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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:22 pm 
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He explicitly and unequivocally rejects any actual infinity in magnitude or multitude in numerous places, even in mathemathics. There is no debate about this. Whether it is question 7 of the prima pars, his commentaries on Aristotle, ad nauseam.

I am sorry FJ, but your post is incoherent. It is like me saying, "I am not at all convinced that the pope is an atheist..." Who ever said he was?

And if the world is without a beginning, that does not involve an actual infinity for him. That is a wholly different question. I am very confused by what you are trying to say. He most certainly rejected that the argument in his day showed a beginning of the world. He most certainly also reject the possibility of an actual infinity in either number or magnitude. Where it seems to me you might be debating is whether he though it was inherently impossible for there to be a proof of a beginning in time for the world, which is a different question than an actual infinity, as that is not involved here. I won't debate it here, partly because I am too lazy to be digging through his responsories, but I am certain, unless he changed his mind, that St. Thomas would hold it impossible to prove a creation in time, save, maybe, based on things that could have been otherwise in creation demanding it. That is, he certainly holds that God could have created an eternal world and that it is wrong to hold that the very notion of creation or time demands a beginning in time. Perhaps he would admit the possibility of an argument that this universe, since it has x property, must have a beginning in time, since x demands it.

In anycase, it is not what matters in the 5 ways. Heck, even his proofs against actual infinities in general are not essential here. The only sort of infinitude precluded is that of an essentially ordered chain of causes.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:24 pm 
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To the OP: Peter Kreeft uses the example of a book that you need. But, you have to get it from your brother. He has to get it from his friend, who has to get it from someone else, who has to get it from someone else, etc etc etc etc. If this chain of "passing the buck" goes on for infinity, then you never get the book. If you have the book, then someone in that chain of people "actually had to have it" and not merely "potentially had it". If the only people you can get the book from are people who only can get it from someone else, without anyone in the chain actually having it, then you will never get it.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
He explicitly and unequivocally rejects any actual infinity in magnitude or multitude in numerous places, even in mathemathics. There is no debate about this. Whether it is question 7 of the prima pars, his commentaries on Aristotle, ad nauseam.

I am sorry FJ, but your post is incoherent. It is like me saying, "I am not at all convinced that the pope is an atheist..." Who ever said he was?

And if the world is without a beginning, that does not involve an actual infinity for him. That is a wholly different question. I am very confused by what you are trying to say. He most certainly rejected that the argument in his day showed a beginning of the world. He most certainly also reject the possibility of an actual infinity in either number or magnitude. Where it seems to me you might be debating is whether he though it was inherently impossible for there to be a proof of a beginning in time for the world, which is a different question than an actual infinity, as that is not involved here. I won't debate it here, partly because I am too lazy to be digging through his responsories, but I am certain, unless he changed his mind, that St. Thomas would hold it impossible to prove a creation in time, save, maybe, based on things that could have been otherwise in creation demanding it. That is, he certainly holds that God could have created an eternal world and that it is wrong to hold that the very notion of creation or time demands a beginning in time. Perhaps he would admit the possibility of an argument that this universe, since it has x property, must have a beginning in time, since x demands it.

In anycase, it is not what matters in the 5 ways. Heck, even his proofs against actual infinities in general are not essential here. The only sort of infinitude precluded is that of an essentially ordered chain of causes.


(Edit - lapse of judgement... Sorry.)

Sometimes I think that you and doom are long lost brothers.

Anyway... I agree with you, PED, and you are right to say, that there is a whole heck of a lot of equivocation and assumption involved with discussions of the infinite. Heck, even whether or not an infinite past means an actual infinite or just an accidental one is something we need to establish to continue (Aquinas and Bonaventure where on opposite sides of that one). The bottom line of what I was trying to say is that I am not sure that you can glean from Aquinas' writings (from what I have personally read) a thomistic doctrine on the nature of infinity as applied to time. Rather, I find a more socratic presentation in the Summa where he (attempts to) dismantle attempts to make the world necessarily finite.

FJ

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Last edited by forumjunkie on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:37 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:15 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:00 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:25 am 
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Sometimes I think that you and doom are long lost brothers.

:laughhard

Well, cousins, anyway. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:41 am 
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ForumJunkie wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Win ME.


I really wish I knew what this meant.

Would Windows 98 have been funnier?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:00 pm 
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There is nothing funny about Windows 98. :fyi: :verymad: :verymad: :verymad: :verymad:

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:22 pm 
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The only sort of infinitude precluded is that of an essentially ordered chain of causes.

So causation cannot be transferred infinitely... is that right?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:38 pm 
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No. Simultaneous causes cannot be transferred infinitely.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:28 pm 
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why do they have to be simultaneous?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:01 pm 
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:?: I'm not sure what you're asking. The point I was making is that it's not possible for there to be an infinite sequence of causes occurring at once. An infinite sequence of one-after-the-other causes is possible (or at least not ruled out by the same argument that rules out the simultaneous version).

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:22 pm 
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ForumJunkie wrote:
I just want to throw this in the mix. I am not convinced that St. Thomas Aquinas was all that convinced that an actual infinite was possible or even rationally conceivable. Rather, I think that he was skeptical about attempts that had been made to disprove it. Those are two different things. And there are plenty of mathematicians on record who say that the infinite is an idea and not something that has any application to real things. It is something that allows for the conception of new ideas and provides for a workspace that can always accommodate new expansion, but itself is never actually infinite. It is only as big as we need it to be, and we never need it to be actually infinite.

As I read through St. Thomas' work on the infinite, I find a mixed bag of sentiment toward the infinite. It seems that what has been interpreted as his being against any sort of possible argument against an actual infinite, is really only his being against any attempt that HAD BEEN MADE as being sufficient or incontrovertible. I also find that that the idea of an actual infinite is not something that he necessarily finds rational, but just that his acceptance of it not being so in time can only be due to faith because all such arguments against an actual infinity have, in his view failed, so his adherence to a finite past are on faith.

I realize there are better read people on the board here than me, but, as I take a look at everything Aquinas says on the subject, I am finding that what I learned ABOUT WHAT HE SAID, doesn't exactly match up with what I actually read. It's a little more complicated. I also think that a modern Thomist must take into to account what we have gathered through the natural sciences as well... just as we have with biology and other controversial statements made by the Angelic Doctor.

FJ


Saint Thomas did not have the advantage of modern physics to tell him that time is not an accident of matter, but a real substantive thing.

An infinite past is impossible simply because an infinity of time is required to get to the present and an infinity can never be traversed.

Remember, an infinite past does not mean we are counting backwards from the present, but counting forwards from an infinite past.

If there is no beginning then the counting never begins and we do not exist.

But we do exist.

Therefore, an infinite past is impossible.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:08 am 
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Modern physics tells us no such thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:23 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Modern physics tells us no such thing.

Right.

We need to be careful about reifying mathematical terms, such as in space time, anyways. The interpretation of that, within the context of the theory of relativity, differs to.

Frankly, I have yet to see anything that refutes Aristotle's/Aquinas' conception of time. If relativity holds, it fits very well with Aristotle if you remove the primum mobile, the first moved thing. Basically Aristotle took as a premise that time was unified and therefore posited certain things to explain that. If you remove those you get disparate time due to different motion....sounds similar to relativity.


ETA: We should also add that time is not an accident the way quality or quantity is. It is not intrinsic, not a "real accident". It is something that is in part founded on reality (namely motion) and in part of the perception of an observer, since time is the numbering of motion according to before and after. Hence as an accident of a thing it is an extrinsic not an intrinsic attribute.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Modern physics tells us no such thing.


With all respect, Father, yes it does.

Time is a very real thing, and like all very real things, it must have an origin.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Modern physics tells us no such thing.

Right.

We need to be careful about reifying mathematical terms, such as in space time, anyways. The interpretation of that, within the context of the theory of relativity, differs to.

Frankly, I have yet to see anything that refutes Aristotle's/Aquinas' conception of time. If relativity holds, it fits very well with Aristotle if you remove the primum mobile, the first moved thing. Basically Aristotle took as a premise that time was unified and therefore posited certain things to explain that. If you remove those you get disparate time due to different motion....sounds similar to relativity.


ETA: We should also add that time is not an accident the way quality or quantity is. It is not intrinsic, not a "real accident". It is something that is in part founded on reality (namely motion) and in part of the perception of an observer, since time is the numbering of motion according to before and after. Hence as an accident of a thing it is an extrinsic not an intrinsic attribute.



Time is as real as space. We move through time the same way we move through space, except that time is unidirectional. Without this very real dimension (manifold, field, continuum) of time all of history would be a complete contradiction.

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Is this from Fr. Spitzer?

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 Post subject: Re: Argument from Motion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:06 pm 
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pax wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Modern physics tells us no such thing.

Right.

We need to be careful about reifying mathematical terms, such as in space time, anyways. The interpretation of that, within the context of the theory of relativity, differs to.

Frankly, I have yet to see anything that refutes Aristotle's/Aquinas' conception of time. If relativity holds, it fits very well with Aristotle if you remove the primum mobile, the first moved thing. Basically Aristotle took as a premise that time was unified and therefore posited certain things to explain that. If you remove those you get disparate time due to different motion....sounds similar to relativity.


ETA: We should also add that time is not an accident the way quality or quantity is. It is not intrinsic, not a "real accident". It is something that is in part founded on reality (namely motion) and in part of the perception of an observer, since time is the numbering of motion according to before and after. Hence as an accident of a thing it is an extrinsic not an intrinsic attribute.



Time is as real as space. We move through time the same way we move through space, except that time is unidirectional. Without this very real dimension (manifold, field, continuum) of time all of history would be a complete contradiction.

Please prove all of your assertions above.

1. Namely prove that a B-theory of time is correct. That alone would be enough to make you famous in the academic community and beyond.

2. Prove also that particular B-theory held by 4th dimensionalists

3. Prove that such must be unidirectional

4. Please explain what you mean by dimension, field, and continuum. These words are not normally interchangeable, and for that matter, the "ok, but what is it?" of a field is conjecture and not settled. Much of the math is worked out, but ask what exactly is a field in field-theory, or even "what is force" and you are in a realm of conjecture, with many scientists having not the foggiest


Of course I am assuming that you are assuming a particular interpretation of the time quotient in the theory of relativity (again, as it exists in the theory it is a mathematical term, you are asserting a reification of that term which needs to be proven, something not down in relativity). So this would probably involve a conflict with quantum theory, and either you would be getting the nobel prize for reconciling/unifying the two or disproving one. After all, modern physics is actually bucking against spacetime within the realm of quantum gravitation (which works better with a Newtownian divorce of the two)


And I am curious about the assertion that history would be a "contradiction" if time is not as real as "space"

I will hasten to add that I deny that space is real. That is I deny that space is absolute (something both Aristotle and Einstein deny). I deny the Newtonian notion that extension can exist outside of something being extended. It seems odd to me that you speak of time and space as different entities (like Newton).

Hold on, maybe that is it. pax, are you asserting that Newtonian physics is fully correct, and that Einstein, Heisenberg, etc are all off? I mean, you are not speaking of spacetime, but are rather reifying both space and time. Einstein rejects the reification of space as Newton would have it.



Ok now it is clearer. By modern physics, you mean modern as in the 16th and 17th and 18th century, as opposed to contemporary physics. The same way we speak of Descartes as modern, but Heidegger as contemporary.


Anyhow, you should know that I deny the reification of either time or space. Maybe if I can find it I will post an article about Aristotle's ether, spacetime and quantum vacuums. There are a lot of similarities, though somethings need correction in Aristotle.

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