Active and receptive in nature

-The quantification of motion cannot capture the distinction between active and passive. In F=ma, the F might move a mass, or an accelerating mass might cause an F, or all the variables might co-exist with no order. While we might have definite and indefinite variables, we do not have active or receptive reality. We can specify an impressed force, but there is nothing properly speaking that it acts upon. The only plausible candidate for what it act upon is body, but this is incapable of being the receptive entity since it both imparts and receives force. And so we’re left in the position of precisely describing an entity that causes action in something while yet having no precise name for the something it causes action in. We strive at the greatest exactitude in specifying what initiates motion in things, but we have no idea in what thing this motion is being initiated.

Why bother with this receptacle if it makes no difference to the equations? One good reason is that it’s only the receptacle that keeps our physics from being mathematics. The formal system as such is a Tegmarkian or Idealist universe, though this is a universe we could not interact with. Even if the active and passive entities of nature have no place within quantitative physics, they have an indispensable role to play in ensuring the reality of interactive physical systems as opposed to merely abstract mathematical structures. The active and the passive are thus existential conditions for quantitative physics even if they are not part of its physical description.

It’s on the level of the active and passive that nature shows itself as occurring in media res between pure act and pure potency.


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