Ancient vs. classical-modern physics

Descartes gives a half-hearted definition of motion, but it’s so obviously circular that his point has to be that no definition is necessary. Ancient physics thus starts from a definition of motion and classical-modern physics doesn’t. Why does this matter?

If motion is undefinable it can’t be in a genus and is therefore transcendental, but ancient physics also didn’t specify a genus for motion. The difference is that the ancient definition makes motion transcendental but reducible (the act of potential with privation) while the modern account makes it irreducible. The ancient physics reduced act, potential and privation to the primacy of act or perfection, and so one interpretation of classical/modern physics would be an account of motion where motion itself plays the role that act or perfection plays in ancient physics. Consequently, energy becomes both cause and effect of all action and interactive forces are seen as excluding all other causality as superfluous.

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