Most of people believe that material recycling is the true recycling and thermal recycling is a fake. But the conventional material recycling is actually downcycling, whereas thermal recycling by the gasification system can realize more radical recycling. That is to say, what was thought to be the genuine recycling is deceptive, whereas what was thought to be the deceptive recycling is genuine. This recognition leads to reconsideration of the role that the government must play to promote recycling.
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Georgescu-Roegen coined the fourth law of thermodynamics according to which matter continuously and irrevocably degrades from an available to unavailable state in a closed system including the Earth and predicted that we would soon arrive at the state of maximum entropy, material death rather than heat death. He also insisted that recycling could not avoid this material death, because the ideal of complete recycling is based on the illusion of the thermodynamically impossible perpetual motion. But what he called the fourth law of thermodynamics is false. A closed system such as the Earth can reduce material entropy in exchange for increasing thermal entropy, keeping the former low by dumping the latter in outer space. That is to say, the sustainable economy based on recycling is possible, at least theoretically.
Clausius, one of the main founders of the modern thermodynamics, is the originator of the term “entropy,” but before this coinage he used an expression “equivalence value of transformations” instead. The term “entropy,” which is now used as a physical term, was originally economically conceived as equivalent value of exchange. Thermodynamics itself was a field of physics that was economically motivated to improve the thermal efficiency of heat engines. So, it was half physics and half economics. Apart from Clausius’s interest, the term has now become an important keyword for solving the environment and resource problems.
A heat engine is a device that repeatedly converts thermal energy into kinetic energy. It needs the difference of temperature and a working substance with high rate of expansion to do a useful work for us. It can be done in two ways: by means of the change of volume of the working substance that […]
Galileo was once thought to have discovered kinetic laws important for classical mechanics by himself by means of observations and experiments in contrast to the Scholastics who confined themselves to the interpretation of Aristotle. To be sure he gave such an impression to readers, but the fact is that the Scholastics in 14th century such […]
Christianity and Judaism are paternal religions that came into power after overcoming maternal religions. The Catholic Church thought of GalileoÃ¢ÂÂs heliocentrism as the revival of a maternal religion, because it implies that Mother Earth moves by itself and makes the sun, the symbol of Father God, fall.
The Anno Domini dating system and the Gregorian calendar that we now use are not zero-based numbering systems. There are no zeroth days, zeroth months or the zeroth year in these systems. That is because Europeans did not know zero as a number when they invented the AD dating system and the Roman calendar, the […]
Magnetism and electrostatic forces were regarded as occult action at a distance from ancient times and the inquiry into it waned when Christianity that banned magic had strong power. Since the Renaissance, however, researchers dared to study the occult magic and thus they pioneered modern electromagnetism and mechanics. Newton and Coulomb recognized gravitation and electromagnetism […]
Sumerians used sexagesimal numerals not only because the number 60 has many divisors or it is countable on the fingers of both hands but because 60 is the least common multiple of the number of fingers of both hands and the number of months in a year. The Chinese cycle of the Stems and Branches […]
Milindapañha tells that King Milinda, an Indo-Greek king, talked with Nāgasena, a Buddhist sage, embraced the Buddhist faith and abandoned the household life to attain to Arahatship. The book is known to insist that the Buddhist philosophy of nothingness should be superior to the Western philosophy of substances, but actually Nāgasena’s theory was not so […]
The original sense of “paradigm” is “exemplar” and Kuhn’s “paradigm” signifies such a textbook theory or an experiment method as students imitate as an exemplar in their scientific education. Normal science engages scientists in puzzle-solving based on a paradigm, which is more economically rational than the frequent revolutions. Even in scientific revolutions new paradigms succeed […]
When academic journals used paper media, limited space obliged editors to have referees review contributors’ manuscripts and selectively publish them, but the spread of the Internet has lowered the publication costs and the age of speed has outdated the peer-reviewed journals. To respond to the demands of the day, we should separate evaluation from publication […]
The Copernican heliocentric model was not the victory of science over the religious superstition prevailing in the Middle Age. In fact his system was neither simpler nor more accurate than Ptolemy’s geocentric model. Copernicus nonetheless proposed the heliocentric model and it was accepted by not a few astronomers, because Neoplatonism that worshipped the Sun was […]
An indefinite integral is the integral whose lower boundary is constant and whose upper boundary is variable and it should be distinguished from a primitive integral that just restores primitive functions. Constants of primitive integration should also be distinguished from constants of indefinite integration that the lower boundary produces. Integration is often said to be […]
When infinitesimal calculus was first established, the limit of a function was defined in terms of infinitesimal or infinity. As the naïve way at that time contradicted itself, new methods such as the epsilon-delta definition and non-standard analysis were devised to avoid the contradiction. Although mathematicians are not aware of it, it is Kant’s transcendental […]
Gottfried Leibniz named his metaphysics the system of pre-established harmony, which presupposed the ontological argument. The ontological argument resulted in pantheism. The law of continuity applies what is true of God to every substances, which resulted in monadology. The principle of sufficient reason prompts us to ask why this universe exists, which resulted in optimism. […]
An ontological argument for the existence of God defines God as the greatest perfect being and states that He must exist because He would not be perfect or the greatest, if He remained only in thought. Anselm and Descartes proposed it, and Kant pointed out that this argument was wrong in deducing a synthetic judgment […]
The phlogiston theory is a chemical hypothesis that was supported in the 18th century. According to this theory, all flammable materials contain an element called phlogiston and, when a substance is burned, its phlogiston is released and the remaining ash is held to be its true form. The background of the phlogiston theory was the […]
A Cartesian coordinate system is named after René Descartes. But Descartes did not first invent the Cartesian coordinate system nor did he first establish analytic geometry on the ground of the Cartesian coordinate system. Still it deserves its name, because the method of the Cartesian coordinate system is similar to that of Cartesian philosophy. Contents […]
David Hume, a Scottish philosopher in the 18th century, is famous for skepticism on the objectivity of causality and validity of moral judgment. But his assertion that causes and effects, “is” and “ought” are distinct and the connections between them are uncertain because of their subjectivity puts the cart before the horse. The fact is […]
Philosophy began in ancient Greece by inquiring what arche, namely the origin of everything is. Systemics as philosophy must also answer the question. The conclusion of our systemics is arche of the world and philosophy is uncertainty. The assertions made by the previous philosophers that arche is this or that element or the subject as […]
I intended to be a professor of philosophy and became a student/postgraduate of three Japanese Universities. At first, I wondered why there were so many incompetent professors. It was not until I went on to the postgraduate course, where professors educated their successors, that I saw why the faculties which I belonged to did not […]
The distinction of center/periphery is based on the stratified structure of ancient cities, where the Court or a temple is located in the center, residencies of bureaucrats or noblemen in the semi-periphery and merchants, craftsmen or farmers in the periphery. But sociologists usually use it non-geographically as the dichotomy that indicates the uneven distribution of capital as power in social systems.
Many people are eager to satisfy their desire for difference; ladies with big-name brand products that show off their sense of fashion to the rivals, the intellectual elite that display their careers and title so as to distinguish them from the general public, bosses that flaunt their influence frequently to confirm the subordinates’ loyalty (you can observe those bosses everywhere from a monkey mountain to Washington, D.C.) etc.
In the late 1990s, a term "New Economy" was in fashion. According to Brian Arthur, the pioneer of economics of complex systems, while the Old Economy was based on the law of diminishing returns, the New Economy is based on the law of increasing returns, and it means the growth without inflation that boosts up the eternal rally of NASDAQ. What is wrong with this theory?
A textbook of politics usually mentions the following as a defect of democracy: Democracy operates under majority rule, where those in the numerical majority are powerful and they tend to ride roughshod over the concerns of the minority. It is a problem of democracy to be solved how to protect the weak minority from the tyranny of the majority. Is this classical theory true?
The predicates prefixed with the definite article that refer to one and only one individual are definite descriptions, while those prefixed with the indefinite article, some, all and so on that can refer to more than one individuals are indefinite descriptions. Can the definite descriptions identify the essence of individuals and take the place of proper names?
The usage of the pronoun I is not innate but acquired. At first, Infants use their proper names to refer to themselves. It is so difficult to master the usage of I that it takes a long time for infants to know how to use the first-person pronoun. When, how and why did we get to use the first-person pronoun?
Those who take narcissism as sexual perversion, confuse narcissism with egoism. However, narcissists not only find themselves in the other, but also find the other in themselves. Narcissism has a reversible symmetry of mirror and to love oneself is, at the same time, to love the other. In this intersubjectively reflective relation, the antinomy of egoism vs. altruism disappears.
An ad hoc consultative agency of the prime minister in Japan, where there is no conscription, proposes that all 18-year-old children should engage in such social service as care for old people for a year. I’m afraid that, once this institution is established, it will be difficult to do away with it. Children of less than 19 years may well object to this compulsory gratuitous service, but they have no suffrage. When they come of age and gain their suffrage, they will have gone through with the service. If someone tried to abolish it, they would complain, “Why don’t our junior have to serve us, while we serve our senior? We cannot admit such unfairness.”
Oil and coal, which have brought about modern industry, are limited resources and destined to be exhausted someday. Moreover, combustion of oil or coal causes various kind of pollution. That’s why the advanced nations are groping for the clean alternative energy sources since the oil crisis. There are many candidates for it, such as nuclear power, photovoltaic power, wind power, waterpower generation, but it is my considered opinion that methane is the best alternative energy sources. I’ll tell you the reason for it.
The costs to society caused by the consumption or production of goods that are not incorporated into the price of the goods, such as those of pollution or shortage of resources are called external diseconomies. The Pigovian tax internalizes this externality inside the market. For example, if producers do not bear the cost of garbage […]
Although the science of complexity is in fashion, there is almost no agreement on what the complex system is. In this article, I would like to suggest a working definition of the complex system: indeterminate determination.In order to understand the complex system, you must understand two concepts: complexity and system.
The word system is derived from a Greek word sunistanai (to combine) and a system is usually defined as a group of combined elements. This definition identifies system/element relation with that of whole/part, but a system is not just a whole composed of parts, much less spatial subsumption relation between a whole and parts. What is a system, then?