Where inertia comes from

The equivalence of motion and rest arises from a subtle reconsideration or redefinition of motion. While physics before inertia was interested in the asymmetric relations of movers and moved, agent causes and effects, the physics after this considered motion as a symmetrical relation, where “from here to there” is the same as “from there to here”. Reconsidered in this way, motion became relative to its backdrop or the other parts of its motion – both of which were chosen arbitrarily or for convenience – and passivity became a sort of activity (which is why inertia is exerted precisely by a body being acted upon.)

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1 Comment

  1. obscure said,

    November 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    If I may babble for a moment:

    All men are existentially equal insofar as they are subjected to death. This is their physical and existential equality; they are all finite things approaching their physical end. Different men are either more or less physically vigorous and more or less close to death. This then is their existential and physical inequality.

    All men are essentially equal by their participation in the universal concept ‘man’. This is their intelligible equality. Judgment thus finds men to be comparable. Some men more or less perfectly imitate the concept and thus follows the essential inequality among men.

    The motion of finite things is finite, but lawful motion is infinite because law is infinite. This is what makes man the rational animal: He understands the essence of ‘law’, its intelligible universality and so on. Man’s end as man is not just to die, but to indefinitely approach perfection. In history these opposites coincide. If I cease thinking about the world and no longer understand the spirit in it but only perceive it with my physical eyes, then I do see many things dying in many different ways and at different times. Simple progress thus exists only in heaven, because in the world things enter into extrinsic relations and die.

    Modern man sees laws not transcendentally as he ought to, but as immanently determining him towards physical death. Thus there is a certain morality of death which corresponds to a certain techno-scientific attitude towards ‘law’ as a jumble of conventions useful for constructing technologies and moving bodies about with greater efficiency. A few men still arrive at the spiritual view of law and then they begin to participate in ‘useless’ bodily motions; contemplation, rituals, prayers, devotions and things of this sort. The rest think that this sort of thing is scandalous because they don’t grasp an intelligible telos as informing and overcoming their natural end; so they must wander about receiving a variety of more or less intense sensations until death covers them.

    Alas, I won’t be a pessimist: All men are informed by the spirit and can be helped in some way.


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