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Achilles, the Tortoise and Quantum Mechanics

Driessen, Alfred (2018) Achilles, the Tortoise and Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The four antinomies of Zeno of Elea, especially Achilles and the tortoise continue to be provoking issues which are even now not always satisfactory solved. Aristotle himself used this antinomy to develop his understanding of movement: it is a fluent continuum that has to be treated as a whole. The parts, if any, are only potentially present in the whole. And that is exactly what quantum mechanics is claiming: movement is quantized in contrast to classical mechanics. The objective of this study is to show the merits of the Aristotelian approach. It is a good candidate for serving as the philosophical background for understanding fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics. Especially mentioned are the influence of the final state in quantum mechanics that in philosophy could be correlated with the final cause. Like in the work of Aristotle also in this study examples from science are presented to illustrate the philosophical approach. But, in contrast to ancient Greek, the examples now relate to issues which are only fully accessible to the scientifically trained reader. As the main conclusion the dialogue between scientists and philosophers is strongly recommended which will result in progress in both disciplines.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Driessen, AlfredDriessen.Alfred@gmail.com0000-0002-7901-4020
Keywords: Zeno's antinomy, Aristotle, Quantum Mechanics, continuum, final cause
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Alfred Driessen
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2018 00:33
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2018 00:33
Item ID: 14964
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 24 August 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14964

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