• Banno
    8.9k
    ...and that leaves me thinking that there is something disingenuous about your replies. But doubtless you would say the same. I'll leave you to continue your chat with Meta.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    ...and that leaves me thinking that there is something disingenuous about your repliesBanno

    You mean that I just exposed your own disingenuous game here. Yes, you can buzz off now.
  • tim wood
    4.9k
    How heavy is your 1kg mass in outer space?apokrisis
    I assume you're joking. You wouldn't confuse mass with weight, would you?
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    I wouldn't. Banno did.

    What else did you think I was picking out here?....

    What are your units of measurement now? Are you going to rely on a pair of scales or a stopwatch and ruler?apokrisis
  • Banno
    8.9k
    Banno didapokrisis

    Banno didn't.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    You had your chance to reply. And...

    Banno didn't.Banno
  • Banno
    8.9k
    This conversation is just weird.
  • tim wood
    4.9k
    I didn't see where he did - that left you. But it's not possible that you would.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    Conversation?

    I asked you a question that you can’t/won’t answer. I supplied the reference to how modern physics would quantify substance.

    Play or go home. Whining is undignified.
  • Banno
    8.9k
    I didn't see where he didtim wood

    Cheers. Didn't think I did.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    and as I've argued before, there is this confusion between prime matter and primary substance - between the primacy of whatever could constitute the material aspect of hylomorphically-emergent actuality, and primacy that is then the actualised or enformed being which is thus the substantial substrate of further change and development.apokrisis

    This is what Aristotle claims to refute with the "cosmological argument", the idea of "emergent actuality". This is why he needed to posit the "prime mover", rather than the infinite potential of Anaxamander's apeiron. Later in his Metaphysics, the prime mover is described as a divine thinking.

    There is what I would consider to be prime matter as Peircean firstness or vagueness.apokrisis

    So Peircean firstness, and the metaphysics which follows from it, is not at all consistent with Aristotle's metaphysics, because it adopts the very principle which Aristotle claims to have refuted. You really can't just overlook the fact that Aristotle replaced the concept of "prime matter" with "prime mover", as the foundation of his ontology, to pretend that Peircean metaphysics is consistent with Aristotle's. I mean, that's a pretty significant difference.

    But when we talk of becoming preceeding being, we mean the Anaximander's apeiron or Peirce's tychism - potential as the pure spontaneity of unformed material fluctuation. If we had to describe such a general grounding to Being, it would be a materiality with the least possible substantiality. And even then, we should be imagining it as just naked "becoming" as "prime matter" with any materiality has already crossed that threshold into the realm of actualised Being.apokrisis

    This is exactly the notion of pure potential which Aristotle claims to have refuted. I don't see how you cross that threshold into the realm of actualised Being.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    This is what Aristotle claims to refute with the "cosmological argument", the idea of "emergent actuality".Metaphysician Undercover

    Surely what he wanted to refute was an efficient first cause to the Cosmos. And this led him to claim that the actuality of Being must therefore be eternal.

    So he got something wrong. We now know our Universe started in a Big Bang. There is a data point to be dealt with.

    But his own theory of substance include finality - a prime mover. And if you put aside the suggestions that “God did it”, then his contrast of immobile celestial spheres and an actuality that is thus driven in circular motion Is not too bad a stab at some kind of naturalistic resolution. It is a fact of quantum theory that spin exists as a fundamental degree of freedom because the classical spacetime universe provides the motionless reference frame that makes it so.

    Noether’s theorem at work.

    I wouldn’t exaggerate the fore shadowing. But Aristotle was heading in the right direction.

    So Peircean firstness, and the metaphysics which follows from it, is not at all consistent with Aristotle's metaphysics, because it adopts the very principle which Aristotle claims to have refuted.Metaphysician Undercover

    An efficient cause is only so if it is efficient. And a fluctuation is defined by being a difference that doesn’t make a difference. Or only the weakest imaginable difference.

    So Peirce was making an argument along the lines of modern symmetry breaking and chaos theory thinking. The old butterfly wing effect. If things are poised and ready to tip, then even the least disturbance, any old action no matter how small or undirected, will cause the system to go in its finality-serving direction.

    You can’t really attributed some grand causal power to that fluctuation as any old fluctuation Could have done the same trick. And yet a fluctuation was also a necessary ingredient. The first accident. The first difference to make a difference.

    You really can't just overlook the fact that Aristotle replaced the concept of "prime matter" with "prime mover", as the foundation of his ontologyMetaphysician Undercover

    He rejected a first efficient cause in that particular argument against Atomism and the claim that the Cosmos could be created rather than eternal.

    But here we were talking about prime matter - that is material cause, not efficient cause (even if I agree the two must be related).

    So for example we have this in the Stanford article I cited...

    Another key passage where Aristotle has been thought to commit himself more decisively to prime matter is Metaphysics vii 3. Here we are told:

    By “matter” I mean that which in itself is not called a substance nor a quantity nor anything else by which being is categorized. For it is something of which each of these things is predicated, whose being is different from each of its predicates (for the others are predicated of substance, and substance is predicated of matter). Therefore this last is in itself neither substance nor quantity nor anything else. Nor is it the denials of any of these; for even denials belong to things accidentally. (1029a20–26)

    Although the word “prime” does not occur here, Aristotle is evidently talking about prime matter. A natural way to read this passage is that he is saying there is a wholly indeterminate underlying thing, which he calls “matter”, and it is not a substance. Those who wish to avoid attributing a doctrine of prime matter to Aristotle must offer a different interpretation: that if we were to make the mistake of regarding matter, as opposed to form, as substance, we would be committed (absurdly) to the existence of a wholly indeterminate underlying thing.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    Surely what he wanted to refute was an efficient first cause to the Cosmos. And this led him to claim that the actuality of Being must therefore be eternal.

    So he got something wrong. We now know our Universe started in a Big Bang. There is a data point to be dealt with.
    apokrisis

    What he was actually refuting was Pythagorean idealism (Platonic idealism in modern terms). What he showed was that if ideas preexist human minds, their nature is as potential. The human mind is what gives them actual existence, in the act of "discovery". Then he demonstrated with the cosmological argument, that it is impossible for any potential to be eternal. This effectively refutes Platonic realism which holds the reality of eternal ideas.

    The issue with respect to "matter" is that matter is itself just an idea. This might be hard for you to grasp, because "matter" is exactly what we assign to the physical world as what is independent from us, and therefore not an idea. But as "matter", is simply how we represent the physical world. It is our idea of temporal continuity, what persists unchanged in time, represented in science as inertia, mass, energy, etc.. In reality, what exists independent from us is changing forms, and we represent the aspects which are consistent, constant, as "matter", and this is the basis of the temporal continuity which is called "Being",

    When he supposedly refuted idealism, by denying that potential could be eternal, he also refuted materialism, because materialism is actually just a twisted form of idealism, substantiated by the concept of "matter". And the concept of "matter" is not properly supported by empirical observations of the physical world, so it is deficient. The temporal continuity of existence, or Being, ends up being inconsistent with the concept of "matter" demonstrating that "matter" is just an idea, so materialism ends up being an idealism based in an assumed infallibility of the concept "matter".

    Denying both materialism and idealism sets up the conditions for an eternal chain of efficient causes, sometimes called infinite regress. Aristotle referred to this as eternal circular motion, and you'll find a similar concept in the Hartle-Hawking no-boundary proposal. This eternal infinite regress is logically repugnant for a number of reasons, best demonstrated by the absurdities produced by the principle of plenitude which dictates that in an infinite amount of time, all possibilities have been actualized. So we move to an alternative first cause, which is "final cause", and the ensuing teleological nature of the universe.

    To insist that the universe started with a Big Bang really doesn't get us anywhere. The "Big Bang" only represents the time in which our physical representations are no longer applicable. So the fact that we cannot understand the universe prior to this time called "The Big Bang", only indicates that out concept of "matter", or the modern representation, "energy", is deficient.

    But his own theory of substance include finality - a prime mover. And if you put aside the suggestions that “God did it”, then his contrast of immobile celestial spheres and an actuality that is thus driven in circular motion Is not too bad a stab at some kind of naturalistic resolution. It is a fact of quantum theory that spin exists as a fundamental degree of freedom because the classical spacetime universe provides the motionless reference frame that makes it so.apokrisis

    The problem here is that we cannot get an acceptable "naturalistic resolution". This is because our conceptions of temporal continuity, "matter", or energy", are deficient. Once we get beyond this bias, this prejudice, that our conceptions of matter (or energy) are sufficient to give us a true understanding of temporal existence, Being, we see the need to look to other sources. The prejudice makes us believe in the infallibility of these conceptions. Recognizing this prejudice might lead us into the mysticism of human experience, will, intention, and free choice, as an alternative source for knowledge concerning temporal continuity. And when we properly understand the reality of intention, final cause, we cannot put aside the suggestion "God did it".

    Here we have divergent courses of study. You would say that we ought to put aside this notion "God did it", stick with the demonstrably deficient and faulty scientific conceptions of temporal continuity, and ignore the vast wealth of accumulated theological knowledge of this subject. Thus you adhere to that prejudice which assumes a "naturalistic resolution" is possible, regardless of the mounting evidence against this possibility. On the other hand, we can take Aristotle's lead and proceed toward understanding the teleological nature of the universe, discovering the completely different understanding of temporal continuity, Being, which is explored in Neo-Platonism and early Christian theology.

    An efficient cause is only so if it is efficient. And a fluctuation is defined by being a difference that doesn’t make a difference. Or only the weakest imaginable difference.apokrisis

    To say that there is a difference which makes no difference is either blatant contradiction, or to take a subjective perspective. If the former, then you take your ontology into dialectical materialism, allowing all sorts of confusion due to disavowing the law of non-contradiction. This sort of ontology is clear evidence of the deficiency in the concept of "matter". If the latter, then there's no point in speaking of the pre-human universe in such terms. There's a difference, but it doesn't make a difference to you, simply because you'd prefer to ignore this difference because it's evidence against your ontology. What kind of metaphysics is that? To claim that there is a difference which doesn't make a difference, simply because if it did make a difference it would be evidence against your ontology.

    So for example we have this in the Stanford article I cited...apokrisis

    Sure, Aristotle goes to great extent defining "matter" in his Physics, and describing the concept of "prime matter" in the early part of his Metaphysics. This is to elucidate, and give a clear understanding of what "prime matter" is meant to represent, by those who assume such a thing. Then he proceeds in the later part of Metaphysics to refute this idea. That is his technique, to first elucidate the idea, so that we understand what is meant by the terminology, then he proceeds to demonstrate the deficiencies of the idea.
  • Gnomon
    817
    ↪apokrisis
    An odd reply. Mass is measured in kg. What do we use for the unit of substance?
    Banno
    That reply is odd only because we are not used to thinking of tangible Matter in terms of Qualia (properties, fields). Instead, we typically think of matter as Quanta (countable objects). We measure (compare) one thing to another (KG = a standard massive object), not the thing-in-itself (ding an sich).

    Mass is measured indirectly by its effects on our senses, or our measuring tools. A unit of Substance (an object or thing) is measured the same way, by its effects on our senses. Like zero-mass Photons, we can't detect Aristotelian (Soul) Substance directly, so we look for chemical reactions (physical change) to its energy input or output. Energy & Mass are potential, Chemistry is actual. But our metaphysical rational minds can recognize the signs of potential, and estimate its probability. That statistical prediction is a form of mathematical prophecy. :smile:

    What is energy made of ? : Energy is not made of anything, energy is a term used to describe a trait of matter and non-matter fields.
    ___Wiki

    Potential :
    1. having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.
    2. the quantity determining the energy of mass in a gravitational field or of charge in an electric field.

    ___Wiki

    Entelechy : the realization of potential. . . . the supposed vital principle that guides the development and functioning of an organism or other system or organization.
    ___Wiki

    Quantum Potential : https://www.infoplease.com/math-science/space/universe/theories-of-the-universe-quantum-potential
  • Banno
    8.9k

    Stylistically, tacking a list of links on the end of your posts without explanation doesn't work for me. Nor

    Qualia as properties and fields? Not following that.

    It might be worth my going back to the answer I gave to the OP. The issue is, is space/vacuum a substance? The answer involves working out what a substance is. The trouble is that the notion is not all that settled - see the discussion in this thread between Meta and Apo. The word "substance" is not used much outside of metaphysics, except perhaps in chemistry. Hence, it's not at all clear what the title question is asking. So it's a good metaphysical question, one that folk can fumble around with for as long as they like.

    A more fruitful approach might be to look at mass rather than substance. The question becomes does space have mass, and the answer to that is given at least in part by @Benj96 in the OP.
  • TheMadFool
    6.6k
    I've been wondering about this for some time. Look at the earth and observe how it seems to be arranged in layers based on density - solid, the densest form of matter is at the bottom (lithosphere), then comes the next densest form of matter, water (hydrosphere) and on top of that is the least densest form of matter, air (atmosphere). There is obviously a pattern here and if we extend it, the vacuum of space could be just another form of matter with density less than air.
  • PoeticUniverse
    808
    What is going on?Benj96

    The old Newton Absolute of an inert where/space went away. All is field, thought Einstein.

    A good guess seems to be that fields themselves, and only them, form the substratum formerly known as space in which all plays out.

    These would not be classical fields but covariant quantum fields, as Rovelli points out, that are what's being headed to as the final unveiling of reality's totality.

    What has fallen by the wayside, in order:

    1. Newton's separate, absolute space and time as backgrounds/containers, whose only quantity is volume, with particles in space moving through time—is gone. (Replaced by Einstein's spacetime.)

    2. Faraday's and Maxwell's fields and particles as coming from spigots of particles—is gone, too. (Replaced by particles manifesting from fields, along with spacetime and other fields becoming covariant.)

    3. Classical fields/particles—is gone (since no continuum, due to quantum discreteness). (Replaced by spacetime and quantum fields in quantum mechanics.)

    4. Spacetime—is gone (now emergent). (To be replaced by covariant quantum fields in quantum gravity.)

    Fields in general are granular, indeterminate, and relational. The particles manifesting exist as themselves only during interactions; they are not persistent things. Their spectrum is discrete, such as that electrons can only have certain orbitals (from this the periodic tables can be constructed). Gravitational field quanta are different; they are not in spacetime but they are spacetime.

    There are no infinities (Einstein's curved spacetime is finite but boundless; Planck size / granularity /digital limit makes the size scale absolute, plus it eliminates classical, analog continuums of endless divisibility. No more Zeno paradoxes.)

    No things are permanent; there's no fundamental lego type of building blocks that can build anything. (Called constitutionalism?)

    There is no original space and time. In Quantum Gravity theory, 'time' would amount to a counting of beats but there is no universal clock; 'space' quanta serve as 'space' themselves; no Newton type 'space' is required.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    A more fruitful approach might be to look at mass rather than substance.Banno

    Err no. Mass is not a simple matter of a weighing a kilo of stuff when you get beyond schoolboy physics. It is defined in terms of inertia - resistance to acceleration. You need to get out your ruler and stopwatch. And that is while you are still working within a Newtonian metaphysics where references frames are inertial.

    It is bad to spread this kind of silliness just because of some ancient Scientistic prejudice against “metaphysics”. It betrays a lack of familiarity with both physics and metaphysics as academic disciplines.
  • Banno
    8.9k
    Sure. Again, mass is better understood (more useful...) than substance. Puzzlingly, you seem to be trying to argue against this by presenting examples of how we use the notion of mass.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    , mass is better understood (more useful...)Banno

    Lol. Why are you trying so hard to avoid talking about inertia? What is that when it is at home in your naive realism paradise?
  • Banno
    8.9k
    What? Inertia, inertia, inertia. Next?
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    Then he demonstrated with the cosmological argument, that it is impossible for any potential to be eternal.Metaphysician Undercover

    Do you have a source where it is clear that is the argument?

    The Stanford article I cited on the prime matter issue fits with my view that Aristotle never fully worked it out, even if he left us with most of the essential tools.

    In other passages too Aristotle seems to leave the question of whether or not there is prime matter deliberately open.

    The issue with respect to "matter" is that matter is itself just an idea. This might be hard for you to grasp, because "matter" is exactly what we assign to the physical world as what is independent from us, and therefore not an idea. But as "matter", is simply how we represent the physical world. It is our idea of temporal continuity, what persists unchanged in time, represented in science as inertia, mass, energy, etc.. In reality, what exists independent from us is changing forms, and we represent the aspects which are consistent, constant, as "matter", and this is the basis of the temporal continuity which is called "Being",Metaphysician Undercover

    I agree with the first part but not the second. In my semiotic view, time as a continuous thread of Being is also emergent.

    And physics supports this. The Cosmos has a thermal history that locks in its future direction. It is a space of possibilities that becomes increasingly constrained as it expands and hence cools.

    So yes, we apply psychological models that see a world divided in into matter and void (the spacetime coninuum]. With Newtonian modelling, this becomes a system of laws and measurements. We have an Aristotelean division into material and formal causes.

    But physics has kept marching on until matter and void, space and time, etc, are all unified as aspects of a universal substance - a theory of quantum gravity, if we can pull that off.

    And spacetime would have to be emergent in that scheme, just as would mattergy - relativistic mass.

    When he supposedly refuted idealism, by denying that potential could be eternal, he also refuted materialism, because materialism is actually just a twisted form of idealism, substantiated by the concept of "matter".Metaphysician Undercover

    Is this your interpretation? I don’t think he had the mission of refuting idealism as even Plato is not really an idealist - especially by the Timaeus.

    Instead I would say the issue was resolving the issue of hylomorphic substance - how substance could be the co-production of formal and material causality. Or as systems science would put it, bottom-up construction in interaction with top-down constraints.

    you'll find a similar concept in the Hartle-Hawking no-boundary proposal. This eternal infinite regress is logically repugnant for a number of reasons, best demonstrated by the absurdities produced by the principle of plenitude which dictates that in an infinite amount of time, all possibilities have been actualized.Metaphysician Undercover

    Peirce’s logic of vagueness resolves this initial conditions issue as I have outlined before. I realise you don’t agree.

    Here we have divergent courses of study. You would say that we ought to put aside this notion "God did it", stick with the demonstrably deficient and faulty scientific conceptions of temporal continuity, and ignore the vast wealth of accumulated theological knowledge of this subject. Thus you adhere to that prejudice which assumes a "naturalistic resolution" is possible, regardless of the mounting evidence against this possibility. On the other hand, we can take Aristotle's lead and proceed toward understanding the teleological nature of the universe, discovering the completely different understanding of temporal continuity, Being, which is explored in Neo-Platonism and early Christian theology.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes. That is why I wanted to check how much scholasticism you are projecting onto what Aristotle actually says (as much as we can rely on the curated version passed down by history).
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    Next demonstrate your comprehension of today’s set word by using it successfully in a whole sentence. Tomorrow, we can try using it in a paragraph. In a blue moon, you can employ it as the subject of a reply adequate to the discussion. :clap:
  • Banno
    8.9k
    It's been entertaining, again, Apo.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k


    The term 'inertia' is often used to describe a kind of irrational resistance to change in individuals or institutions.

    http://www.cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/464/778

    The social definition of inertia; demonstrated here as “meaning is use”. :lol:
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    Do you have a source where it is clear that is the argument?

    The Stanford article I cited on the prime matter issue fits with my view that Aristotle never fully worked it out, even if he left us with most of the essential tools.
    apokrisis

    The Stanford article doesn't seem to address Bks 9-12. This is where Aristotle "worked it out". You really just need to read his Metaphysics thoroughly from start to finish, to understand. There is another section, around Bk. 3 where it is demonstrate that in an absolute sense, form is prior to matter. This earlier argument, which is very similar to the principle of sufficient reason, along with the so-called cosmological argument are key.to understanding Aristotle's metaphysics.

    The question he asks at this earlier point in the Metaphysics, is why does a thing, as a thing, exist as the thing which it is, and not something else. The thing, when it comes into existence, must come into existence as the thing it is, or else it would be something other than the thing it is, contrary to the law of identity. Also, a thing is not just random matter, it has a particular form as a particular thing. The only way that the thing could come into existence as the thing it is, and not some random other thing, is that it's material existence is preceded by its form. Therefore the form of a thing is necessarily prior to its material existence. And when we extend this to the universe as a whole, being an identifiable thing, this is the principle which supports Neo-Platonic independent Forms, which are temporally prior to the material existence of the universe. And, the fact that the form of a thing is prior to its material existence is what supports the human capacity of prediction, and free will to interfere in material continuity.

    I agree with the first part but not the second. In my semiotic view, time as a continuous thread of Being is also emergent.apokrisis

    We've been through this before, this "view" is contradictory. Emergence is a temporal process, something occurring in time, as time passes, so it is impossible that time is emergent.

    But physics has kept marching on until matter and void, space and time, etc, are all unified as aspects of a universal substance - a theory of quantum gravity, if we can pull that off.apokrisis

    Such a unified theory is not forthcoming, and the reason is that your contradictory view of time expressed above, is as you describe, the one accepted by physics. In other words, physics proceeds with a misconception of time.

    Is this your interpretation? I don’t think he had the mission of refuting idealism as even Plato is not really an idealist - especially by the Timaeus.apokrisis

    We need to respect the evolving thought of Plato. He started out with a strict adherence to Pythagorean idealism. In this way, he laid out for understanding, the principles, such as the theory of participation, which support it. When this idealism was laid out, he pointed out its problems. Then he proceeded towards a new form of idealism, dependent on "God", which was expressed by the time he wrote Timaeus. Notice the similarity in this style, and what I described of Aristotle. They both lay out the principles, to be well understood, then they proceed toward criticism of them, and onward toward proposing something new. You cannot say that Plato is not idealist at this point, just because he rejected Pythagorean idealism for a new form of idealism, more similar to what is described by Berkeley.

    That section of Metaphysics, Bk.9, ch.8-9, is clearly directed against Pythagorean idealism, and what Aristotle referred to as "some Platonists", as a refutation of that type of idealism. But Plato had already exposed the deficiency of the theory of participation, and that type of idealism, in The Republic, Parmenides, and other places I'm sure.

    Instead I would say the issue was resolving the issue of hylomorphic substance - how substance could be the co-production of formal and material causality. Or as systems science would put it, bottom-up construction in interaction with top-down constraints.apokrisis

    You are totally neglecting what Aristotle demonstrated, the temporal priority of form, in relation to matter. This is what supports final cause, and our capacity to predict,.as well as interfere with through the means of free choice, what happens in the realm of material existence. Without accepting this principle, that form is prior in time to material existence (and this is the principle which necessitates the proposal of divinity), you cannot claim that your metaphysics is consistent with Aristotle's. You are removing the most important principle of Aristotelian metaphysics, because you desire to stay within the field of "naturalistic", instead of proceeding toward the supernatural, which is where Aristotle's metaphysics really leads us.

    Yes. That is why I wanted to check how much scholasticism you are projecting onto what Aristotle actually says (as much as we can rely on the curated version passed down by history).apokrisis

    All you need to do is read Metaphysics Bk.12., specifically ch.7, where Aristotle explains how the first mover moves "the first heaven", which is the eternal circular motion. The first mover moves the first heaven in this way, because it is an apprehended "good". Therefore the cause of the heavens is a final cause, an intentional act. I've seen commentators, who like yourself are dissatisfied with Aristotle's reference to divinity, and propose that this part of the Metaphysics was not actually written by him. However, this is really nonsensical, because it is very consistent with the early part of Metaphysics, which I referred to above, where Aristotle questions why a thing is the thing which it is, and concludes that the form of a thing is temporally prior to its material existence.
  • Gnomon
    817
    Stylistically, tacking a list of links on the end of your posts without explanation doesn't work for me. Nor Qualia as properties and fields? Not following that.Banno
    Sorry you don't like my "style", but the links are intended to be the "explanation" of terminology in the post, for those who are interested in more detail. But, if that doesn't do it for you, I have lots of additional explanatory material that is too extensive for a forum post. The links also refer to other thinkers who share some of my unconventional views.

    In the context of this thread, it's not important to grasp the equation of Qualia, Properties, & Fields. But for anyone interested, I can go into excruciating detail. It's all based on my personal Enformationism thesis, which envisions a paradigm shift in Science. Once you grok the new perspective, those technical peripheral issues will be easier to understand.

    Anyway, I didn't expect my comments to have much impact on this thread. I post these esoteric notes in order to apply my unorthodox worldview to interesting questions about the nature of reality. It's a form of intellectual exercise ---primarily for my own benefit --- not a pedagogical or evangelistic endeavor. A few readers seems to find them of interest. The others just ignore them, or disparage them. :cool:

    Grok : understand (something) intuitively or by empathy.


    PS___When I referred to "Qualia as properties & fields" it was in the context of the definition of "Energy" in my previous reply to you :
    What is energy made of ? : Energy is not made of anything, energy is a term used to describe a trait of matter and non-matter fields.
    A "trait" is a property or quality of the thing referenced --- in this case the Vacuum or Plenum we call Space. And physicists today tend to imagine empty Space as a Potential Energy Field. Although the Space is a "non-matter" field, they treat it in their calculations as-if it was a material Substance that can be warped and compressed. Like Space, Energy is a vacuum full of Potential. It consists only of statistical Probability. So Potential Energy is a quality or trait of empty Space, which is imagined as a mathematical Field. Does that help you to follow the gist of my comment? :smile:

    As-If : a hypothetical or imaginary concept; a metaphor

    Vacuum (zero-point) Energy : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_energy
  • jgill
    730
    From Zen: Form is emptiness and emptiness is form:chin: .
  • FreddyS
    4
    I agree. It must be substantivalism rather than relationism. There are just too many arguments to say that space (and time) must be 'something'.

    The simplest one: space is expanding and 'nothing' cannot expand.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    The only way that the thing could come into existence as the thing it is, and not some random other thing, is that it's material existence is preceded by its form.Metaphysician Undercover

    I agree with that argument too. Which is why I say the matter of origination can only be solved by adding a logic of vagueness to our metaphysical tool kit.

    Both formal and material cause have to arise in the same moment. They in fact must emerge as the two aspects of a shared symmetry breaking. And time (as spacetime) also emerges.

    Big Bang cosmology describes that. At the Planck scale, matter and spacetime are clearly dual. The smallest coherent distance is also the greatest energy density as being so confined, it can contain only the single shortest frequency wavelength beat. And that is the hottest thing possible. A material event of the highest energy.

    So the duality of matter and spacetime is written into the heart of physics by the reciprocal mathematics of the Planckscale. Material cause and formal cause are two halves of the same symmetry. All that happens is that the Cosmos expands and cools from there.

    There is then no time before this first moment as time is part of the onset of metric expansion and thermal cooling. There is change with an emergently coherent direction.

    The Hartle-Hawking no boundary story is based on that. The planckscale is a general cutoff as it is the point where energy density and spacetime are indistinguishable. They are a symmetry not yet broken. Vagueness rules until they each establish the mutually reinforcing directions to grow apart from the other.

    Energy density can become energy density by virtue of thinning and cooling. Spacetime can become spacetime by expanding and becoming a frame on energy densities. Crisp difference can become possible as not everything needs to be all the same temperature and all the same size any longer.

    So the key is to stop asking the usual question of what can first. Hylomorphism starts already as a package deal where both material and formal cause exist, doing their job, as the complementary aspects of a holistic transition from a vague everythingness to a crisp somethingness.

    Without accepting this principle, that form is prior in time to material existence (and this is the principle which necessitates the proposal of divinity), you cannot claim that your metaphysics is consistent with Aristotle's.Metaphysician Undercover

    It is an over interpretation to claim Aristotle was consistent himself. What I say is that he still broke the story apart into the many elements that are still useful today.

    And the conceptual tool he really lacked was a notion of vagueness (as opposed to crispness). This leads to problems where one half of a dichotomy must always precede the other half. And of course, that never can be the case if each half is effectively the cause of the other in being its Hegelian “other”.
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