Download Bodies and Media: On the Motion of Inanimate Objects in by Ido Yavetz PDF

By Ido Yavetz

This booklet offers a recasting of Aristotle’s conception of spatial displacement of inanimate gadgets. Aristotle’s declare that projectiles are actively carried through the media by which they circulate (such as air or water) is widely known and has drawn the eye of commentators from historic to trendy instances. what's missing, despite the fact that, is a scientific research of the implications of his advice that the medium always acts because the direct tool of locomotion, be it common or compelled, whereas unique movers (e.g. stone throwers, catapults, bowstrings) act in some way via impressing relocating strength into the medium. Filling this hole and guided by way of discussions in Aristotle’s Physics and at the Heavens, the current quantity exhibits that Aristotle’s energetic medium permits his concept - within which strength is proportional to hurry - to account for a wide category of phenomena that Newtonian dynamics - during which strength is proportional to acceleration - debts for in the course of the inspiration of inertia. through using Aristotle’s medium dynamics to projectile flight and to collisions that contain reversal of movement, the ebook presents designated examples of the efficacy and coherence that the energetic medium offers to Aristotle’s discussions. The publication is directed basically to historians of old, medieval, and early smooth technology, to philosophers of technological know-how and to scholars of Aristotle’s traditional philosophy.

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Extra resources for Bodies and Media: On the Motion of Inanimate Objects in Aristotle’s Physics and On the Heavens

Example text

Now supposed A, the weightless body, is moved the distance CE, and B, the heavy body, the distance CD in an equal time. If the heavy body be divided in the proportion in which CE stands to CD, the part cut off from it will as a result be moved CE in an equal time, since the whole was moved CD. For as the greater body is to the less, so will be the speed of the lesser body to that of the greater. Thus a weightless body and a heavy body will be moved an equal distance in the same time, and this is impossible.

1 4 1 2 1 sec. . . 1 1 ... — 8 16 In a finite universe like Aristotle’s the objection to endlessly accelerating motion is clear: it leads to infinite speeds that necessarily imply an infinite supply of space. But what of a mobile that covers half a meter in the first second, a quarter of a meter in the second, an eighth in the third, etc.? (Fig. 4) Such a motion has a very definite distance limit of 1 meter—no more, and no less, so the objection to infinite distances that undermines endless acceleration does not apply.

But then the quicker body would move the same distance as the slower one in a lesser time, suggesting that an instant of time is divisible, which is, of course, impossible. Therefore, motion in an instant is not possible. Furthermore, Aristotle continues, since rest is attributable only to things that have the ability to move, the argument still applies, and instantaneous rest is equally impossible as instantaneous motion. At an instant, things cannot be either in motion, or at rest. An instant is a cut in time; it may be passed through, but nothing at all can ever be in it.

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