Omne quod movetur, etc.

Interaction is of moved movers.

Physical motion is to a term, but to a good only where it can be an instrument. But goodness and being convert. Since physical motion is essentially a being, it is therefore essentially an instrument of another.

All physical motion is relative. If we see a contradiction in this, it is not a proof for absolute space or natural places, but for the dependence of the physical on the trans-physical.

Body A moves body B. But the actual resulting motion is affected by B’s moving A as well. So the resulting motion is the coalescing of the two. Call it C. But A is other than C. So whatever moves by interaction is being moved by another.

A is moving B, therefore A is the agent cause. False. The horse/ automobile / slave is A. Agency is not an index not of approaching a first push or pull, but an intention.


  1. JeffC said,

    March 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    How is motion a being? Motion is closer to becoming than to being: it is process. It is imperfect being, if it is being at all and only has being because it inheres in that which is moving.

    • March 27, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Not sure I have a very clear answer, but in the context of that argument it would be enough to say that, so far as it is a being, it is an instrument. Or, to choose a metaphor less reminiscent of a marionette, we could say that so far as it is a being, it is in relation to the trans-physical.

      • JeffC said,

        March 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

        That was clear enough, but I am not comfortable granting that motion is in relation to the trans-physical very easily. That seems a little too close to jumping from physics to metaphysics before one even knows what metaphysics is, which is begging the question. Are you intending to argue for the existence of an unmoved-mover (the trans-physical?) simply from the being of a motion? If so, I think you are incorrect because motion cannot have a being apart from the being of what is in motion so you haven’t gotten to the trans-phycial yet!

      • March 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm

        What premise are you taking issue with?

      • JeffC said,

        March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Even understood as part of an epistemological approach, I am having difficulty understanding how agency is an index of an intention rather than of an action. It seems to me that to consider agency as intention is to move precariously close to idealism.

      • March 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

        The regression of agents is not to things like forces. Forces are proper to moved movers, and the first sense of an agent is not a moved mover – this would make an instrument your first idea of an agent.

      • JeffC said,

        March 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

        I was taking issue with the idea that physical motion, as a being, is in relation to the trans-physical IF you are considering this argument from a viewpoint of one doing natural philosophy and/or metaphysics. First, it would appear that you are ascribing “being” (esse?) to physical motion itself, which I do not consider to be true (or at the very least congruous with the thought of St. Thomas). Second, I have a problem with considering motion as related to the trans-physical in natural philosophy because that would be more apropos to a consideration of motion in metaphysics.

        Considered epistemologically, I do not really have an issue. I wrote the first reply before reading any of your posts and the relevant comments on interaction.

  2. thenyssan said,

    March 27, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Can you help yourself to convertibility before you’ve established actus purus? You’d have to revise STA and prove convertibility by a different means.

    • March 27, 2012 at 6:56 am

      I think so – any argument that evil was a privation or corruption would work. I’m thinking of Augustine’s arguments in the confessions.

      • thenyssan said,

        March 27, 2012 at 7:47 am

        I’m not ready to let you off the hook on this one yet! 🙂 I’ll have to re-read the Confessions material before I reply though.

        It’s a nice post, btw. I always enjoy your physics stuff.

  3. thesonneteer said,

    March 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    St. Augustine’s arguments about evil as a privation or want of good is wonderful for maintaining sanity and distinction in belief and the problem of good and evil. As someone who worked in Air Conditioning for a long time, the importance of the definition of cold as a want or lack of something positive (heat) provides a wonderful proof or analogy from reality/nature for the Christian view of what evil is; to wit, a want or lack of (some) good: a privation. The same holds true for light, life, health, wealth, etc. The Doctor both explains and holds this doctrine consistently throughout his “the City of God” also and, therefore, you may wish to consult that work.

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