Matter, desire, and force

-There are pre-existent things, i.e. the thing itself is what it could be later. The calf is the pre-cow/veal/ bull/ steer/ baseball glove, etc. So taken, things are material. This is not a term of art, but simply what material means.

-There is something in us that could be either well-fed or a corpse, though from our perspective the first is a desire and the second is forced. The distinction between desire and force is whether what comes later is in harmony with what is earlier or drives it out.

-The reason why Newton made force fundamental and not desire was because his physics rests on what drives out an earlier form of a state of rest or state of motion. This is what Marcus Berquist misses in his otherwise incisive criticism of the Newton’s definition of inertia as a force exercised in the change from motion to rest. The reason why no force maintains a body in rest or motion is the same reason we need not be forced to eat when we’re hungry, or grow after eating. Newton’s insight was that body as body was material for either motion or rest.

-If body as such were essentially at rest, a living body could never move and vice versa. It’s precisely the indifference of the physical to motion or rest that makes life possible. This is one thing that is missed in Aristotle’s idea of physical motion: if the elements have an essential motion or place, then life would never be a development of the physical, but an act of violence committed against it.


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