David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):239-264 (2004)
I argue that the Aristotelian definition of motion,“the act of what exists potentially insofar as it exists potentially,” and the mover causality principle,“whatever is moved is moved by another,” are compatible with Newton’s First Law of Motion, which treats inertialmotion as a state equivalent to rest and which requires no sustaining mover for such motion. Both traditions treat motion as such as requiring an initial, generating mover but not necessarily a sustaining motor. Through examining examples of motion as treated by Newtonian physics, and through arguing that potential energy is Aristotelian potentiality, I argue that the First Law is understandable according to the Aristotelian definition as an incomplete act with a twofold ordination of the same potentiality. I then propose that, through the notion of spacetime, Special and General Relativity instantiate motion as a unity of differentiated prior and posterior parts that do not coexist in reality
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