Lesson 5: Assignments

Required Reading

Chapter 7 in "The Science Before Science"

Written Assignment

Is inertia as presented in the Middle Ages a purely empiriometric concept? Why or why not?

Does inertia need a cause? Does inertia disprove the principle of causality? Can details from the specialized sciences disprove the principle of causality?

How do cultural beliefs affect the physics that is proposed by even a genius like Aristotle?

Give two cultural influences that Aristotle had to deal with that St. Thomas did not?

Explain how these might have impeded the development of inertia in classical Greece and in general spurred a priori thinking and/or give rise to doubts about the physical unity of the universe.

Define place and locomotion. In what sense is locomotion relative and in what sense is it not?

In what sense does special relativity take more account of the real, i.e. make less use of beings of reason, than Newtonian physics?

Is it really true that if I go to another planet and come back that more time would have gone by on earth than for me?

Is backward time travel truly possible?

Is real "pure" space Euclidean or not? How do we know? Note: we are not here talking about physical space or space as mathematicians think of it. Physical space is defined by the interaction of various things and decided by experiment. Mathematical space is considered to exist if it is not self-contradictory in its construction; as far as the mathematician is concerned, it doesn't have to be a real being, it can be a being of reason.

Explain why one should take seriously the predictions of empiriometric theories and hence why we go to lengths to explain Thorne's paradox.

Why does the big bang theory not prove creation had a beginning in time? Does inflation theory, which recent maps of the cosmic background radiation have lent support to, significantly modify one's answer?

Does quantum mechanics disprove causality? Discuss whether it is possible for a theory such as quantum mechanics to disprove causality? Does it prove things don't exist until you observe them? Compare these conclusions to the conclusion against causality from Newtonian physics; why are they the same mistake at different levels?

Can one have an infinite number of actually existing things?

Is it possible for God to delegate the creation of the substantial form of man to a secondary cause? For example, could an angel make a man?

How will empirioschematic theories handle causes that do not fit in the schema chosen?

Does natural selection, as an empirioschematic device, automatically exclude the action of God? Why or why not? Explain why then it is so necessary to consciously move from the schema to the real, keeping in mind what the method includes and what it leaves behind?

Is there such thing as absolute chance? Explain.

Why is the distinction between 1) a real being considered as it is itself and 2) that same being considered for its sign value (referencing something outside of itself) so important in understanding the empiriological sciences?

Explain generally why the ontological implications of an empiriological theory cannot really undermine the foundational principles of physics discussed in the first chapters. In so doing explain what the major purpose of this chapter is.


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