Progress in physics

The shift from ancient/qualitative to classical/quantitative physics intensified the axiom that all motion (and so all natural activity) is really change of place, while simultaneously intensifying the axiom that all change of place is dependent on intelligence.* And so the progress of physics has been the gradual awakening to the fact that nature is intrinsically ordered to intelligence.


*Aristotle saw all time as requiring a contribution from intelligence in order to exist, since there could be no time without intellect comparing what exists to what doesn’t (whether past or future). Aristotle himself could not have kept this fact about time limited to time, since time itself is defined with motion and motion in turn defined nature, as STA pointed out in his commentary on Physics. The Galileo-Newtonian doctrine of inertial motion makes the difference between uniform motion and rest rely on a fiat of the observer and so of his intelligence.


1 Comment

  1. November 28, 2016 at 1:36 am

    A bit sweeping, perhaps. Newton’s 1st law is only about motion, not about the perception of moving: whether one can sense the difference between moving uniformly or resting; there is no … fiat, and no dependence whatsoever of motion on intelligence, while it should be quite obvious why the direct perception of one’s own motion, through vestibular sense and crista ampullaris, depends upon an increase or decrease of speed. I believe that Newton was aware that there are/can be objects in uniform motion, without any observer to decide it (‘An object having uniform motion in a straight line is moving, which is different from an object at rest, which is not moving.’); the object at rest has zero velocity. You make Newton sound like Berkeley. Both uniform motion and rest are cases of the object’s zero acceleration; but they are distinguished precisely because they are distinct (and not by a godly ‘fiat’).
    Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare. (‘Axiomata …’, Lex. I).

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