Modern vs Classical World

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Leibniz develops a solution of the mind-body problem arising from the dualism of Descartes as an analogy to the well known physical phenomenon of resonance between two pendula or tuning forks swinging in perfect harmony together:

 Leibniz World is a world in such perfect harmony, and as such a Best of Worlds, with everything in resonance with everything else as an expression of Pre-established Perfect Harmony without cause-effect.

Another example is a coldblooded animal with temperature in perfect harmony with that of the environment, again by a resonance phenomenon as analyzed in Computational Black Body Radiation:

 Leibniz World is a Classical World in stationary state of resonance with forces in equilibrium, to be compared with a Modern World in rapid change from non-equilibrium of forces.

In a Classical World in a stationary state of resonance, a distinction between cause and effect cannot be made because the directional aspect of time, with a cause necessarily appearing before an effect, is missing. An example is the Newton’s law of gravitation \rho =\Delta\phi between mass density \rho and gravitational potential \phi, possibly without cause-effect or in any case not with \rho the cause and \phi the effect, as discussed in the previous post and in more detail  here.

In a Modern World changing in time the cause-effect relation is of basic importance, in particular for anyone with ambitions to exercise control and there are many. In a Modern World with the physics of control becomes of paramount importance, and then the basic idea of modern physics of force carrying particles comes in handy:

  • If you want to control something far away, just send some force carrying particles, like rockets or drones and you will be able to complete your mission.
  • A hot body is sending heat energy carrying particles named photons to warm up a cold body.
  • Gravitational forces between bodies are established by exchange of force carrying particles named gravitons.
  • Electromagnetic forces are transmitted by force carrying particles named photons.
  • Strong and weak nuclear forces are transmitted by force carrying particles named gluons and W/Z-bosons.

While there are rockets and drones, the physical existence of particles like photons and gravitons may be more fiction than reality.

Ambitions of control may be huge, while reality of control is another thing. The cause-effect relation may not be want you would like it to be.

Below is a modern physics view of a world filled with force carrying particles:

 Modernity is change and cause-effect action expressed as Will to Power by Nietzsche and in the dynamics of a capitalistic system, in contrast to a classical society in equilibrium. But sociology and politics is not physics, and so the modernity of modern physics may be illusion more than reality.

The revolution into modern physics the beginning of the 20th century (relativity and quantum mecahnics) came along with a revolution of technology (car, telephone, electricity, oil) combined with revolutions in politics, art, music, where old systems were overthrown with radical novelty of top priority. But physics is eternal and does not care about novelty, and so a lot of relevant classical physics (Newtonian mechanics and Maxwellian electromagnetics) was dumped in modern physics.

Modernity as motion was expressed in the avant-garde art movement of futurism:

                                                    Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, by Umberto Boccioni (1913).

1 Comment

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  1. dondeg

    Interesting take on Leibniz. I see your point overall, but not sure if Leibniz is the best idea of a classical world in equilibrium. Don’t get me wrong…I was literally reading some of his writing just a while ago, so I know what he talks about, especially the pre-established harmony. L’s equilibrium though is metaphysical, not physical. The physical for L is always changing.

    It is ironic you would use Newton to illustrate Leibniz since Newton was a total bastard to Leibniz. But you make an interesting point nonetheless.

    ” the physical existence of particles like photons and gravitons may be more fiction than reality”

    I’d like to hear you elaborate on that. Do you have any other posts that do so?

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