As I observed previously, there was a fork in the road
of the path of science back in the 17th century at which,
given the Cartesian choice, Newton considered reality
to consist of the physical-- which means entities
such as matter which are extended in space.
Leibniz, on the other hand, argued that physical
or extended existence is not reality, instead,
inextended or mental existence is the true reality,
that the physical world we see is, to use Kant's term,
phenomenol, although it appears "as if" matter is solid
and experiments can be performed on it, and
you can still stub your toe, etc.
Such issues are argued by Leibniz with a
friend of Newton's a Mr. Claeke, in a series of
correspondences. To back up Leibniz' position,
the major physical quantities are actually
inextended in space, and only becoime apparent
or measurable when they act of physical bodies.
Kant pointed out, in addition, that space and time
are only mental intuitions. So I might add
to the above list. If not phenomenol, time and distance
are known to be relative quantities since Einstein.
- Roger Clough
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