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  1. On Magnetic Forces and Work.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (4):1-17.
    We address a long-standing debate over whether classical magnetic forces can do work, ultimately answering the question in the affirmative. In detail, we couple a classical particle with intrinsic spin and elementary dipole moments to the electromagnetic field, derive the appropriate generalization of the Lorentz force law, show that the particle’s dipole moments must be collinear with its spin axis, and argue that the magnetic field does mechanical work on the particle’s elementary magnetic dipole moment. As consistency checks, we calculate (...)
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  2. On Spacetime Functionalism.David John Baker - manuscript
    Eleanor Knox has argued that our concept of spacetime applies to whichever structure plays a certain functional role in the laws (the role of determining local inertial structure). I raise two complications for this approach. First, our spacetime concept seems to have the structure of a cluster concept, which means that Knox's inertial criteria for spacetime cannot succeed with complete generality. Second, the notion of metaphysical fundamentality may feature in the spacetime concept, in which case spacetime functionalism may be uninformative (...)
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  3. Manifestly Covariant Lagrangians, Classical Particles with Spin, and the Origins of Gauge Invariance.Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    In this paper, we review a general technique for converting the standard Lagrangian description of a classical system into a formulation that puts time on an equal footing with the system's degrees of freedom. We show how the resulting framework anticipates key features of special relativity, including the signature of the Minkowski metric tensor and the special role played by theories that are invariant under a generalized notion of Lorentz transformations. We then use this technique to revisit a classification of (...)
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  4. Can Magnetic Forces Do Work?Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    Standard lore holds that magnetic forces are incapable of doing mechanical work. More precisely, the claim is that whenever it appears that a magnetic force is doing work, the work is actually being done by another force, with the magnetic force serving only as an indirect mediator. On the other hand, the most familiar instances of magnetic forces acting in everyday life—bar magnets lifting other bar magnets—appear to present manifest evidence of magnetic forces doing work. These sorts of counterexamples are (...)
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  5. An Analysis of the Concept of Inertial Frame.Boris Culina - manuscript
    The concept of inertial frame of reference is analysed. It has been shown that this fundamental concept of physics is not clear enough. A definition of inertial frame of reference is proposed which expresses its key inherent property. The definition is operational and powerful. Many other properties of inertial frames follow from the definition or it makes them plausible. In particular, the definition shows why physical laws obey space and time symmetries and the principle of relativity, it resolves the problem (...)
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  6. On the Gibbs-Liouville Theorem in Classical Mechanics.Andreas Henriksson - manuscript
    In this article, it is argued that the Gibbs-Liouville theorem is a mathematical representation of the statement that closed classical systems evolve deterministically. From the perspective of an observer of the system, whose knowledge about the degrees of freedom of the system is complete, the statement of deterministic evolution is equivalent to the notion that the physical distinctions between the possible states of the system, or, in other words, the information possessed by the observer about the system, is never lost. (...)
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  7. Isaac Newton despre acțiunea la distanță în gravitație - Cu sau fără Dumnezeu?Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Interpretarea textelor lui Isaac Newton a suscitat numeroase controverse, până în zilele noastre. Una din cele mai aprinse dezbateri este legată de acțiunea între două corpuri aflate la distanță unul de celălalt (atracția gravitațională), și în ce măsură Newton a implicat pe Dumnezeu în acest caz. Practic, majoritatea lucrărilor discută patru tipuri de atracții gravitaționale în cazul corpurilor aflate la distanță: acțiunea la distanță directă ca proprietate intrinsecă a corpurilor în sens epicurian; acțiunea la distanță directă mediată divin, de Dumnezeu; (...)
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  8. Controversa dintre Isaac Newton și Robert Hooke despre prioritatea în legea gravitației.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Una din cele mai disputate controverse privind prioritatea unor descoperiri științifice este cea privind legea gravitației universale, între Isaac Newton și Robert Hooke. În acest eseu extind o lucrare mai veche pe aceeași temă, ”Isaac Newton vs. Robert Hooke în legea gravitației universale”. Hooke l-a acuzat pe Newton de plagiat, preluându-i ideile exprimate în lucrările anterioare. În această lucrare încerc să arăt, pe baza unor analize anterioare, că ambii oameni de știință au greșit: Robert Hooke pentru că teoria sa nu (...)
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  9. Bridging Conceptual Gaps: The Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy.Massimiliano Badino - forthcoming - Isonomía. Revista de Teoría y Filosofía Del Derecho.
    The Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy is a fairly exotic mathematical concept which has recently aroused some interest on the philosophers’ part. The most salient trait of this concept is its working as a junction between such diverse ambits as statistical mechanics, information theory and algorithm theory. In this paper I argue that, in order to understand this very special feature of the Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy, is essential to reconstruct its genealogy. Somewhat surprisingly, this story takes us as far back as the beginning of (...)
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  10. How Physics Flew the Philosophers' Nest.Katherine Brading - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  11. Gauge Invariance for Classical Massless Particles with Spin.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (1):1-14.
    Wigner’s quantum-mechanical classification of particle-types in terms of irreducible representations of the Poincaré group has a classical analogue, which we extend in this paper. We study the compactness properties of the resulting phase spaces at fixed energy, and show that in order for a classical massless particle to be physically sensible, its phase space must feature a classical-particle counterpart of electromagnetic gauge invariance. By examining the connection between massless and massive particles in the massless limit, we also derive a classical-particle (...)
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  12. Derivation of Classical Mechanics in an Energetic Framework Via Conservation and Relativity.Philip Goyal - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 1:1-54.
    The notions of conservation and relativity lie at the heart of classical mechanics, and were critical to its early development. However, in Newton’s theory of mechanics, these symmetry principles were eclipsed by domain-specific laws. In view of the importance of symmetry principles in elucidating the structure of physical theories, it is natural to ask to what extent conservation and relativity determine the structure of mechanics. In this paper, we address this question by deriving classical mechanics—both nonrelativistic and relativistic—using relativity and (...)
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  13. How Dualists Should (Not) Respond to the Objection From Energy Conservation.Alin C. Cucu & J. Brian Pitts - 2019 - Mind and Matter 17 (1):95-121.
    The principle of energy conservation is widely taken to be a se- rious difficulty for interactionist dualism (whether property or sub- stance). Interactionists often have therefore tried to make it satisfy energy conservation. This paper examines several such attempts, especially including E. J. Lowe’s varying constants proposal, show- ing how they all miss their goal due to lack of engagement with the physico-mathematical roots of energy conservation physics: the first Noether theorem (that symmetries imply conservation laws), its converse (that conservation (...)
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  14. Forces in a True and Physical Sense: From Mathematical Models to Metaphysical Conclusions.Corey Dethier - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1109-1122.
    Wilson [Dialectica 63:525–554, 2009], Moore [Int Stud Philos Sci 26:359–380, 2012], and Massin [Br J Philos Sci 68:805–846, 2017] identify an overdetermination problem arising from the principle of composition in Newtonian physics. I argue that the principle of composition is a red herring: what’s really at issue are contrasting metaphysical views about how to interpret the science. One of these views—that real forces are to be tied to physical interactions like pushes and pulls—is a superior guide to real forces than (...)
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  15. Indeterminism in Physics, Classical Chaos and Bohmian Mechanics.\\ Are Real Numbers Really Real?Nicolas Gisin - 2019 - Erkenntnis:1-13.
    It is usual to identify initial conditions of classical dynamical systems with mathematical real numbers. However, almost all real numbers contain an infinite amount of information. I argue that a finite volume of space can’t contain more than a finite amount of information, hence that the mathematical real numbers are not physically relevant. Moreover, a better terminology for the so-called real numbers is “random numbers”, as their series of bits are truly random. I propose an alternative classical mechanics, which is (...)
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  16. Max Plank’s Philosophy and Physics: An Introduction to The Philosophy of Physics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - In The Philosophy of Physics. Montreal: Minkowski Press. pp. 1-5.
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  17. On Classical Motion.C. D. McCoy - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18.
    The impetus theory of motion states that to be in motion is to have a non-zero velocity. The at-at theory of motion states that to be in motion is to be at different places at different times, which in classical physics is naturally understood as the reduction of velocities to position developments. I first defend the at-at theory against the criticism raised by Arntzenius that it renders determinism impossible. I then develop a novel impetus theory of motion that reduces positions (...)
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  18. Metaphysics of the Principle of Least Action.Vladislav Terekhovich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:189-201.
    Despite the importance of the variational principles of physics, there have been relatively few attempts to consider them for a realistic framework. In addition to the old teleological question, this paper continues the recent discussion regarding the modal involvement of the principle of least action and its relations with the Humean view of the laws of nature. The reality of possible paths in the principle of least action is examined from the perspectives of the contemporary metaphysics of modality and Leibniz's (...)
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  19. Metaphysical Foundations of Neoclassical Mechanics.Marius Stan - 2017 - In Michela Massimi & Angela Breitenbach (eds.), Kant and the Laws of Nature. Cambridge University Press. pp. 214-234.
    I examine here if Kant’s metaphysics of matter can support any late-modern versions of classical mechanics. I argue that in principle it can, by two different routes. I assess the interpretive costs of each approach, and recommend the most promising strategy: a mass-point approach.
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  20. Euler, Newton, and Foundations for Mechanics.Marius Stan - 2017 - In Chris Smeenk & Eric Schliesser (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Newton. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-22.
    This chapter looks at Euler’s relation to Newton, and at his role in the rise of ‘Newtonian’ mechanics. It aims to give a sense of Newton’s complicated legacy for Enlightenment science, and to raise awareness that some key ‘Newtonian’ results really come from Euler.
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  21. On Component Forces in Physics: A Pragmatic View.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2016 - In Hsiang-Ke Chao, Julian Reiss & Szu-Ting Chen (eds.), Philosophy of Science in Practice: Nancy Cartwright and the nature of scientific reasoning.
    Do component forces exist? I argue that the answer lies in the affirmative, on historical and operational grounds.
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  22. Huygens on Inertial Structure and Relativity.Marius Stan - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (2):277-298.
    I explain and assess here Huygens’ concept of relative motion. I show that it allows him to ground most of the Law of Inertia, and also to explain rotation. Thereby his concept obviates the need for Newton’s absolute space. Thus his account is a powerful foundation for mechanics, though not without some tension.
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  23. Relationalism About Mechanics Based on a Minimalist Ontology of Matter.Antonio Vassallo, Dirk-André Deckert & Michael Esfeld - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-20.
    This paper elaborates on relationalism about space and time as motivated by a minimalist ontology of the physical world: there are only matter points that are individuated by the distance relations among them, with these relations changing. We assess two strategies to combine this ontology with physics, using classical mechanics as example: the Humean strategy adopts the standard, non-relationalist physical theories as they stand and interprets their formal apparatus as the means of bookkeeping of the change of the distance relations (...)
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  24. The Role of Virtual Work in Levi-Civita’s Parallel Transport.Giuseppe Iurato & Giuseppe Ruta - 2015 - Proceedings of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics 15:705-706.
    According to current history of science, Levi-Civita introduced parallel transport solely to give a geometrical interpretation to the covariant derivative of absolute differential calculus. Levi-Civita, however, searched a simple computation of the curvature of a Riemannian manifold, basing on notions of the Italian school of mathematical physics of his time: holonomic constraints, virtual displacements and work, which so have a remarkable, if not dominant, role in the origin of parallel transport.
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  25. Aristotle’s Empiricism: Experience and Mechanics in the 4th Century BC by Jean De Groot. [REVIEW]Monte Ransome Johnson - 2015 - Ancient Philosophy 35 (1):220-230.
    According to a generally held impression, which has coalesced out of centuries of misinterpretation occasioned mostly by misguided charitable commentary, but often by outright hostility to his followers (and occasionally deliberate misrepresentation of his ideas), Aristotle is a teleological (as opposed to “mechanistic”) philosopher, responsible for a “qualitative” (as opposed to quantitative) approach to physics that is thereby inadequately mathematical, whose metaphysical speculations, as absorbing as they continue to be even for contemporary and otherwise ahistorical analytical metaphysicians, are essentially devoid (...)
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  26. Kant and the Object of Determinate Experience.Marius Stan - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15:1-19.
    On an influential view, Newton's mechanics is built into Kant's very theory of exact knowledge. However, Newtonian dynamics had serious explanatory limits already known by 1750. Thus, we might worry that Kant's Analytic is too narrow to ground enough exact knowledge. In this paper, I draw on Enlightenment dynamics to show that Kant's notion of determinate objecthood is sufficiently broad, non-trivial, and still relevant to the present.
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  27. The Metaphysics of Laws: Dispositionalism Vs. Primitivism.Mauro Dorato & Michael Esfeld - 2014 - In T. Bigaj & C. Wutrich (eds.), Metaphysics and Science. Poznan Studies.
    The paper compares dispositionalism about laws of nature with primitivism. It argues that while the distinction between these two positions can be drawn in a clear-cut manner in classical mechanics, it is less clear in quantum mechanics, due to quantum non-locality. Nonetheless, the paper points out advantages for dispositionalism in comparison to primitivism also in the area of quantum mechanics, and of contemporary physics in general.
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  28. On Two Mathematical Definitions of Observational Equivalence: Manifest Isomorphism and Epsilon-Congruence Reconsidered.Christopher Belanger - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (2):69-76.
    In this article I examine two mathematical definitions of observational equivalence, one proposed by Charlotte Werndl and based on manifest isomorphism, and the other based on Ornstein and Weiss’s ε-congruence. I argue, for two related reasons, that neither can function as a purely mathematical definition of observational equivalence. First, each definition permits of counterexamples; second, overcoming these counterexamples will introduce non-mathematical premises about the systems in question. Accordingly, the prospects for a broadly applicable and purely mathematical definition of observational equivalence (...)
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  29. Kant’s Third Law of Mechanics: The Long Shadow of Leibniz.Marius Stan - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):493-504.
    This paper examines the origin, range and meaning of the Principle of Action and Reaction in Kant’s mechanics. On the received view, it is a version of Newton’s Third Law. I argue that Kant meant his principle as foundation for a Leibnizian mechanics. To find a ‘Newtonian’ law of action and reaction, we must look to Kant’s ‘dynamics,’ or theory of matter. I begin, in part I, by noting marked differences between Newton’s and Kant’s laws of action and reaction. I (...)
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  30. Philosophical and Methodological Problems of the Principle of Least Action.Vladislav Terekhovich - 2013 - Dissertation, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
    Twenty extremal principles of the natural sciences are reformulated to the general ontological scheme. The hypothesis is substantiated that the unique role of the principle of least action is based on its probabilistic interpretation. It is shown how most of the variational principles can be reduced to the principle of maximal probability, which is based on a realistic interpretation of Feynman’s path integral method.
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  31. Probabilistic and Geometric Languages in the Context of the Principle of Least Action.Vladislav E. Terekhovich - 2012 - Philosophy of Science. Novosibirsk 1:80-92.
    This paper explores the issue of the unification of three languages of physics, the geometric language of forces, geometric language of fields or 4-dimensional space-time, and probabilistic language of quantum mechanics. On the one hand, equations in each language may be derived from the Principle of Least Action (PLA). On the other hand, Feynman's path integral method could explain the physical meaning of PLA. The axioms of classical and relativistic mechanics can be considered as consequences of Feynman's formulation of quantum (...)
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  32. A Study of Time in Modern Physics.Peter W. Evans - 2011 - Dissertation,
    This thesis is a study of the notion of time in modern physics, consisting of two parts. Part I takes seriously the doctrine that modern physics should be treated as the primary guide to the nature of time. To this end, it offers an analysis of the various conceptions of time that emerge in the context of various physical theories and, furthermore, an analysis of the relation between these conceptions of time and the more orthodox philosophical views on the nature (...)
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  33. Leibniz and the Vis Viva Controversy.Idan Shimony - 2010 - In Marcelo Dascal (ed.), The Practice of Reason: Leibniz and His Controversies. Philadelphia / Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 51-73.
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  34. The Metaphysics of Forces.Olivier Massin - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):555-589.
    This paper defends the view that Newtonian forces are real, symmetrical and non-causal relations. First, I argue that Newtonian forces are real; second, that they are relations; third, that they are symmetrical relations; fourth, that they are not species of causation. The overall picture is anti-Humean to the extent that it defends the existence of forces as external relations irreducible to spatio-temporal ones, but is still compatible with Humean approaches to causation (and others) since it denies that forces are a (...)
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  35. Is There a Problem of Action at a Temporal Distance?Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson - 2007 - SATS 8 (1):138-154.
    It has been claimed that the only way to avoid action at a temporal distance in a temporal continuum is if effects occur simultaneously with their causes, and that in fact Newton’s second law of motion illustrates that they truly are simultaneous. Firstly, I point out that this interpretation of Newton’s second law is problematic because in classical mechanics ‘acceleration’ denotes a vector quantity. It is controversial whether vectors themselves are changes as opposed to properties of a change, and therefore (...)
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  36. The ‘Dynamics’ of Leibnizian Relationism: Reference Frames and Force in Leibniz’s Plenum.Edward Slowik - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37:617-634.
    This paper explores various metaphysical aspects of Leibniz’s concepts of space, motion, and matter, with the intention of demonstrating how the distinctive role of force in Leibnizian physics can be used to develop a theory of relational motion using privileged reference frames. Although numerous problems will remain for a consistent Leibnizian relationist account, the version developed within our investigation will advance the work of previous commentators by more accurately reflecting the specific details of Leibniz’s own natural philosophy, especially his handling (...)
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  37. Gravity as Archimedes? Thrust and a Bifurcation in That Theory.Mayeul Arminjon - 2004 - Foundations of Physics 34 (11):1703-1724.
    Euler’s interpretation of Newton’s gravity (NG) as Archimedes’ thrust in a fluid ether is presented in some detail. Then a semi-heuristic mechanism for gravity, close to Euler’s, is recalled and compared with the latter. None of these two ‘‘gravitational ethers’’ can obey classical mechanics. This is logical since the ether defines the very reference frame, in which mechanics is defined. This concept is used to build a scalar theory of gravity: NG corresponds to an incompressible ether, a compressible ether leads (...)
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  38. Hermann Cohen's History and Philosophy of Science.Lydia Patton - 2004 - Dissertation, McGill University
    In my dissertation, I present Hermann Cohen's foundation for the history and philosophy of science. My investigation begins with Cohen's formulation of a neo-Kantian epistemology. I analyze Cohen's early work, especially his contributions to 19th century debates about the theory of knowledge. I conclude by examining Cohen's mature theory of science in two works, The Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History of 1883, and Cohen's extensive 1914 Introduction to Friedrich Lange's History of Materialism. In the former, Cohen gives (...)
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  39. Review of Nugayev's Book "REconstruction of Mature Theory Change: A Theory-Change Model". [REVIEW]N. Sheppard & Rinat M. Nugayev - 2000 - Appraisal 3 (1):49.
    The book addresses the question of what are the routes and mechanisms of the theory-change process in science at the level when the change involves the calling in question of a mature theory, i.e. one which has been accepted as accounting very well for a large range of experimental phenomenon.
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  40. Historische Reflexion Als Kritik Naturwissenschaftlicher Ontologie. Ernst Machs Kritik an der Mechanistischen Auffassung des Energieerhaltungssatzes Und Ihre Aktualität.Gregor Schiemann - 1999 - In J. Nida-Rümelin (ed.), Rationalität, Realismus, Revision. de Gruyter.
    Inwieweit vermag sich der ehemalige explanative Erfolg nicht mehr anerkannter Theorien auf die Geltung derjenigen Teilaussagen, die Nachfolgetheorien übernommen haben, zu stützen? Zur Klärung dieser Fragestellung können die Ergebnisse von Machs Untersuchung zur mechanistischen Auffassung des Energieerhaltungssatzes herangezogen werden. Indem er sich in seiner Kritik an den ontologischen Annahmen des Mechanismus auf die Wissenschaftsgeschichte beruft, steht er einer heutigen realismuskritischen Argumentation nahe. Andererseits mißt er den hypothesenfreien Theoriebestandteilen einen Geltungscharakter zu, der in seinem Wahrheitsanspruch durchaus mit einer heutigen realistischen Behauptung (...)
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  41. Journey of Physics between Continuity and Discontinuity مسيرة الفيزياء بين مقولتي الاتصال والانفصال.Salah Osman - 1998 - In Continuity and Infinity between Science and Philosophy. pp. 151 - 241.
    تجلت المعالجة الفيزيائية المعاصرة لموضوع الاتصال في نظريتين كبريتين تقاسمتا البحث في الظواهر الطبيعية منذ بداية القرن العشرين: إحداهما نظريــة النسبية (الخاصـة والعامـة)، والأخرى نظرية الكم. وبينما تُعيد النسبية الخاصة صياغة القوانين الأساسية للحركة على نحو أدق مما قدمه نيوتن، تتجه النسبية العامة إلى تعليل خواص المادة على النطاق الواسع، أي على مستوى الكون الأكبر، حيث النجوم والكواكب وحركاتها التجاذبية. أما نظرية الكمّ فتًعلل خواص المادة على النطاق الضيق جدًا، أي على مستوى الكون الذري. وليس هناك فيما يبدو أية رابطة (...)
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  42. Berkeley's Case Against Realism About Dynamics.Lisa Downing - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 197--214.
    While De Motu, Berkeley's treatise on the philosophical foundations of mechanics, has frequently been cited for the surprisingly modern ring of certain of its passages, it has not often been taken as seriously as Berkeley hoped it would be. Even A.A. Luce, in his editor's introduction to De Motu, describes it as a modest work, of limited scope. Luce writes: The De Motu is written in good, correct Latin, but in construction and balance the workmanship falls below Berkeley's usual standards. (...)
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  43. On Argument "Ex Suppositione Falsa".Winifred Lovell Wisan - 1983 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 15 (3):227.
    In my opinion it cannot be denied but that your discourse carries with it much of probability, arguing, as we say, ex suppositione, namely, granting that the Earth moves with the two motions assigned it by Copernicus; but, if one excludes those motions, all that you have said is vain and invalid; and for the exclusion of that hypothesis, it is very manifestly hinted by your discourse itself.
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  44. The Structure of Space and Time, and Physical Indeterminacy.Hanoch Ben-Yami - manuscript
    I introduce a sequence which I call indefinite: a sequence every element of which has a successor but whose number of elements is bounded; this is no contradiction. I then consider the possibility of space and time being indefinitely divisible. This is theoretically possible and agrees with experience. If this is space and time’s structure, then even if the laws of nature are deterministic, the behaviour of physical systems will be probabilistic. This approach may also shed light on directionality in (...)
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  45. The Inconsistent Equivalence Principle.Alfonso Leon Guillen Gomez - manuscript
    The equivalence principle between the gravitational motion and the inertial motion is false because a particle or body successively in two any contiguous points while in a gravitational frame they have different kinetic energy, instead they always have equal kinetic energy in an inertial frame.
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  46. Philosophical & Practical Implications of Quantum Mechanics.Sunil Thakur - manuscript
    Quantum mechanics makes some very significant observations about nature. Unfortunately, these observations remain a mystery because they do not fit into and/or cannot be explained through classical mechanics. However, we can still explore the philosophical and practical implications of these observations. This article aims to explain philosophical and practical implications of one of the most important observations of quantum mechanics – uncertainty or the arbitrariness in the behavior of particles.
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