By C. H. Whiteley
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Additional info for An Introduction to Metaphysics
Heisenberg showed that, with any apparatus which we possess or can conceive as physically possible, it is impossible to discover both the precise position and the precise velocity of an electron within certain margins of error and therefore the ideal of a complete deterministic account of the universe is in principle unattainable, since we can never obtain with sufficient accuracy the primary data from which such an account must start. This discovery is of But its metagreat importance for scientific procedure.
I do not think we can. To justify such a way of speaking, we should have to assume that all change in the world is merely the re-arrangement of existing material that there is no that nothing is ever created or destroyed exists at the what in and the world so, genuine novelty ; ; ; An 34 Introduction to Metaphysics end of a process must be the same as what existed at the beginning of it. Unless you assume this, you cannot show that a complex living body is nothing more than its physical material arranged in a particular way.
Coal is hard, black, heavy ; sugar is soft, white, sweet, etc. But in the descriptions of the world given by modern physics, no such properties appear. Atoms and electrons are not credited with solid, colour, warmth or coldness, hardness or softness, or any properties of sound or smell or taste. They are credited with a position, and a rate and direction of motion, and with certain other of which to be the appear " mass," " energy," When we ask chief. charge what these fundamental properties are and how they are ascertained, it seems that all of them are definable in terms " electric properties, " Materialism of motion the : " " mass," 23 " energy," electric " charge particle signify various propensities of that particle to certain directions at certain velocities when in of a move in certain relations to other particles, arid various propensities of other move in certain ways when in certain relations particles to Thus an essential principle of the methods of procedure of modern physics was laid down in Galileo's with it.