Saturday, July 20, 2013

When I break down.. (the potentiality/actuality comment)

"These are well defined by Aristotle." Right! So let's all imagine that we're living in the days of Aristotle! (384 BC – 322 BC) " His purpose was to respond to Parmenides and Zeno at the Eleatic school, who claimed that change does not occur. They claimed that there is only being, and non-being, and being cannot come from non-being, and being already is, and so therefore nothing ever changes." Close your eyes tight shut and think, we're back some 2,400 years now, and Aristotle is about to give Zeno a pwning! Aquinas, well, he's just a 'potentiality' as far as we're concerned, no? "But Aristotle thought this was wrong, and tried to work out why it was." " His answer is that there is a sort of middle-ground between being and non-being: potentiality. Take a glass of water on your table. It is actually on the table, but potentially spilled on the floor, potentially drunk, potentially evaporated, and so on." And of course if you've been squeezing your eyes shut tight all this time, you're still imagining that you're back in the 4th. Century B.C.E. " It has the capacity to change, and this capacity for a future state is called potentiality, by Aristotle. >the total sum of energy in the universe, even if it is finite, is sufficient to describe all instances of potentiality coming to actuality There is a lot more to the Aristotelian position. " Is there really 'a lot' to Aristotle's stuff in the 21st. Century, or is there a lot less than there used to be?

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