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Un moved movers: a very simple and novel form of indeterminism

Laraudogoitia, Jon Perez (2022) Un moved movers: a very simple and novel form of indeterminism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

It is common knowledge that the Aristotelian idea of an unmoved mover (Primum Mobile) was abandoned definitively (from a mechanical standpoint, at least) with the advent of modern science and, in particular, Newton's precise formulation of mechanics. Here I show that the essential attribute of an unmoved mover (in a non-trivial sense, and in the context of infinite systems theory) is not incompatible with such mechanics; quite the contrary, it makes this possible. The unmoved mover model proposed does not involve supertasks, and (perhaps precisely for this reason) leads both to a novel form of indeterminism and a new, accountable form of interaction. The process presents a more precise characterization of the crucial going-to-the-limit operation (which will admittedly require further development in future research). It has long been acknowledged in the existing literature that, theoretically, in infinite Newtonian systems, masses can move from rest to motion through supertasks. Numerous minor variations on the original schemes have already been published. Against this backdrop, this paper introduces three significant additions: 1) It formulates for the first time a limit postulate for systematically addressing infinite systems; 2) It shows that an Aristotelian unmoved mover (with no supertask) is possible in systems of infinitely many particles that interact with each other solely by contact collision; 3) It shows how interaction at a distance can emerge in systems of infinitely many particles (at relative rest) that interact with each other solely by contact.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Laraudogoitia, Jon Perezjon.perez@ehu.es0000-0002-9003-4946
Additional Information: forthcoming in the European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Keywords: unmoved mover; infinite system; Newtonian possible world; limit; contact; collision.
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Depositing User: Dr. Jon Perez Laraudogoitia
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 13:01
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 13:01
Item ID: 20730
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Date: 11 June 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20730

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