Contra Mozilla

Friday, September 26, 2014

Newton's Third Law and Causes Prior to Effects

Newton's Third Law is often paraphrased that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. A more thorough stating of this law is that if object 1 applies a force on object 2, then this will simultaneously cause object 2 to apply a force of equal magnitude but on the opposite direction back on object 1. Thus, if I push on my desk with my hand, it might be said (and rightly) that I am causing there to be a force exerted from my hand onto the desk, and that this pushing also causes a second force to be exerted from the desk back on my hand.

However, the two forces spring into existence simultaneously, and then begin once I begin to push on the desk. Therefore, a cause does not necessarily precede an effect in time. It is therefore to be concluded that logical priority does not imply temporal priority.

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