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How oriented causation is rooted into thermodynamics

Rovelli, Carlo (2023) How oriented causation is rooted into thermodynamics. Philosophy of Physics, 1 (1). 1 - 14. ISSN 2753-5908

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Identification Number: 10.31389/pop.46


The notions of cause and effect are widely employed in science and commonly understood as temporally ordered: causes precede effects. I discuss why and how these notions are rooted into thermodynamics. The entropy gradient (i) explains in which sense interventions affect the future rather than the past, and (ii) underpins the time orientation of the subject of knowledge as a physical system. Via these two distinct paths, it is the entropy gradient, and only the entropy gradient, the source of the time orientation of causation, namely the fact the cause comes before its effects.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > QC Physics
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 10:39
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:20

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