere else, and is measurable in that form, somewhere, however it exists. But it has really been proven that this is false.Metaphysician Undercover

    Can you send me a reference to that proof then? I'm intrigued to hear all about this proof that satisfies Newtonian, relativistic and quantum physics.
    How come we haven't already heard of such a momentous proof that unifies physics and makes it complete?
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Despite all sorts of attempts to find it, all of the lost energy has never ever been locatedMetaphysician Undercover

    How could it be, you woukd have to travel faster than the speed of light to collect it all.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    You could say that some of the heat from the room is lost to the outside, but if you go outside and make measurements, you will not find it all.Metaphysician Undercover

    Of course you can. Set up an infrared camera outside the room and you'll see the heat energy lost from the room.
    Don't be silly now.

    Otherwise how would we know what insulations are best to insulate our houses with?
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    That's exactly the assumption which has been proven to be false, as explained above.Metaphysician Undercover

    The only proof you've provided is personal opinion. I'm not sure I agree with that as definitive proof hence my request for you to give me the proof you have found elsewhere that is apparently the worlds "best kept secret" - an ultimate theory of physics
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    As I said, the laws of thermodynamics include the second law, which accounts for the loss of energy with entropy. But the second law is just as false as the law of conservation, because it assumes that the lost energy still exists as energy, when it does not.Metaphysician Undercover

    Entropy is the tendency for energy to disperse further afield. Down a gradiant from high energy to a more widespread low energy state. The energy can't disappear it just keeps spreading out until it becomes matter (still energy).

    For energy to disappear how is it magically created out of nothing? Unless it's not actually nothing but potential energy (immeasurable) or at most indirectly measurable.

    We can just agree to disagree if you'd like? But so far you haven't convinced me of your explanation and I cited several examples to the contrary.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    Can you send me a reference to that proof then?Benj96

    I already told you, it's been proven by many, many scientific experiments. Never has all the energy been accounted for, in any experiment. So the conclusion is inductive, some energy is always lost. All you have to do is look up any experiment where there was an attempt to account for all the energy involved in an event, and you will find that all the energy has never been accounted for. Therefore we can make the inductive conclusion that contrary to the law of conservation, all the energy is never conserved.

    Of course you can. Set up an infrared camera outside the room and you'll see the heat energy lost from the room.Benj96

    Sure, you can put up an infrared camera, but as I said, you will not find all the energy, only some of it, even if your sensing device encircles the entire building. You are the one being silly, suggesting that a mere infrared camera could capture all the energy lost from a room.

    The only proof you've provided is personal opinion.Benj96

    It's an inductive conclusion, as are many of the proofs of scientific hypotheses.

    Entropy is the tendency for energy to disperse further afield. Down a gradiant from high energy to a more widespread low energy state. The energy can't disappear it just keeps spreading out until it becomes matter (still energy).Benj96

    That is your baseless assertion. The following is a statement of the second law:

    The second law of thermodynamics states that as energy is transferred or transformed, more and more of it is wasted. — https://www.livescience.com/50941-second-law-thermodynamics.html

    Unless you can demonstrate where that "wasted" energy is, then to claim that it is actually conserved is a baseless assertion. Where is your proof that all of this "wasted" energy is actually conserved? I think it is actually you who is in the position of needing to prove what you are asserting. If all of the wasted energy is actually conserved, you ought to be able to show exactly where it is.

    We can just agree to disagree if you'd like? But so far you haven't convinced me of your explanation and I cited several examples to the contrary.Benj96

    You have cited exactly zero examples of an experiment in which all of the energy available prior to an event has been accounted for after the event. Your example of an infrared camera is simply ridiculous. Until you provide something more realistic,, your claim to have cited examples is simply bullshit.

    We can agree to disagree, if that's what you like, but you need to take a serious look at what you are asserting.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    So the conclusion is inductive, some energy is always lost.Metaphysician Undercover

    How is that the only inductive reasoning possible? It could be this case. But it could also be that not all the energy can be measured.

    Does something not exist because it can't be measured?

    Does my internal state of mind not exist to you because it cannot all be measured at once? Except by me - considering only I hold my memories, beliefs and emotions (my personal consciousness).
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    . You are the one being silly, suggesting that a mere infrared camera could capture all the energy lost from a room.Metaphysician Undercover

    I didn't say it could capture all the energy lost from the room did I? You interpreted such for some reason. It can measure that energy is being lost at an average rate from a small area and be inferred that given the insulation is the same around the room that all parts are roughly losing the same amount of energy per square meter.

    In that way you can calculate with reasonable accuracy to account for the remaining heat energy you haven't picked up on the camera. And you can prove it by reference to the dropping temperature within the room. You can say okay at this rate the room will drop by 1 degree celcius every 30 minutes until it reaches ambient (outside) temperature.

    You have cited exactly zero examples of an experiment in which all of the energy available prior to an event has been accounted for after the event.Metaphysician Undercover

    It's called a calorimeter. Put a piece of food or something in a box (chemical energy), weigh its initial mass.
    Burn it fully, measure the temperature rise + the change in weight of the ashes/gases now contained in the box.

    Sum the heat released (energy) with the remaining masjids (energy) and it should equal the sum of the mass and chemical energy of the original food.

    Your example of an infrared camera is simply ridiculous.Metaphysician Undercover

    Please re-read what I actually said and not jump to conclusions I never made. I've already explained about the infrared camera measuring a local defined area of a homogenous wall. Then calculating out (because the wall is homogenous - the same material, its logical to assume the same material will lose heat at the same rate).
    In that way you can establish the rate of heat loss for the whole surface area of the room. And you can verify that by predicting the temperature drop inside the room/unit time.

    If the temperature in the room drops as your calculation predicted. Then you have correctly accounted for the rate of energy loss for the whole room.

    It's really quite basic maths. Please try not to misinterpret me so readily when I'm happy to offer a more descriptive and long winded explanation
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    457


    The truth is, 'conservation of energy' is not true.Metaphysician Undercover

    Why do physicists believe it is then? When given the choice to throw out the conservation of energy or cartesian dualism, they tend to throw out the latter.
  • universeness
    3.5k

    From a physics professor on Quora, Jess H Brewer, when responding to the question:
    Does the law of conservation of energy always hold true?

    His response was:
    Locally and in the long run, yes. However,

    1. Thanks to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (ΔEΔt≥ℏ/2), we can violate energy conservation over a very short time; that’s how fundamental forces can be mediated by the exchange of virtual particles in QFT.
    2. In come circumstances (like near a black hole) the concept of a universal “now” doesn’t work — time passes at different rates at different distances from the black hole. So it becomes tricky to decide when to do the energy accounting for processes that bridge that gap.


    For me, having read a lot of responses from physicists on places like Quora and the physics stack exchange on this question. If you consider the entire universe as a single system, including such structures as 'black holes' etc. There is nowhere for anything from this universe to go.
    Everything since the beginning is based on combination of some number of fundamentals that science cannot fully confirm yet. Combination of these fundamentals create all that they can create over time. Entropy will disassemble systems back to the fundamentals over time. If this is true then conservation laws hold at the scale of the universe. For that not to be true, there would have to be something 'outside' of this universe and 'outside' of this universe seems absolute conjecture for now.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    How is that the only inductive reasoning possible? It could be this case. But it could also be that not all the energy can be measured.

    Does something not exist because it can't be measured?

    Does my internal state of mind not exist to you because it cannot all be measured at once? Except by me - considering only I hold my memories, beliefs and emotions (my personal consciousness).
    Benj96

    Actually, energy is not something measured. Measurements are made, and the energy level is determined through the application of mathematics. So energy is synthetic. I think this might be where the problem lies, in the tendency to reify energy, as if it is something which is measured.

    I didn't say it could capture all the energy lost from the room did I?Benj96

    We\re talking about all the energy. That's what the law of conservation of energy implies, all the energy is conserved. If you are not talking about calculating all the energy then your example is useless.

    In that way you can calculate with reasonable accuracy to account for the remaining heat energy you haven't picked up on the camera. And you can prove it by reference to the dropping temperature within the room. You can say okay at this rate the room will drop by 1 degree celcius every 30 minutes until it reaches ambient (outside) temperature.Benj96

    As I said, any properly carried out experiments have demonstrated that all the energy cannot be accounted for in this way, hence the second law of thermodynamics. That law is necessary to account for the fact that it is always impossible to account for all the energy.

    Sum the heat released (energy) with the remaining masjids (energy) and it should equal the sum of the mass and chemical energy of the original food.Benj96

    You say, "it should equal...", and that is according to the law of conservation. The fact is, that it never does. That is the "waste" which was referred to in the statement of the second law which I provided.

    Why do physicists believe it is then? When given the choice to throw out the conservation of energy or cartesian dualism, they tend to throw out the latter.Down The Rabbit Hole

    People believe in it because it's a law of convenience, which is extremely useful. The amount of wastage is generally so slight, and consistent, that it can easily be corrected for. As I said before, it's a matter of the efficiency of a given system. The efficiency (degree of wastage) can be determined and corrected for. We do not ever expect a hundred percent efficiency in practise, so the law serves us fine. But the fact that the ideal, being the theoretical law, is different from what we get in practise implies something significant about the nature of reality, i.e that reality is different what we think it is, if we believe the law to be true. Therefore it is a mistake to believe that law to be true.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    You say, "it should equal...", and that is according to the law of conservation. The fact is, that it never does. That is the "waste" which was referred to in the statement of the second law which I provided.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes you're right the energy is released elsewhere than where the measurement tool is being used. Just like we argued about the room releasing heat to the environment.

    What I'm saying is "wasted" because it wasn't measured is the wrong word.
    It's gone elsewhere. Just because I can't measure every molecule of water that goes over niagara falls per second doesn't mean what I couldn't measure is "wasted"... "lost" "disappeared".

    Heat disperses outwards and as it does it heats up the environment its spreading into, the further it spreads out the less amount it heats up each part. But it still heats them up by ever more minute amounts.
    Absolute zero when reached is a timeless state of no change (no heat/kinetic motion) where all energy is only "potential" again. The exact same conditions as at the big bang. Alpha state = omega state
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Actually, energy is not something measured.Metaphysician Undercover

    It definitely is. If I punch a punchbag at a fairground, the force of the impact (the momentum of my arm) is measured digitally in a number scale. Which can be compared to others - maybe a professional boxer.

    The measurement must use some of the energy in its measurement. Otherwise how exactly can it function as a measuring device? Are measuring devices somehow magically outside of all cause and effect relationships/energy transfer and the information those hold?

    I don't think so.
    The device converts kinetic force into a voltage and the measurement of that voltage is a measurement of the energy that generated (converted) into it.
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