Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Thought about ME

Ok, so our conversation about what actually exists when according to ME left me a little confused and highly doubting the ME theory in general. I still maintain, that according to ME, one partical will exist in many objects at any point in time, and therefore, infinate objects have the potential to exist at the same time using some of the same particals. However, due to the nature that an object would need all it's particals to be complete, there is probably a finite number of objects one partical could belong to at any one time, but still, how does that work? Also, I'm confused, according to ME, if you take away part of an object, like you rip off a scrap from a piece of paper, how exactly does that piece of paper change? Does it still exist but in a different form? Anyway, the thought that at anyone time a finite or infinite (not sure which) amount of objects 'exist' was rather disturbing, esp. when they 'exist' even if you're in an empty room or something. Well, I found that disscussion we had at the end of class worth posting about, so maybe we can continue it here, let me know.
-Rachel

2 Comments:

Blogger Chris Tillman said...

Rachel,

Thanks for your post. I'll try to address some of your questions, but I'm afraid I need more explanation in order to do a good job.

"I still maintain, that according to ME, one particle will exist in many objects at any point in time, and therefore, infinite objects have the potential to exist at the same time using some of the same particles."

According to ME, there are just hunks of matter. It is compatible with ME that many hunks of matter overlap and share some particle as a common part. So whether there are infinitely many object at the same time that use some of the same particles depends upon (i) how many hunks of matter there are and (ii) how many of these hunks of matter overlap. Since ME is silent on (i) and (ii), your suggestion is compatible with ME but is false if either there are only finitely many hunks of matter or if it's not the case that infinitely many hunks of matter overlap. (i) and (ii) are very interesting questions that we do not have time to investigate this semester. But a proponent of ME need only accept your conclusion if she accepts (i) and (ii), which are open to question.


"However, due to the nature that an object would need all it's particles to be complete, there is probably a finite number of objects one particle could belong to at any one time, but still, how does that work?"

I am not entirely sure what you are asking here. According to ME, it is possible that infinitely many objects overlap, but it is consistent as well to suppose that only finitely many objects overlap. Again, the issue here is whether (i) and (ii) are true.


"Also, I'm confused, according to ME, if you take away part of an object, like you rip off a scrap from a piece of paper, how exactly does that piece of paper change? Does it still exist but in a different form?"

Suppose that the particles composed a hunk of matter which we called 'the paper'. Then, if a piece is ripped off, either some matter was destroyed or it was not. If it was, the paper did not survive the ripping. If it was not, the paper survives, perhaps as a "scattered" object. An example of a scattered object is a galaxy. The galaxy is one thing, but its parts are very scattered.

"Anyway, the thought that at anyone time a finite or infinite (not sure which) amount of objects 'exist' was rather disturbing, esp. when they 'exist' even if you're in an empty room or something."

I'm not sure exactly what is disturbing here. Either there are infinitely many things or there are finitely many things. Since the one is true just in case the other is false, it is a logical truth that either there are infinitely or finitely many objects. I don't think that this logical truth is worrying you, so could you explain what it is that is disturbing?

10:00 AM  
Blogger Rory said...

Hi I am writing a paper about time travel and persistence theories. What is ME theory, what does it stand for, and where are some sources? I think it might help my research to look into this.

I am of the opinion that objects or compositions of wholes from parts are just arbitrary human conceptual constructs, and that metaphysically no such non-simples exist. Perhaps somewhat more radically, I believe that not even simples exist! Physically, all matter is always in motion, and I believe that buried in our understanding of the concept of 'object' is actually the idea of stationarity. I deny the existence of intrinsic properties even to subatomic elementary particles-- their quantum properties are fundamental descriptions of how they _interact_ with other things!

So in my opinion all this talk about objects is rather silly. The only thing we should really talk about is spatiotemporal physical phenomena; anything else is just fuzz.

8:54 AM  

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