Episteme 4 (2001)
Abstract“If you find it strange that, in setting out these elements, I do not use those qualities called heat, cold, moistness, and dryness, as do the philosophers, I shall say to you that these qualities appear to me to be themselves in need of explanation. Indeed, unless I am mistaken, not only these four qualities, but also all the others (indeed all the forms of inanimate bodies) can be explained without the need of supposing for that purpose any other thing in their matter than the motion, size, shape, and arrangement of its parts.” So does Descartes, in his The World, or Treatise on Light [Le Monde ou Traité de la Lumière], express the uniphenomenal principle of the physical world, which is the basis - or foundation - of his great cosmic synthesis. The uniphenomenal character of Cartesian physics - namely, explaining all phenomena and appearances from a single primordial phenomenon (and substance) - has such a great semantic and intuitive value for the structure of the human mind that Plato, even before Aristotle’s hyle, had come to contemplate his concept of chora, the cosmic and universal matrix at the base of all phenomena, existing before and beyond the coming into existence of the elements and of sensible things. Even the physics of Democritus is uniphenomenal. A perfect example of uniphenomenal physics in our time is the Spacio-fluido-dynamics of the scientist Marco Todeschini (Bergamo, 1899 - 1988) who, with his monumental Teoria delle apparenze [Theory of Appearances] of ’49 tried to clear a path towards the hope of reaching a Cartesian kind of unified cosmic synthesis. (We accept only the fundamental concept of Todeschi’s theory here, that is, the uniphenomenal character of his physics, without occupying ourselves with criteria such as the value or the plausibility of his hypotheses.) This concept of uniphenomenal physics will serve as an ultra-clear instrument to dissipate the epistemological fog of AI (Artificial Intelligence).
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