This paper discusses a somewhat neglected reading of the second chapter of Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, arguing that the main focus of a crucial part is a particular theory of properties and their relation to individuals they instantiate, rather than the refutation of specific assumptions about the nature of space and time. Some of Nāgārjuna’s key arguments about motion should be understood as argument templates in which notions other than mover, motion, and so forth could be substituted. The remainder of (...) the discussion of motion does not serve quasi-Zenonian purposes either but uses motion as a principal example of change and considers the soteriological problems of the subject moving (gati) through transmigratory existence (saṃsāra). I attempt to show how this interpretation coheres with Nāgārjuna’s overall philosophical project. (shrink)
In the texts of the middle years (roughly, the 1680s and 90s), Leibniz appears to endorse two incompatible approaches to motion, one a realist approach, the other a phenomenalist approach. I argue that once we attend to certain nuances in his account we can see that in fact he has only one, coherent approach to motion during this period. I conclude by considering whether the view of motion I want to impute to Leibniz during his middle years (...) ranks as a kind of realism or rather as some kind of phenomenalism or idealism. (shrink)
In the post-Newtonian world motion is assumed to be a simple category which relates to the locomotion of bodies in space, and is usually associated only with physics. Philosophy, God and Motion shows that this is a relatively recent understanding of motion and that prior to the scientific revolution motion was a much broader and more mysterious category, applying to moral as well as physical movements. Simon Oliver presents fresh interpretations of key figures in the (...) history of western thought including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Newton, examining the thinkers' handling of the concept of motion. Through close readings of seminal texts in ancient and medieval cosmology and early modern natural philosophy, the book moves from antique to modern times investigating how motion has been of great significance within theology, philosophy and science. Particularly important is the relation between motion and God, following Aristotle traditional doctrines of God have understood the divine as the 'unmoved mover' while post-Holocaust theologians have suggested that in order to be compassionate God must undergo the motion of suffering. Philosophy, God and Motion suggests that there may be an authentically theological, as well as a natural scientific understanding of motion. (shrink)
Contrary to popular belief, I argue that Leibniz is not hopelessly confused about motion: Leibniz is indeed both a relativist and an absolutist about motion, as suggested by the textual evidence, but, appearances to the contrary, this is not a problem; Leibniz’s infamous doctrine of the equivalence of hypotheses is well-supported and well-integrated within Leibniz’s physical theory; Leibniz’s assertion that the simplest hypothesis of several equivalent hypotheses can be held to be true can be explicated in such a (...) way that it makes good sense; the mere Galilean invariance of Leibniz’s conservation law does not compromise Leibniz’s relativism about motion; and Leibniz has a straightforward response to Newton’s challenge that the observable effects of the inertial forces of rotational motions empirically distinguish absolute from relative motions. (shrink)
Experientialist semantics has contributed to a broader notion of linguistic meaning by emphasizing notions such as construal, perspective, metaphor, and embodiment, but has suffered from an individualist concept of meaning and has conflated experiential motivations with conventional semantics. We argue that these problems can be redressed by methods and concepts from phenomenology, on the basis of a case study of sentences of non-actual motion such as “The mountain range goes all the way from Mexico to Canada.” Through a phenomenological (...) reanalysis of proposals of Talmy, Langacker, and Matlock, we show that non-actual motion is both experientially and linguistically non-unitary. At least three different features of human consciousness—enactive perception, visual scanning, and imagination—constitute experiential motivations for non-actual motion sentences, and each of these could be related to phenomenological analyses of human intentionality. The second problem is addressed by proposing that the experiential motivations of non-actual motion sentences can be viewed as sedimented through “passive” processes of acquisition and social transmission and that this implies an interactive loop between experience and language, yielding losses in terms of original experience, but gains in terms of communal signification. Something that is underestimated by phenomenology is that what is sedimented are not only intentional objects such as states of affairs, but aspects of how they are given, i.e., the original, temporal, bodily experiences themselves. Since cognitive semantics has emphasized such aspects of meaning, we suggest that phenomenology can itself benefit from experientialist semantics, especially when it turns its focus from prepredicative to predicative, linguistic intentionality. (shrink)
A number of studies in the apparent motion literature were examined using the cognitive penetrability criterion to determine the extent to which beliefs affect the perception of apparent motion. It was found that the interaction between the perceptual processes mediating apparent motion and higher order processes appears to be limited. In addition, perceptual and inferential beliefs appear to have different effects on perceived motion optimality and direction. Our findings suggest that the system underlying apparent motion (...) perception has more than one stage and is informationally encapsulated from cognitive factors. (shrink)
In this article, we explore whether cross-linguistic differences in grammatical aspect encoding may give rise to differences in memory and cognition. We compared native speakers of two languages that encode aspect differently (English and Swedish) in four tasks that examined verbal descriptions of stimuli, online triads matching, and memory-based triads matching with and without verbal interference. Results showed between-group differences in verbal descriptions and in memory-based triads matching. However, no differences were found in online triads matching and in memory-based triads (...) matching with verbal interference. These findings need to be interpreted in the context of the overall pattern of performance, which indicated that both groups based their similarity judgments on common perceptual characteristics of motion events. These results show for the first time a cross-linguistic difference in memory as a function of differences in grammatical aspect encoding, but they also contribute to the emerging view that language fine tunes rather than shapes perceptual processes that are likely to be universal and unchanging. (shrink)
Philosophy of Motion Pictures is a first-of-its-kind, bottom-up introduction to this bourgeoning field of study. Topics include film as art, medium specificity, defining motion pictures, representation, editing, narrative, emotion and evaluation. Clearly written and supported with a wealth of examples Explores characterizations of key elements of motion pictures –the shot, the sequence, the erotetic narrative, and its modes of affective address.
The canonical history of mathematics suggests that the late 19th-century “arithmetization” of calculus marked a shift away from spatial-dynamic intuitions, grounding concepts in static, rigorous definitions. Instead, we argue that mathematicians, both historically and currently, rely on dynamic conceptualizations of mathematical concepts like continuity, limits, and functions. In this article, we present two studies of the role of dynamic conceptual systems in expert proof. The first is an analysis of co-speech gesture produced by mathematics graduate students while proving a theorem, (...) which reveals a reliance on dynamic conceptual resources. The second is a cognitive-historical case study of an incident in 19th-century mathematics that suggests a functional role for such dynamism in the reasoning of the renowned mathematician Augustin Cauchy. Taken together, these two studies indicate that essential concepts in calculus that have been defined entirely in abstract, static terms are nevertheless conceptualized dynamically, in both contemporary and historical practice. (shrink)
This chapter argues that the standard conception of Spinoza as a fellow-travelling mechanical philosopher and proto-scientific naturalist is misleading. It argues, first, that Spinoza’s account of the proper method for the study of nature presented in the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP) points away from the one commonly associated with the mechanical philosophy. Moreover, throughout his works Spinoza’s views on the very possibility of knowledge of nature are decidedly sceptical (as specified below). Third, in the seventeenth-century debates over proper methods in the (...) sciences, Spinoza sided with those that criticized the aspirations of those (the physico-mathematicians, Galileo, Huygens, Wallis, Wren, etc) who thought the application of mathematics to nature was the way to make progress. In particular, he offers grounds for doubting their confidence in the significance of measurement as well as their piece-meal methodology (see section 2). Along the way, this chapter offers a new interpretation of common notions in the context of treating Spinoza’s account of motion (see section 3). (shrink)
Since antiquity, natural philosophers have struggled to comprehend the nature of three tightly interconnected concepts: space, time, and motion. A proper understanding of motion, in particular, has been seen to be crucial for deciding questions about the natures of space and time, and their interconnections. Since the time of Newton and Leibniz, philosophers’ struggles to comprehend these concepts have often appeared to take the form of a dispute between absolute conceptions of space, time and motion, and relational (...) conceptions. This article guides the reader through some of the history of these philosophical struggles. Rather than taking sides in the (alleged) ongoing debates, or reproducing the standard dialectic recounted in most introductory texts, we have chosen to scrutinize carefully the history of the thinking of the canonical participants in these debates — principally Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Mach and Einstein. Readers interested in following up either the historical questions or current debates about the natures of space, time and motion will find ample links and references scattered through the discussion and in the Other Internet Resources section below. (shrink)
In a recent article, van Fraassen has taken issue with the use to which Perrin’s experiments on Brownian motion have been put by philosophers, especially those defending scientific realism. He defends an alternative position by analysing the details of Perrin’s case in its historical context. In this reply, I argue that van Fraassen has not done the job well enough and I extend and in some respects attempt to correct his claims by close attention to the historical details.
: In this reassessment of Descartes' debt to his mentor Isaac Beeckman, I argue that they share the same basic conception of motion: the force of a body's motion—understood as the force of persisting in that motion, shorn of any connotations of internal cause—is conserved through God's direct action, is proportional to the speed and magnitude of the body, and is gained or lost only through collisions. I contend that this constitutes a fully coherent ontology of (...) class='Hi'>motion, original with Beeckman and consistent with his atomism, which, notwithstanding Descartes' own profoundly original contributions to the theory of motion, is basic to all Descartes' further work in natural philosophy. (shrink)
I will discuss only one of the several entwined strands of the philosophy of space and time, the question of the relation between the nature of motion and the geometrical structure of the world.1 This topic has many of the virtues of the best philosophy of science. It is of long-standing philosophical interest and has a rich history of connections to problems of physics. It has loomed large in discussions of space and time among contemporary philosophers of science. Furthermore, (...) there is, I think, widespread agreement that recent insights here have lead to a genuine deepening of our understanding. (shrink)
In the Physics, Aristotle defines motion as 'the actuality of what is potentially, qua potential' (Phys. 201b5). This definition has been interpreted countless times and has been the subject of heated controvery. At issue today is whether ὲντελέχεια refers to motions as a process or a state. Accordingly, if the idea of ὲντελέχεια is believed to refer to a process, it is translated to mean actualization. If on the other hand it is taken to refer to a state, it (...) is translated as meaning actuality. In the first instance, known as the 'state-view', a change is defined as being the state of a changing object when it is actually potentially F, for some F. In the second, or 'process-view', a change is defined as the actualization of a potentially. It seems to me that both views mistakenly assume that Aristotle succeeded in defining motion as motion. As a consequence, the discussion has focused on a presumed content that the definition does not offer. Indeed, were it the case that Aristotle's definition was adequate, there would hardly be any point in even considering the question of whether he had intended to regard motion as being a state or a process. In this paper I examine both of these views and offer an alternative interpretation of my own that differs markedly from either. Additionally, I shall show that just as Aristotle's definition represents a projection of his particular attitude toward nature - so also recent interpretations of his definition represent a projection of the attitudes of modern thinker's toward Aristotle's philosophy. (shrink)
Languages encode motion in strikingly different ways. Languages such as English communicate the manner of motion through verbs (e.g., roll, pop), while languages such as Greek often lexicalize the path of motion in verbs (e.g., ascend, pass). In a set of studies with English- and Greek-speaking adults and 5-year-olds, we ask how such lexical constraints are combined with structural cues in hypothesizing meanings for novel motion verbs. We show that lexicalization biases generate different interpretations of novel (...)motion verbs across ages and languages; furthermore, they generalize to the domain of caused motion. Crucially, these language-specific effects interact with universal mappings between syntactic structure and semantic content, and these interactions are respected by both adults and young children. (shrink)
Where should we begin our story? Many books start with Newton, but Newton was responding to both Galileo1 and especially (for our purposes) Descartes. But Galileo and Descartes themselves were writing in the context of late Aristotelianism, and so were trained in and critical of that rich school of thought, so if we want to fully understand their work we would need to understand scholastic views on space and motion (see Grant, 1974, Murdoch and Sylla, 1978 and Ariew and (...) Gabbey, 1998). But late scholasticism itself is the result of a long history tracing from Plato and Aristotle through Jewish, Arabic, Islamic and European thought. And of course Plato and Aristotle are explicitly reacting to their predecessors and contemporaries. In other words, we could start the story as early in recorded thought as we like. (shrink)
One of the issues dividing "absolutists" and "relationists" is the question whether all motion is relative motion or, in the words of Earman, spacetime has "structures that support absolute quantities of motion." This paper argues that, despite the enormous literature bearing on the topic, it is problematic to formulate a general criterion for when a quantity counts as absolute in contrast to merely relative in a way that is not hopelessly parasitic on other, presumably distinct, senses of (...) "absolute." Furthermore, I suggest that the vicissitudes of the evolution of the concept of absolute motion have contributed to this difficulty. (shrink)
There is considerable debate among scholars over whether Descartes allowed for genuine body-body interaction. I begin by considering Michael Della Rocca's recent claim that Descartes accepted such interaction, and that his doctrine of the creation of the eternal truths indicates how this interaction could be acceptable to him. Though I agree that Descartes was inclined to accept real bodily causes of motion, I differ from Della Rocca in emphasizing that his ontology ultimately does not allow for them. This is (...) not the end of the story however, since two of Descartes's successors offered incompatible ways of developing his conflicted account of motion. I contrast the occasionalist view of Nicolas Malebranche that changes in motion derive directly from divine volitions with the non-occasionalist claim of Pierre-Sylvain Regis that such changes derive from a nature distinct from God. In light of Della Rocca's interpretation, it is noteworthy that the issue of eternal truths is relevant to both alternative accounts. Indeed, Regis took the doctrine that such truths are created to provide crucial support for his alternative to an occasionalist account of body-body interaction. What does not help Della Rocca, however, is that Regis's view of motion requires a fundamental revision of Descartes's ontology. (shrink)
We present a theory of discontinuous motion of particles in continuous space-time. We show that the simplest nonrelativistic evolution equation of such motion is just the Schroedinger equation in quantum mechanics. This strongly implies what quantum mechanics describes is discontinuous motion of particles. Considering the fact that space-time may be essentially discrete when considering gravity, we further present a theory of discontinuous motion of particles in discrete space-time. We show that its evolution will naturally result in (...) the dynamical collapse process of the wave function, and this collapse will bring about the appearance of continuous motion of objects in the macroscopic world. (shrink)
Three of Zeno's objections to motion are answered by utilizing a version of nonstandard analysis, internal set theory, interpreted within an empirical context. Two of the objections are without force because they rely upon infinite sets, which always contain nonstandard real numbers. These numbers are devoid of numerical meaning, and thus one cannot render the judgment that an object is, in fact, located at a point in spacetime for which they would serve as coordinates. The third objection, an arrow (...) never appears to be moving, is answered by showing that it only applies to a finite number of instants of time. A theory of motion is also advanced; it consists of a finite series of contiguous infinitesimal steps. The theory is immune to Zeno's first two objections because the number of steps is finite and each lies outside the domain of observation. Present motion is hypothesized to be an unobservable process taking place within each step. The fact of motion is apparent through a summing (Riemann integration) of the steps. (shrink)
Here I reexamine Duhem's question of the continuity between medieval dynamics and early modern conservation theories. I concentrate on the heavens. For Aristotle, the motions of the heavens are eternally constant (and thus mathematizable) because an eternally constant divine Reason is their mover. Duhem thought that impetus and conservation theories, by extending sublunar mechanics to the heavens, made a divine renewer of motion redundant. By contrast, I show how Descartes derives his law of conservation by extending Aristotelian celestial dynamics (...) to the earth. Descartes argues that motion is intrinsically linear, not circular. But he agrees that motion is mathematically intelligible only where divine Reason moves bodies in a constant and eternal motion. Descartes strips bodies of active powers, leaving God as the only natural mover; thus both celestial and sublunar motions are constant, and uniformly mathematizable. The law of conservation of the total quantity of motion is an attempt to harmonize the constancy derived a priori with the phenomenal inconstancy of sublunar motions. (shrink)
Languages differ systematically in how they map path and manner of motion onto lexical and grammatical structures (Talmy, 1985). Manner languages (e.g., English, German and Russian) typically code manner in the verb (cf. English skip, run, hop, jog), and path in a variety of other devices such as particles (out), adpositions (into the room), verb affixes, etc. Path languages (e.g., Modern Greek, Romance, Turkish, Japanese and Hebrew) typically code path in the verb (cf. Greek vjeno ‘exit’, beno ‘enter’, ftano (...) ‘reach’, aneveno ‘ascend’, diashizo ‘cross’), and manner in adverbials (trexontas ‘running’, me ta podia ‘on foot’, jrigora ‘quickly’). The distinction is not meant to imply that the relevant languages lack certain kids of verb altogether. For instance, English has path verbs, such as enter, exit, ascend and descend, and Greek has manner verbs, such as treho ‘run’, kilao.. (shrink)
These days it is widely agreed that there is no such thing as absolute motion and rest; the motion of an object can only be characterized with respect to some chosen frame of reference.1 This is a fact of which many of us are well-aware, and yet a cursory consideration of the ways we ascribe motion to objects gives the impression that it is a fact we persistently ignore. We insist to the police officer that we came (...) to a full and complete stop at the stop sign, we fret that traffic is moving too slowly, we observe that the sun has dropped below the hills on the horizon, all without ever saying which frames of reference we have in mind. (shrink)
Abstract This paper illustrates how Aristotle's topological theses about change in Physics 5-6 can help address metaphysical issues. Two distinctions from Physics 5. 1 are discussed: changing per se versus changing per aliud ; motion versus change. Change from white to black is motion and alteration, whereas change from white to not white is neither. But is not every change from white to black identical with a change from white to not white? Theses from Physics 6 refute the (...) identity. Is change from white to black at least accompanied by change from white to not white? Perhaps, but given further theses from Physics 6, this supposition yields unwelcome consequences. Most likely, when something changes from white to black it changes merely per aliud , not per se , from white to not white. Genuine change between white and not white is found elsewhere; its admission has bearing on Aristotle's theory of perception. (shrink)
This paper examines Descartes' problematic relational theory of motion, especially when viewed within the context of his dynamics, the Cartesian natural laws. The work of various commentators on Cartesian motion is also surveyed, with particular emphasis placed upon the recent important texts of Garber and Des Chene. In contrast to the methodology of most previous interpretations, however, this essay employs a modern "spacetime" approach to the problem. By this means, the role of dynamics in Descartes' theory, which has (...) often been neglected in favor of kinematic factors, is shown to be central to finding a solution to the puzzle of Cartesian motion. (shrink)
It has been suggested that the difference between misremembering (Orwellian) and misrepresentation (Stalinesque) models of consciousness cannot be differentiated (Dennett, 1991). According to an Orwellian account a briefly presented stimulus is seen and then forgotten; whereas, by a Stalinesque account it is never seen. At the same time, Dennett suggested a method for assessing whether an individual is conscious of something. An experiment was conducted which used the suggested method for assessing consciousness to look at Stalinesque and Orwellian distinctions. A (...) visual illusion, illusory line motion, was presented and participants were requested to make judgments that reflected what they were aware of. The participants were able to make responses indicating that they were aware of the actual stimulus in some conditions, but only of the illusion in others. This finding supports a claim that the difference between the Orwellian and Stalinesque accounts may be empirically observable, and that both types of events may occur depending on task and stimulus parameters. (shrink)
There is a longstanding definition of instantaneous velocity. It saysthat the velocity at t 0 of an object moving along a coordinate line is r if and only if the value of the first derivative of the object's position function at t 0 is r. The goal of this paper is to determine to what extent this definition successfully underpins a standard account of motion at an instant. Counterexamples proposed by Michael Tooley (1988) and also by John Bigelow and (...) Robert Pargetter (1990) are reinforced and illuminated by considering the presence or absence of changes to the object's motion. (shrink)
In apparent motion experiments, participants are presented with what is in fact a succession of two brief stationary stimuli at two different locations, but they report an impression of movement. Philosophers have recently debated whether apparent motion provides evidence in favour of a particular account of the nature of temporal experience. I argue that the existing discussion in this area is premised on a mistaken view of the phenomenology of apparent motion and, as a result, the space (...) of possible philosophical positions has not yet been fully explored. In particular, I argue that the existence of apparent motion is compatible with an account of the nature of temporal experience that involves a version of direct realism. In doing so, I also argue against two other claims often made about apparent motion, viz. that apparent motion is the psychological phenomenon that underlies motion experience in the cinema, and that apparent motion is subjectively indistinguishable from real motion. (shrink)
A preference method probed infants` perception of object motion on an inclined plane. Infants viewed videotaped events in which a ball rolled downward (or upward) while speeding up (or slowing down). Then infants were tested with events in which the ball moved in the opposite direction with appropriate or inappropriate acceleration. Infants aged 7 months, but not 5 months, looked longer at the test event with inappropriate acceleration, suggesting emerging sensitivity to gravity. A further study tested whether infants appreciate (...) that a stationary object released on an incline moves downward rather than upward; findings again were positive at 7 months and negative at 5 months. A final study provided evidence, nevertheless, that 5-monthold infants discriminate downward from upward motion and relate downward motion in videotaped events to downward motion in live events. Sensitivity to certain effects of gravity appears to develop in infancy. (shrink)
I elaborate and defend an interpretation of Leibniz on which he is committed to a stronger space-time structure than so-called Leibnizian space-time, with absolute speeds grounded in his concept of force rather than in substantival space and time. I argue that this interpretation is well-motivated by Leibniz's mature writings, that it renders his views on space, time, motion, and force consistent with his metaphysics, and that it makes better sense of his replies to Clarke than does the standard interpretation. (...) Further, it illuminates the way in which Leibniz took his physics to be grounded in his metaphysics. (shrink)
: This paper presents a detailed account of Descartes' derivation of his second law of nature—the law of rectilinear motion—from a priori metaphysical principles. Unlike the other laws the proof of the second depends essentially on a metaphysical assumption about the temporal immediacy of God's operation. Recent commentators (e.g., Des Chene and Garber) have not adequately explained the precise role of this assumption in the proof and Descartes' reasoning has continued to seem somewhat arbitrary as a result. My account (...) better reveals the dependence of the second law on fundamental principles about time and causality. (shrink)
It is the aim of work in theoretical cognitive science to produce good theories of what exactly cognition amounts to, preferably theories which not only provide a framework for fruitful empirical investigation, but which also shed light on cognitive activity itself, which help us to understand our place, as cognitive agents, in a complex causally determined physical universe. The most recent such framework to gain significant fame is the so-called dynamical approach to cognition (henceforth DST, for Dynamical Systems Theory ). (...) Explaining and exploring DST is the purpose of the collection Mind as Motion: Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition , edited by Robert Port and Timothy van Gelder. (shrink)
A journey surveying the land of space, time and motion Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9575-8 Authors Christian Wüthrich, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0119, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The mathematical nature of modern science is an outcome of a contingent historical process, whose most critical stages occurred in the seventeenth century. ‘The mathematization of nature’ (Koyré 1957 , From the closed world to the infinite universe , 5) is commonly hailed as the great achievement of the ‘scientific revolution’, but for the agents affecting this development it was not a clear insight into the structure of the universe or into the proper way of studying it. Rather, it was (...) a deliberate project of great intellectual promise, but fraught with excruciating technical challenges and unsettling epistemological conundrums. These required a radical change in the relations between mathematics, order and physical phenomena and the development of new practices of tracing and analyzing motion. This essay presents a series of discrete moments in this process. For mediaeval and Renaissance philosophers, mathematicians and painters, physical motion was the paradigm of change, hence of disorder, and ipso facto available to mathematical analysis only as idealized abstraction. Kepler and Galileo boldly reverted the traditional presumptions: for them, mathematical harmonies were embedded in creation; motion was the carrier of order; and the objects of mathematics were mathematical curves drawn by nature itself. Mathematics could thus be assigned an explanatory role in natural philosophy, capturing a new metaphysical entity: pure motion. Successive generations of natural philosophers from Descartes to Huygens and Hooke gradually relegated the need to legitimize the application of mathematics to natural phenomena and the blurring of natural and artificial this application relied on. Newton finally erased the distinction between nature’s and artificial mathematics altogether, equating all of geometry with mechanical practice. (shrink)
How do languages of the world refer to motion? According to one widely held view, languages draw on a pool of common ‘building blocks’ in representing motion events, such as figure and ground, path (or trajectory), manner, cause of motion, and so on (cf. Talmy, 1985). Nevertheless, individual languages differ both in the elements they select out of the available stock of motion ‘primitives’ and in the way they conflate them into specific lexical and clausal structures (...) (Talmy, 1985; Slobin, 1996a; Choi & Bowerman, 1991; Jackendoff, 1990; and many others). (shrink)
The relationship between brain activity and conscious visual experience is central to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying perception. Binocular rivalry, where monocular stimuli compete for perceptual dominance, has been previously used to dissociate the constant stimulus from the varying percept. We report here fMRI results from humans experiencing binocular rivalry under a dichoptic stimulation paradigm that consisted of two drifting random dot patterns with different motion coherence. Each pattern had also a different color, which both enhanced rivalry (...) and was used for reporting which of the two patterns was visible at each time. As the perception of the subjects alternated between coherent motion and motion noise, we examined the effect that these alternations had on the strength of the MR signal throughout the brain. Our results demonstrate that motion perception is able to modulate the activity of several of the visual areas which are known to be involved in motion processing. More specifically, in addition to area V5 which showed the strongest modulation, a higher activity during the perception of motion than during the perception of noise was also clearly observed in areas V3A and LOC, and less so in area V3. In previous studies, these areas had been selectively activated by motion stimuli but whether their activity reflects motion perception or not remained unclear; here we show that they are involved in motion perception as well. The present findings therefore suggest a lack of a clear distinction between ?processing? versus ?perceptual? areas in the brain, but rather that the areas involved in the processing of a specific visual attribute are also part of the neuronal network that is collectively responsible for its perceptual representation. (shrink)
In this paper, I will develop a nontrivial interpretation of Feyerabend's concept of a hidden anomalous fact. Feyerabend's claim is that some anomalous facts will remain hidden in the absence of alternatives to the theories to be tested. The case of Brownian motion is given by Feyerabend to support this claim. The essential scientific difficulty in this case was the justification of correct and relevant descriptions of Brownian motion. These descriptions could not be simply determined from the available (...) observational data. An examination, however, of this case shows that no alternative theory is or historically was thought to be necessary in order to justify descriptions of Brownian motion that "directly" refutre thermodynamics. While Feyerabend's appraisal of this case therefore is incorrect, a sense is developed in which successful alternatives lend inductive support to the correctness of refuting experimental descriptions. Crucial though to the explanation of this support is the notion of arguments that show the possibilities for improving experimental fit. (shrink)
Languages vary strikingly in how they encode motion events. In some languages (e.g. English), manner of motion is typically encoded within the verb, while direction of motion information appears in modifiers. In other languages (e.g. Greek), the verb usually encodes the direction of motion, while the manner information is often omitted, or encoded in modifiers. We designed two studies to investigate whether these language-specific patterns affect speakers’ reasoning about motion. We compared the performance of English (...) and Greek children and adults (a) in nonlinguistic (memory and categorization) tasks involving motion events, and (b) in their linguistic descriptions of these same motion events. Even though the two linguistic groups differed significantly in terms of their linguistic preferences, their performance in the nonlinguistic tasks was identical. More surprisingly, the linguistic descriptions given by subjects within language also failed to correlate consistently with their memory and categorization performance in the relevant regards. For the domain studied, these results are consistent with the view that conceptual development and organization are largely independent of language-specific labeling practices. The discussion emphasizes that the necessarily sketchy nature of language use assures that it will be at best a crude index of thought. q 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
How do we talk about events we perceive? And how tight is the connection between linguistic and nonlinguistic representations of events? To address these questions, we experimentally compared motion descriptions produced by children and adults in two typologically distinct languages, Greek and English. Our findings confirm a well-known asymmetry between the two languages, such that English speakers are overall more likely to include manner of motion information than Greek speakers. However, mention of manner of motion in Greek (...) speakers’ descriptions increases significantly when manner is not inferable; by contrast, inferability of manner has no measurable effect on motion descriptions in English, where manner is already preferentially encoded. These results show that speakers actively monitor aspects of event structure, which do not find their way into linguistic descriptions. We conclude that, in regard to the differential encoding of path and manner, which has sometimes been offered as a prime example of the effects of language encoding on nonlinguistic thought, surface linguistic encoding neither faithfully represents nor strongly constrains our mental representation of events. q 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
This study explores several arguments against Spinoza's philosophy that were developed by Henry More, Samuel Clarke, and Colin Maclaurin. In the arguments on which I focus, More, Clarke, and Maclaurin aim to establish the existence of an immaterial and intelligent God precisely by showing that Spinoza does not have the resources to adequately explain the origin of motion. Attending to these criticisms grants us a deeper appreciation for how the authority derived from the empirical success of Newton's enterprise was (...) used to settle debates within philosophy. What I emphasize is that in the progression from More to Clarke to Maclaurin, key Newtonian concepts from the Principia (1687), such as motion, atomism, and the vacuum, are introduced and exploited in order to challenge the account of matter and motion that is presented in Spinoza's Ethics (1677). Building on this treatment, I use the arguments from More and Clarke especially to help discern the anti-Spinozism that can be detected in Newton's General Scholium (1713). Ultimately, the Newtonian criticisms that I detail offer us a more nuanced view of the problems that plague Spinoza's philosophy, and they also challenge the idea that Spinoza seamlessly fits into a progressive narrative about the scientific revolution. (shrink)
This paper examines the young Kant’s claim that all motion is relative, and argues that it is the core of a metaphysical dynamics of impact inspired by Leibniz and Wolff. I start with some background to Kant’s early dynamics, and show that he rejects Newton’s absolute space as a foundation for it. Then I reconstruct the exact meaning of Kant’s relativity, and the model of impact he wants it to support. I detail (in Section II and III) his polemic (...) engagement with Wolffian predecessors, and how he grounds collisions in a priori dynamics. I conclude that, for the young Kant, the philosophical problematic of Newton’s science takes a back seat to an agenda set by the Leibniz-Wolff tradition of rationalist dynamics. This results matters, because Kant’s views on motion survive well into the 1780s. In addition, his doctrine attests to the richness of early modern views of the relativity of motion. (shrink)
The measurement of force is based on a formal law of additivity, which characterizes the effects of two or more configurations on the equilibrium of a material point. The representing vectors (resultant forces) are additive over configurations. The existence of a tight interrelation between the force vector and the geometric space, in which motion is described, depends on observations of partial (directional) equilibria; an axiomatization of this interrelation yields a proof of part two of Newton's second law of (...) class='Hi'>motion. The present results (which were derived from a curious and deep isomorphism between force measurement and trichromatic color measurement) yield a kind of subunit, which needs to be incorporated into more complete axiomatizations of mechanics that would fulfill the Mach-Kirchhoff program. (shrink)
In Kant's Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science are found a dynamist reduction of matter and an account of the communication of motion by impact. One would expect to find an analysis of the causal mechanism involved in the communication of motion between bodies given in terms of the fundamental dynamical nature of bodies. However, Kant's analysis, as given in the discussion of his third law of mechanics (an action-reaction law) is purely kinematical, invoking no causal mechanisms at all, (...) let alone dynamist mechanisms, in the explanation. It is argued that the reason for the non-incorporation of Kant's theory of matter in the account of impact is his overriding desire to provide a mathematical framework to explain the communication of motion, a provision which Kant felt to be impossible in the context of a metaphysical dynamism. (shrink)
It is well known that languages differ in how they encode motion. Languages such as English use verbs that communicate the manner of motion (e.g., climb, float), while languages such as Greek often encode the path of motion in verbs (e.g., advance, exit). In two studies with English- and Greek-speaking adults and 5-year-olds, we ask how such lexical constraints are used in combination with structural cues in hypothesizing meanings for novel motion verbs cross-linguistically. We show that (...) lexicalization biases affect the interpretations of motion verbs in both young children and adults across different languages; furthermore, their scope of application is larger than previously thought, since they also extend to the domain of caused motion events. Crucially, we find that the language-specific effects of such biases interact with universal mappings between syntactic structure and semantic content. Finally, we demonstrate that the combined effects of lexical and structural cues shift non-linguistic biases observed during event categorization: even though speakers of English and Greek share non-linguistic preferences in categorizing spontaneous and caused motion, they focus on different components of motion events when building hypotheses about the meaning of novel motion verbs. (shrink)
This paper describes DIVA (Dynamic Imagery for Visual Analogy), a computational model of visual imagery based on the scene graph, a powerful representational structure widely used in computer graphics. Scene graphs make possible the visual display of complex objects, including the motions of individual objects. Our model combines a semantic-network memory system with computational procedures based on scene graphs. The model can account for people’s ability to produce visual images of moving objects, in particular the ability to use dynamic visual (...) analogies that compare two systems of objects in motion. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
In the imagery debate, a key question concerns the inherent spatial nature of mental images. What do we mean by spatial representation? We explore a new idea that suggests that motion is instrumental in the coding of visual space. How is the imagery debate informed by the representation of space being determined by visual motion?
Cinematic motion is, I argue, a genuine and intrinsic property of some cinematic works and not just a matter of how things look to us. It is an event—an item's change of position—happening prior and external to our sensory responses to movies. I therefore defend against common-sense illusionism a minority opinion within cinema studies: that movie viewing normally occasions veridical perceptions of a kind of objective displacement. I also dispute another version of anti-illusionist realism about cinematic motion, the (...) implication that cinematic motion, like colour, is a response-dependent property. The impression of motion, I contend, is not produced by the visual system's operations. It is a sensory representation of a physical property of a particular type of external object. (shrink)
The objective in the present paper is to analyze the aspect of subjectivity having to do with construing motion and change where no motion and change exists outside the representation, that is, in cases where the conceptualizer does not intend to convey the idea that these properties exist in the state of affairs described. In the process of doing so, I will elaborate on a critique of the notion of fictivity as it is currently being used in cognitive (...) linguistics. (shrink)
Recent research has demonstrated an asymmetry between the origins and endpoints of motion events, with preferential attention given to endpoints rather than beginnings of motion in both language and memory. Two experiments explore this asymmetry further and test its implications for language production and comprehension. Experiment 1 shows that both adults and 4-year-old children detect fewer within-category changes in source than goal objects when tested for memory of motion events; furthermore, these groups produce fewer references to source (...) than goal objects when describing the same motion events. Experiment 2 asks whether the specificity of encoding source/goal relations differs in both spatial memory and the comprehension of novel spatial vocabulary. Results show that endpoint configuration changes are detected more accurately than source configuration changes by both adults and young children. Furthermore, when interpreting novel motion verbs, both age groups expect more fine-grained lexical distinctions in the domain of endpoint configurations compared to that of source configurations. These studies demonstrate that a cognitive-attentional bias in spatial representation and memory affects both the detail of linguistic encoding during the use of spatial language and the specificity of hypotheses about spatial referents that learners build during the acquisition of the spatial lexicon. (shrink)
How do we talk about events we perceive? And how tight is the connection between linguistic and nonlinguistic representations of events? To address these questions, we experimentally compared motion descriptions produced by children and adults in two typologically distinct languages, Greek and English. Our ﬁndings conﬁrm a well-known asymmetry between the two languages, such that English speakers are overall more likely to include manner of motion information than Greek speakers. However, mention of manner of motion in Greek (...) speakers’ descriptions increases signiﬁcantly when manner is not inferable; by contrast, inferability of manner has no measurable effect on motion descriptions in English, where manner is already preferentially encoded. These results show that speakers actively monitor aspects of event structure, which do not ﬁnd their way into linguistic descriptions. We conclude that, in regard to the differential encoding of path and manner, which has sometimes been offered as a prime example of the effects of language encoding on nonlinguistic thought, surface linguistic encoding neither faithfully represents nor strongly constrains our mental representation of events. q 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
This paper and its predecessor () are about the question: 'Are the events in the entire universe encoded in and predictable from any of its parts?' To approach a positive answer in classical physics, the following result is proved and commented on: in Newton's theory of gravitation, the entire trajectory of a particle can be predicted given any segment of it, regardless of how the other particles are moving-provided that there is only a finite number of particles and that their (...) speeds remain bounded. (It is this condition, together with a set of parameters characterising the motion of the other particles, which enables us to estimate the effect of the other particles on the trajectory of the given particle.) The extension of this result to other theories, in particular to special relativity, is discussed. (shrink)
This article examines the relation between the biblical Word and visuality in one of the surviving early thirteenth century manuscripts of the Bible moraliseé, the codex Vindobonensis 2554 today housed in Vienna. The analysis focuses specifically on the relations between word and visuality. The goal is to investigate the vitality that may set the Word into motion. It is argued that the matrix of textual visuality in the Vienna codex 2554 is used as an effective tool that adds vitality (...) to the biblical passages while simultaneously creating a firm hierarchy of representation and resemblances that enforces not only certain norms but also a particular world order in 13th century French society. (shrink)
Although much evidence indicates that young infants perceive unitary objects by analyzing patterns of motion, infantsÕ abilities to perceive object unity by analyzing Gestalt properties and by integrating distinct views of an object over time are in dispute. To address these controversies, four experiments investigated adultsÕ and infantsÕ perception of the unity of a center-occluded, moving rod with misaligned visible edges. Both alignment information and depth information aﬀected adultsÕ and infantsÕ perception of object unity in similar ways, and infants (...) perceived object unity by integrating information about object features over time. However, infants perceived a moving, misaligned, three-dimensional object as indeterminate in its connectedness, whereas adults perceived it as connected behind the occluder. These ﬁndings indicate that the eﬀectiveness of common motion in specifying uniﬁed surfaces across an occluder is reduced by misalignment of edges. Alignment information enhances perception of object unity either by serving directly as information for unity or by optimizing the detectability of motion-carried information for unity. In addition, young infants are able to retain information about edge orientation over short intervals in determining connectedness via a process of spatiotemporal integration. Ó 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. (shrink)
When people describe motion events, their path expressions are biased toward inclusion of goal paths (e.g., into the house) and omission of source paths (e.g., out of the house). In this paper, we explored whether this asymmetry has its origins in people’s non-linguistic representations of events. In three experiments, 4-year-old children and adults described or remembered manner of motion events that represented animate/intentional and physical events. The results suggest that the linguistic asymmetry between goals and sources is not (...) fully rooted in non-linguistic event representations: linguistic descriptions showed the goal bias for both kinds of events, whereas non-linguistic memory for events showed the goal bias only for events involving animate, goal-directed motion. The findings are discussed in terms of the mapping between non-linguistic representations of goals and sources in language, focusing on the role that linguistic principles play in producing a more absolute goal bias from more gradient non-linguistic representations of paths. (shrink)
Increasing interest has been paid to applications of fluorescence measurements to analyze physiological mechanisms in living cells. However, few studies have taken advantage of DNA quantification by fluorometry for dynamic assessment of chromatin organization as well as cell motion during the cell cycle. This approach involves both optimal conditions for DNA staining and cell tracking methods. In this context, this report describes a stoichiometric method for nuclear DNA specific staining, using the bisbenzimidazole dye Hoechst 33342 associated with verapamil, a (...) calcium membrane channel blocker. This method makes it possible to correlate variations of nuclear DNA content with cell motion in cells that are maintained alive. Motion measurement is the second goal of this paper and it explains the snake-spline method, and the associated cell following method. (shrink)
According to Hurford, PREDICATE (x) is correlated with deictic object variables during event perception. This claim is inconsistent with some core literature on the perception of motion events. We point out that the perception of events involves the activation of the modal properties and amodal properties of underlying event structure, for which Hurford's target article fails to account.
While some film theorists and philosophers have seen motion as a necessary element of cinema, this view is challenged by a body of avant-garde films which offer little or no movement. These experiments—by film-makers such as Andy Warhol, Larry Gottheim, and Michael Snow—challenge essentialist definitions of film, while simultaneously foregrounding the crucial role played by duration in cinema’s ontology.
This essay explores two of the more neglected hypotheses that comprise, or supplement, Descartes’ relationalist doctrine of bodily motion. These criteria are of great importance, for they would appear to challenge Descartes’ principal judgment that motion is a purely reciprocal change of a body’s contiguous neighborhood. After critiquing the work of the few commentators who have previously examined these forgotten hypotheses, mainly, D. Garber and M. Gueroult, the overall strengths and weaknesses of Descartes’ supplementary criteria will be assessed. (...) Overall, despite their ingenuity, it will be demonstrated that Descartes’ criteria cannot rescue his brand of natural laws from the inherent limitations of his strong relational account of motion. (shrink)
A journey surveying the land of space, time and motion Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9575-8 Authors Christian Wüthrich, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0119, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
This article – which includes a complete translation of Mūlamadhyamakakārikā chapter 2 together with Candrakīrti’s commentary thereon – argues that notwithstanding the many different and often arcane interpretations that have been offered of Nāgārjuna’s arguments against motion, there is really just one straightforward kind of argument on offer in this vexed chapter. It is further argued that this basic argument can be understood as a philosophically interesting one if it is kept in mind that the argument essentially has to (...) do with whether a personal level of description will admit of an exhaustively impersonal explanation. (shrink)
Shepard's analysis of how shape, motion, and color are perceptually represented can be generalized. Apparent motion and shape may be associated with a group of spatial transformations, accounting for rigid and plastic motion, and perceived object color may be associated with a group of illuminant transformations, accounting for the discriminability of surface-reflectance changes and illuminant changes beyond daylight. The phenomenological and mathematical parallels between these perceptual domains may indicate common organizational rules, rather than specific ecological adaptations. [Barlow; (...) Hecht; Kubovy & Epstein; Schwartz; Shepard; Todorovic]. (shrink)
The Kubovy-Epstein proposal for the formalization of the relation between kinematic geometry and perception of motion has formal problems in itself. Motion phenomena are inadequately captured by the relational structures and the notion of isomorphism taken over from measurement theory. [Kubovy & Epstein].
Based on concepts of self-organization, we interpret apparent motion as the result of a so-called non-equilibrium phase transition of the perceptual system with the stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) acting as a control parameter. Accordingly, we predict a significantly increasing variance of the quality index of apparent motion close to critical SOAs. [Shepard].
In this paper we examine to what extent the lengths of the links in an animated articulated figure can be changed without the viewer being aware of the change. This is investigated in terms of a framework that emphasizes the role of attention in visual perception. We conducted a set of five experiments to establish bounds for the sensitivity to changes in length as a function of several parameters and the amount of attention available. We found that while length changes (...) of 3% can be perceived when the relevant links are given full attention, changes of over 20% can go unnoticed when attention is not focused in this way. These results provide general guidelines for algorithms that produce or process character motion data and also bring to light some of the potential gains that stand to be achieved with attention-based algorithms. (shrink)
Central to the argument of this article is the sense in which Thomas Hobbes and liberals see freedom as centered around the notion of free movement. Hobbes, in chapter 21 of Leviathan, describes freedom as “the absence of opposition” to motion. This work argues that the Hobbesian view of freedom as motion was taken up by liberalism as its hallmark and flourished most of all in America where emphasis on individualism was greatest. In America, movement coupled with individualism (...) to create a conception of freedom. (shrink)
We discuss ways in which a typical one-dimensional Brownian motion can be approximated by oscillations which are encoded by finite binary strings of high descriptive complexity. We study the recursive properties of Brownian motions that can be thus obtained.
This paper locates Kierkegaard within the philosophical tradition and as the co-founder with Nietzsche of existential-postmodern philosophy. With his analysis of the quantitative build up of human motion Kierkegaard follows the pre-Socratics and their tradition in wanting to know the truth about the becoming of all things. But in his analysis of the qualitative leap with hints from Leibniz he founds postmodernphilosophy. His double movement leap as first quantitative and then qualitative is here explained in terms of (1) sin (...) and faith, (2) despair and truth, (3) anxiety and freedom, (4) offence and love, (5) madness and earnestness. Finally, an explanation of his concept of repetition shows how there can be a new quality and more of that same quality.Cet article situe Kierkegaard à l’intérieur de la tradition philosophique et en tant que co-fondateur, avec Nietzsehe, de la philosophie existentielle-postmoderne. Par son analyse de l’accroissement quantitatif du mouvement humain, Kierkegaard suit I’ornière des présocratiques et de leur tradition en cherchant à connaitre la vérité du devenir de toutes choses. Or, dans son analyse du saut qualitatif, il fonde, à I’aided’indications de Leibniz, la philosophie postmoderne. Son double saut, en tant que quantitatif d’une part, qualitatif d’autre part, est expliqué ici en termes de: (1) péché et foi, (2) désespoir et vérité, (3) anxiété et liberté, (4) offense et amour, (5) folie et sincérité. Enfin, une explication de son concept de répétition montrera comment il peut y avoir une nouvelle qualité et davantage de cette même qualité. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between participation and motion with respect to the natural philosophy of the Phaedo. Aristotle’s criticism of participation and its failure to account for motion shows the relevance of the dialogue to this problem. Challenging Aristotle’s critique, I interpret the Phaedo as offering a possible solution to the question of how forms cause motion in material beings. The verb ὀρέγεσθαι at 65c8, 75a2, and 75b1, together with the active ὀρέγειν at 117b2, ground an (...) account of ontological striving as a solution to the difficulties inherent in participation within the literary context of the dialogue. (shrink)
In line with my model of object motion perception (Wertheim 1994) and in contradistinction to what Stoffregen (1994) states, Sauvan's data suggest that percepts of motion are not sense specific. It is here argued that percepts of object- or self-motion are neither sense specific nor do they necessarily stem from what Stoffregen calls “kinematic events.” Stoffregen's error is in believing that we can only perceive object- or self-motion relative to other objects, which implies a failure to (...) realise that percepts of absolute object- or self-motion in space (relative to the earth's surface) do exist as well, even when the earth's surface itself is not perceived. (shrink)
Shaping knowledge: Thomas Harriot and the mechanics of motion Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9665-2 Authors Luciano Boschiero, Campion College, 8-14 Austin Woodbury Place, Old Toongabbie, 2146 Australia Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Rethinking “philosophy” to-day, it is necessary to think first of all about ontological foundations of the modern scientific universe description and rethink them on the ground of modern scientific knowledge, because until now there is no any precise scientific conception of the structure of the universe, of reasons and movingforces of its permanent evolution. All of it create basis to propose various unscientific ideas of creationism. Until now most of philosophers associate the motion of Matter on the whole only (...) with its motion in space and in time, mixing philosophical and physical aspects of these two principle categories. Generally speaking, the present-day ontological model of understanding the World, the Universe is constructed purely on the basis of only these two fundamental categories. However, a more deep reflection of the essence of Being, if to realize it on the basis of only these two global categories, brings us to the disappointing conclusion, that in this case we have nothing more except a mechanical motion, i.e. spatial displacement of a material point (or a system of points) relatively some point of counting off. To make it normal and logic we should add to the ontological model one more essential part – the motion in quality. So, in order to create the full and complete picture of the formation and evolution of the material World it is necessary to observe the motion of material forming in the three equivalentphilosophical categories: in space time quality. The ideas of the new conception of ontological model become actual supplementation of really scientific philosophical knowledge on the way of a more objective ontological comprehension of our Being, of the law of development of the human civilization and the Universe as a whole. This knowledge can be successfully used for the description of the realistic paradigm of Being, in explanations of the meaning of Life. (shrink)
In this paper we examine to what extent the lengths of the links in an animated articulated figure can be changed without the viewer being aware of the change. This is investigated in terms of a framework that emphasizes the role of attention in visual perception. We conducted a set of five experiments to establish bounds for the sen-sitivity to changes in length as a function of several parameters and the amount of attention available. We found that while length changes (...) of 3% can be perceived when the relevant links are given full attention, changes of over 20% can go unnoticed when attention is not focused in this way. These results provide general guidelines for algorithms that produce or process character motion data and also bring to light some of the potential gains that stand to be achieved with attention-based algorithms. (shrink)
We investigate the validity of the field explanation of the wave function by analyzing the mass and charge density distributions of a quantum system. It is argued that a charged quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. This is also a consequence of protective measurement. If the wave function is a physical field, then the mass and charge density will be distributed in space simultaneously (...) for a charged quantum system, and thus there will exist a remarkable electrostatic self-interaction of its wave function, though the gravitational self-interaction is too weak to be detected presently. This not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Thus we conclude that the wave function cannot be a description of a physical field. In the second part of this paper, we further analyze the implications of these results for the main realistic interpretations of quantum mechanics, especially for de Broglie-Bohm theory. It has been argued that de Broglie-Bohm theory gives the same predictions as quantum mechanics by means of quantum equilibrium hypothesis. However, this equivalence is based on the premise that the wave function, regarded as a Ψ-field, has no mass and charge density distributions, which turns out to be wrong according to the above results. For a charged quantum system, both Ψ-field and Bohmian particle have charge density distribution. This then results in the existence of an electrostatic self-interaction of the field and an electromagnetic interaction between the field and Bohmian particle, which contradicts both the predictions of quantum mechanics and experimental observations. Therefore, de Broglie-Bohm theory as a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics is probably wrong. Lastly, we suggest that the wave function is a description of some sort of ergodic motion (e.g. random discontinuous motion) of particles, and we also briefly analyze the implications of this suggestion for other realistic interpretations of quantum mechanics including many-worlds interpretation and dynamical collapse theories. (shrink)
We investigate the meaning of the wave function by analyzing the mass and charge density distributions of a quantum system. According to protective measurement, a charged quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. In a realistic interpretation, the wave function of a quantum system can be taken as a description of either a physical field or the ergodic motion of a particle. The essential (...) difference between a field and the ergodic motion of a particle lies in the property of simultaneity; a field exists throughout space simultaneously, whereas the ergodic motion of a particle exists throughout space in a time-divided way. If the wave function is a physical field, then the mass and charge density will be distributed in space simultaneously for a charged quantum system, and thus there will exist gravitational and electrostatic self-interactions of its wave function. This not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Thus the wave function cannot be a description of a physical field but a description of the ergodic motion of a particle. For the later there is only a localized particle with mass and charge at every instant, and thus there will not exist any self-interaction for the wave function. Which kind of ergodic motion of particles then? It is argued that the classical ergodic models, which assume continuous motion of particles, cannot be consistent with quantum mechanics. Based on the negative result, we suggest that the wave function is a description of the quantum motion of particles, which is random and discontinuous in nature. On this interpretation, the square of the absolute value of the wave function not only gives the probability of the particle being found in certain locations, but also gives the probability of the particle being there. We show that this new interpretation of the wave function provides a natural realistic alternative to the orthodox interpretation, and its implications for other realistic interpretations of quantum mechanics are also briefly discussed. (shrink)
The meaning of the wave function and its evolution are investigated. First, we argue that the wave function in quantum mechanics is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations in space. Next, we show that the linear non-relativistic evolution of the wave function of an isolated system obeys the free Schrödinger equation due to the requirements of spacetime translation invariance (...) and relativistic invariance. Thirdly, we argue that the random discontinuous motion of particles may lead to a stochastic, nonlinear collapse evolution of the wave function. A discrete model of energy-conserved wavefunction collapse is proposed and shown consistent with existing experiments and our macroscopic experience. Besides, we also give a critical analysis of the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the many-worlds interpretation and other dynamical collapse theories, and briefly discuss the issues of unifying quantum mechanics and relativity. (shrink)
Isaac Newton founded classical mechanics on the view that space is something distinct from body and that time is something that passes uniformly without regard to whatever happens in the world. For this reason he spoke of absolute space and absolute time, so as to distinguish these entities from the various ways by which we measure them (which he called relative spaces and relative times). From antiquity into the eighteenth century, contrary views which denied that space and time are real (...) entities maintained that the world is necessarily a material plenum. Concerning space, they held that the idea of empty space is a conceptual impossibility. Space is nothing but an abstraction we use to compare different arrangements of the bodies constituting the plenum. Concerning time, they insisted, there can be no lapse of time without change occurring somewhere. Time is merely a measure of the cycles of change within the world. (shrink)
We investigate the implications of protective measurement for de Broglie-Bohm theory, mainly focusing on the interpretation of the wave function. It has been argued that the de Broglie-Bohm theory gives the same predictions as quantum mechanics by means of quantum equilibrium hypothesis. However, this equivalence is based on the premise that the wave function, regarded as a Ψ-field, has no mass and charge density distributions. But this premise turns out to be wrong according to protective measurement; a charged quantum system (...) has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. Then in the de Broglie-Bohm theory both Ψ-field and Bohmian particle will have charge density distribution for a charged quantum system. This will result in the existence of an electrostatic self-interaction of the field and an electromagnetic interaction between the field and Bohmian particle, which not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Therefore, the de Broglie-Bohm theory as a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics is problematic according to protective measurement. Lastly, we briefly discuss the possibility that the wave function is not a physical field but a description of some sort of ergodic motion (e.g. random discontinuous motion) of particles. (shrink)
Newton's arguments for the immobility of the parts of absolute space have been claimed to licence several proposals concerning his metaphysics. This paper clarifies Newton, first distinguishing two distinct arguments. Then, it demonstrates, contrary to Nerlich (), that Newton does not appeal to the identity of indiscernibles, but rather to a view about de re representation. Additionally, DiSalle () claims that one argument shows Newton to be an anti-substantivalist. I agree that its premises imply a denial of a kind of (...) substantivalism, but I show that they are inconsistent with Newton's core doctrine that not all motion is the relative motions of bodies, and so conclude that they are not part of his considered views on space. The Arguments The Identity Argument 2.1 Identity of indiscernibles for individuals 2.2 Identity of indiscernibles for worlds and states 2.3 Representation de re Kinematic Relationism Conclusion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)