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January 28, 2009



Could we speak about the 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics in philosophical terms? The answer is NO. But we can let go our minds for a little while and think about “energy”, this unluckily-non-seen kind of machinery that give us life and may be will give the key to the interplanetary doors.

The First Law of Thermodynamics says that energy is conserved in every process, however it does not tell us whether any particular process can actually occur. Nevertheless, The Second Law of Thermodynamics tell us in which direction the process occur. And the physical quantity which describes the ability of a system to do work is called Entropy. These concepts have a very rigorous mathematical background, that create a sceptical and hermetic circle, pulling away every non-scientific thought we could throw in it. But we can build some philosophical tendencies using these laws, showing how magnificent and more complete could be a simple thought if we use a little bit of maths and in this case, physics.

Existentialism was formally studied by philosopher Jean Paul Sartre in his novel La Nausée, in which the character becomes convinced that inanimate objects and situations encroach on his ability to define himself, on his intellectual and spiritual freedom, evoking in the protagonist a sense of nausea. It is widely considered one of the canonical works of existentialism. He talks about existence of non-living things, about the weight and paradigmatic sense of pain about all the things that surrounds him. Jean Paul Sartre, further than a simple novel, says that the characteristic anguish and forlornness of existentialism are temporary: only a prerequisite to recognizing individual responsibility and freedom. By the other hand, he just take the existentialism in a one dimensional way, which leave us to say that this anger and pain about the existence of all that surround us, is resumed in a simple instant of time. Time turns this existentialism far beyond a simple emotional state in to a deeper and more complete philosophical crossroad.

For example, if we look at a light bulb, we see its light washing all over our room, it has a function and it works. Sartre’s existentialism, make us stuck in that object and make us think about it in terms of essence and responsibility. But how long that light bulb will exists? How long his energy will spread his light? Well we know, until the bulb ran out of filament. However, we do not know when this object will cease to exist. Now we can find the answer looking for thermodynamics. Energy conserves in the universe. Returning to our light bulb, we can smash it to ground, throw in to the waste bin, even if we melt the glass, the light bulb probably will not have the shape of it, but the energy contained in it because the First Law of Thermodynamics, will not disappear under any circumstance. And that is a fact for all living and non-living beings, our energy and the energy of all the things that we see, or we saw, or we ever seen will not cease to exist. So, if we see our world with the eyes and senses of Sartre’s existentialism we will pay a large tax and a huge emotional weight for the existence of things, that by the way it is unlimited and infinite if we see it from the two dimensional point of view…


(1) Resnick, R/ Halliday, D. Physics for students of science and engineering. John Wiley & Sons. 1961
(2) Sartre, J.P. La nausée. Losada. 1997


Zopenco January 28, 2009 at 8:15 PM  

Nota del Autor:

Con mi ingles hice honor a mi nick

Sotreta Trompeta January 28, 2009 at 9:24 PM  

Tu inglés es muchisimo mejor que mis ladridos...

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