From Descartes to the First Law of Thermodynamics

“A cause must be at least as great as its effect.”
Renee Descartes

Because otherwise some of the effect would not be accounted for.

But… An effect must be at least as great as its cause. Otherwise some of the cause would simply “disappear”. It could never be perceived.

Therefore, cause and effect are necessarily equal and constitute a conserved quantity.

Cause and effect are the philosophical terms for energy.

Energy is the scientific term for cause and effect.

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3 responses to “From Descartes to the First Law of Thermodynamics

  1. Big Bad Johnny P

    There being a difference possibly between the “effect” and the observable or observed effect.

  2. Observable in principle is the key (we’re dealing with a thought experiment here). Practically observable and actually observed are different again.

  3. Huang-po’s view on causality:

    If one wants to point out the cause, one must continually refer to that which the cause is dependent upon.
    This is a never-ending process, for there is no end to the dependent origination of things.
    Relax your hold, for there is nothing to obtain.

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