REALITY

2. Motion


Empirical facts are the building blocks of the many sciences you and I agree about. A simple empirical fact for you is a prediction of what you will observe when you ask and try out for your self a simple question about motion. So, it is an empirical fact for you that if you choose to drop an apple you have been holding, it will fall. As it happens that is also an empirical fact for me. So you/I may reasonably expect that when some one else drops an apple it will also fall. If not, then the Scientist in you/me will seek an explanation. Maybe that someone else is an astronaut in space!


I want to say, then, that your empirical facts are local to you and those near to you.


A particular empirical fact may be so obvious that you hardly notice it; or it may be so far from obvious that it excites the wonder of any one who notices it.


A particular empirical fact is not true and not false. It is a judgement (of the individual who believes it) about the future — about what will happen when she/he does something. Though an empirical fact cannot be objectively/permanently true, you rely upon the many empirical facts that are familiar to you, and so do I. And we instinctively seek explanations of counter-examples. This is the empirical/scientific basis of thought.


A key example for this essay is the empirical fact (about right-angled triangles) that was discovered/realised, around 500BC, by the Greek thinker Pythagoras. It is an astonishing prediction about measurement — about the empirical link between drawings and numbers — that any one can/may test for her/him self by making drawings with the ruler and compass instruments of Euclidean geometry.


Proposition 47 of Euclid’s great Elements of Geometry is his proof that the astonishing Pythagoras prediction is an almost obvious logical consequence of another empirical fact which seems almost obvious; namely that the area of a triangle does not change when it is moved from one location to another on the flat sheet upon which it is drawn, using ruler and compass instruments. Euclid spelled out how to use those instruments, and it is important to realise that his elaborate geometry works as well today, for carpenters and architects as it did 2,000 years ago.


[To keep this essay as brief as possible, I will not include Euclid’s proof of the Pythagoras Theorem, published over twenty centuries ago. You will easily find Euclid’s Elements of Geometry on-line.]


Newton tried to explain the motion of such lifeless objects as the moon and a cannonball and had some success. Three centuries later Einstein did the same and had his own success. Those objectivist stories cannot both be correct/right. Indeed, both are incorrect/wrong because both fail to explain motion. They ignore the genuinely causal explanation of motion that was clear to Leibniz.


Leibniz’s story of monads explains, say, the flying of an individual bird as intended by that individual. That particular bird is free to fly where it chooses, but only in the limited way that is allowed at the (place and time) location in which it finds itself. That particular bird has some freedom to move where and when it wishes, but must adhere to the Laws, as we call them, of Classical Physics and those Laws are local. What works for individual birds works also for individual human beings.


Each and every monad shows its life to any one who looks as the clear autonomy/unpredictability which distinguishes it from the lifeless objects of modern Physics. It is a creation which sustains itself for its life time by consuming/burning whatever energy comes its way. Hence the conservation of energy is the physical principle of life.


Of course the motion of an individual person (or an individual bird) is much more than the movement of his/her body from place to place. Your individual brain/mind controls the movements of the legs that carry you from one place to another; and, equally controls whatever decisions you make to take a bus or a plane to get from one place to another.


In the human species, movements are responsible for the gift, as we call it, that we like to believe separates Homo Sapiens from other animal species: the gift of language. It is your ability to very delicately control and synchronise the movements of your mouth and tongue and lungs and larynx that enables you to talk. And that ability is more than talk. It is also the thinking that your talking requires/enables. But, birds talk/think too! To forget that would be an all-too human hubris.


The necessary other aspect of speech is the ability to hear, and that too depends on motion — the vibrations of eardrums when sound waves arrive. I speculatively think that each individual brain/mind performs Fourier analysis and synthesis on the sounds the individual chooses to hear and the sounds she/he chooses to make, especially the sounds of music.


In our species, evolution has brought speaking/thinking to a level that seems to be far beyond the speaking/thinking of, say, magpies. Regrettably the objectivist thinking of “Philosophers” has gifted such power to those in control of human actions that we have been able to devastate our wonderful planet. It is time, if not too late, to realise the correct/good subjectivist philosophy which still might bring an end to the many evils that are now so apparent.


There are two compelling reasons to oppose objectivism:

     1 objectivism is (factually) incorrect;

     2 objectivism is (morally) wrong.

And, there are two compelling reasons to accept subjectivism:

     1 subjectivism is (factually) correct;

     2 subjectivism is (morally) right.