Three scientific programs of Antiquity - Philosophy of Science

Three Science Programs of Antiquity

The scientific programs of Antiquity in many ways represent various variants of attempts to solve the problem of being posed by Parmenides. Parmenides introduced a rigid distinction "being-not being" in which "being" connected with thinking, order, immutability, indivisibility, and "not being" - with a changeable human life. His pupil Zenon formulated famous aporias, which were to illustrate the main provisions of his teacher - movement and plurality can not be thought uninterruptedly. The most famous of them is "Achilles and Turtle". argues that the fleet-footed Achilles will never catch up with a leisurely tortoise if at the beginning of the movement the turtle is in front of Achilles. The reasoning is as follows: say, Achilles runs ten times faster than the turtle, and is behind it at a distance of a thousand paces, but for the time that Achilles will run this distance, the tortoise will creep a hundred paces in the same direction, e. to infinity. Note that this aporia does not state the absence of movement, but the inability to think about it.

In the concept of being, as Eleatic has comprehended it, there are three fundamentally important points: 1) being is, but there is no non-being; 2) being is one, indivisible; 3) Being is knowable, but non-being is incomprehensible. These principles were differently interpreted in ancient philosophy by Plato, Democritus and Aristotle [6].

At the heart of Plato's natural philosophy (427-347 BC) there are numbers and figures that are ideal entities (formations), they are inaccessible to the senses, they can be only think. Of these, he builds the Cosmos. Before the creation of the cosmos by the demiurge, all four natural elements were in a chaotic, disordered state, in which it is peculiar to be everything to which God has not yet touched. Therefore, the latter, when he began to build the cosmos, began by arranging the four kinds with the help of images and numbers & quot ;. "If we manage to get to the point," says Plato, "we will have the truth about the birth of earth and fire, as well as those elements that stand between them as average members of the proportion" ... Plato distinguishes precisely geometric-spatial Education as a starting point in the study of physical objects. Selecting them, he then establishes a quantitative relationship between the three cosmic elements formed from the same triangles, namely between fire, air and water (the earth is formed from other triangles, so it is not discussed in this connection). And in fact, it's easy to count how many triangles constitute one pyramid fire: in each face there are 6 of them - it means that there will be 24 faces. Accordingly, in the octahedron of the air there will be 6 × 8 = 48, and in the twenty-dimentional water - 6 × 20 = 120. This establishes a quantitative correspondence between the elements; this correspondence can be expressed in the following form with regard to the physical world: being composed of the same elements in a certain number, the three elements - fire, air and water - can turn into each other: "... water, crushed by fire or air, allows the formation of one body of fire and two air bodies, as well as the fragments of one dissected part of the air can spawn two fire bodies [5]. Thus, in Plato's program appears the thought of multiplicity.

How to ...

Choose! The largest selection of informative articles.

Tired of looking for a solution?

Get Your ESSAY Now!
Democritus (circa 470/60 - 360th BC) into the sphere of the undivided atoms conceivable along with the multiplicity, which he endowed with properties of being, was infinitely many, - introduced the movement. For this, the attributes of existence were emptied of nothingness-emptiness. "All the physical processes in the world are sought by atomists to explain, based on the properties of atoms ... In order to explain the entire diversity of the empirical world from atoms and emptiness, Democritus introduces an additional characteristic of atoms: they differ in form and size, and their connections - position and order of the atoms from which they are composed. It is the position and order of atoms that, according to Democritus, must explain the various sensory qualities of the bodies of the empirical world ... All changes in the quality of their cause are ultimately the movement of atoms, their connection and separation, and the sensually perceived qualities of empirical objects (heat and cold, smoothness and roughness, color, smell, etc.) are explained only by the shape, order and position of the atoms At the same time, "the atoms are something that can not be seen, they can only be thought of," but the specific feature of atomism is the visibility of the explaining model [5].

Aristotle (384-322 BC) the concept of motion connects with the doctrine of nature, which calls physics and gives him the following definition: "The doctrine of nature must be ... a speculative knowledge of only such a being that is able to move, and of the expressed in definition of an entity that for the most part does not exist separately [from matter] [ Aristotle, Metaphysics, Prince. 6, Ch. 1]. This echoes the view of physics that is presented in Ch. 9. In addition, the physics of Aristotle, like the physics of modern times, focused on individual phenomena (such as an abandoned body), rather than Cosmos as a whole.

Ready to make your order?

Get your great paper now

Since the physics of Aristotle reigned two millennia, and it is in dispute with her that the natural science of the New Age arises, so we will dwell on it in somewhat more detail.

The very concept of movement, which is the central concept of its physics - speculations about things that are changeable and moving, - it introduces on the basis of concepts possibilities and reality. Movement is entelechy existing in the potency ", i.e. realization of the possible. Aristotle introduces four types of movement (changes) - a qualitative change, growth and loss, the emergence and destruction and, finally, displacement. In principle, none of these types of movement can be reduced to another or derived from the other, but the movement is "the first among the movements, and the displacement of the sky is the first among all displacements" [6]. Aristotle's reasoning is logical, not empirical.

Aristotle's motion-movement theory uses the concepts of time and place and affirms two types of motion: infinite in a circle, characteristic of celestial spheres, and aspiration to "its place" for the "sublunary world".

"The place," says Aristotle, "is not only something, but it has some power." It is because of the "strength" of the place that there is a so-called natural motion, i.e. the movement of bodies to their original place: the lungs - up, the heavy - down ... The place can not be identified with either matter or form, for both are inseparable from the body, and the place is separated: the place does not disappear when the things in it dying ". As a result of these reflections Aristotle dwells on the analogy between place and vessel. Time for Aristotle is the "measure of the motion or rest of things".

The source of the circular motion in the "moonlit the world is an eternal per- mitter, which, itself, being immobile, moves the first motion in a circular motion ... for this, the first motor must be indivisible, i.e. which has no parts, and therefore no amount ... It moves like that, says Aristotle, as "the object of desire and the object of thought: they drive, (themselves) not being in motion." The eternal engine, therefore, moves as the cause of the target, i.e. as a goal. The analogy with thinking here is very significant: Aristotle emphasizes that the thinking mind is set in motion by the action of what is perceived by it. "

Every movement involves movement and moving. When moving abandoned bodies, according to Aristotle, there is a sequential transfer of motion through the medium closest to them. The thrower sets in motion not only the body being thrown, but also the air (or other medium capable of moving), and the last for some time remains the ability to drive the body directly in contact with it. The environment, therefore, is an intermediate engine (for the first engine here was the thrower).

The presence of violent movement, on the one hand, serves Aristotle as the basis for denying the existence of emptiness: if instead of the medium it moves in the void, then "no one can say why the body set in motion will stop somewhere, for why it rather stop here, not there? Therefore, he needs to either rest, or move indefinitely, unless something more violates the (in fifteen hundred years a similar course of thought will lead to the formulation of the principle of inertia). The Aristotelian concept of violent movement turns out to be the Achilles' heel of the whole concept, especially when from the flight arrows go to the flight of a stone or a nucleus. This place is the key in the criticism of Galileo, who creates alternative physics. But before this two millennia reigned the physicist Aristotle.

The heirs of these programs can be found in modern physics: the Platonic-Pythagorean program is popular among theoretical physicists engaged in general relativity theory and theories of the "great unification", the Democrat program underlies the theory of elementary particles, the Aristotelian program, as will be shown in Ch. 9, is realized in theoretical physics.

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)