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Two Fundamental Questions

  • Milič Čapek
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 7)

Abstract

Bergson himself was aware that the idea of different rhythms or different “tensions” of duration, or as he sometimes called it, “different degrees of elasticity of duration,” is difficult for us to comprehend precisely because of our natural tendency to attribute homogeneity and independence to time with respect to its concrete content. Not only was this belief strengthened by the three centuries of differential calculus and its successful applications to physics; not only was it strengthened by our perennial tendency to symbolize time by a geometrical line whose unlimited divisibility was naturally conferred to time itself, but nothing in physics prior to 1900 remotely suggested that this belief was merely an extrapolation of our limited macroscopic — or rather macrochronic — experience. But once we realize that this belief was an illusion — undoubtedly biologically well-founded and useful — the conditions are created for its removal.

Keywords

Physical World Differential Calculus Time Quantum Temporal Segment Discrete Space Time 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    B. Russell, An Essay on the Foundations of Geometryp. 176; H. Poincare, The Value of ScienceChapter II ‘The Measure of Time’ (F.S., pp. 223–234, esp. p. 224.)Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    B. Russell who spoke of “the corpuscles of time” as early as in his Mysticism and Logic(p. 124 of Pelican Books ed.) and of “quantized geodetic lines” in Analysis of Matter(p. 304);Google Scholar
  3. Georges Matisse, Interprétations philosophiques des relations d’incertitude, Hermann, Paris, 1936; Edmund Whittaker, From Euclid to Eddington, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1949, p. 41;Google Scholar
  4. G. J. Whitrow, The Natural Philosophy of Time, Thomas Nelson amp; Sons, London, 1961, pp. 153–157.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Ludwig Silberstein, Discrete Space Time, University of Toronto Studies, Physics Series, 1936, p. 127.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    H. Margenau, The Nature of Physical Reality, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1950, p. 156. Cf. also R. B. Lindsay-H. Margenau, Foundations of Physics, Dover, New York, 1957, pp. 76–78.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milič Čapek

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