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Fundamentally, is there only ‘spacetime’?

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On 5/7/2019 at 8:45 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

My contribution, I see, has sent you in various directions unrelated to my purpose.

 

Whoops!

My purpose on this thread is to learn a wee bit more about reality, specifically to better conceptualize the relationship between space, time and entity (as evidenced by physical science, epistemologically grounded in perception).

I floated Macken’s The Universe is Only Spacetime (+ subsequent updated paper) so that everyone had something concrete to talk about — physics-based (+ appositely contentious).

 

StrictlyLogical, finely tuned as ever to detect any whiff of Rationalism, is absolutely correct in elevating empirical science (no matter how ‘ugly’) over my armchair musings around these issues (no matter how ‘beautiful’ ~ the truth is ultimately more fascinating than falsity any day).

 

 

Here are three loose ends that I'd like to tie-up in a neat loop…  

 

1. The importance of being earnest about indivisibility

If current science points to indivisible individual units then we ought to adopt that conception — wholeheartedly — at least until such indivisibility might be deemed false.

 

Hats off to SL, after more research it seems that indivisibility is a thing — electron as prime example. Even John Macken, in a correspondence on this issue, embraces discrete Planck units as ultimate (although he hints at some wiggle-room for zero-point energy).

 

I admit to finding indivisible particles rather displeasing, but I’ve been won over to the right side!

I now acknowledge that physical indivisibility is literally true — proviso: based upon current knowledge (so don’t sleep too heavily on your laurels!).

 

NB, this is physical indivisibility, not mathematical indivisibility which remains boundless in scale (a trivial truism perhaps as far as concrete physics is concerned).

 

 

2. Particles (non-point-like) or continuum?

Again, on pausing to consider, I concede.

If science indicates indivisible particles (with influence over distances) then that ought to be the conceptual framework to run with, not the more amorphous continuum.

Yes, my comfy armchair philosophizing about boundlessly smaller spacial/temporal scales containing physical variation (entailed in the notion of continuum) is therefore conceptually improper.

 

But, to be clear, we are ruling out concepts based upon the current level of technology in subatomic detection. On reviewing the history of ever-smaller ‘atoms’ being sporadically revealed, ought that knowledge impel us to stick a large lurid post-it note onto our current concept of primary particles to remind us that…

1913955587_Post-It(300px).png.a0fa9f8a62719109170aa772ad821cf3.png

 

However, if the technological capabilities of our colliders continue to improve and yet we are still unable to infer any internal constituent structure from the ensuing data, then that post-it note ought to shrink and fade along with our aching expectations.

 

Reasonable?

 

 

3. Mass-energy + spacetime

On 4/11/2019 at 1:44 PM, Boydstun said:

In general relativity, including in its combine with quantum field theory at the event horizon of a black hole (Hawking radiation), mass-energy is one thing and spacetime with all its curvatures is another thing. Mass-energy is an entity. Distribution of mass-energy in spacetime determines how spacetime will curve.

 

More basic than the Standard Model’s 17-or-so ‘indivisibles’, standard GR+QFT identifies really only two ‘fundamental ingredients’ (forgive me Boydstun if I'm interpreting things over-simplistically here):

1. Mass-energy (absolute existent)
+
2. Spacetime (relative existent)

 

The initial question of this entire topic presupposed such a stripped-down model (for better or worse). “Fundamentally, is there only spacetime?’’ could now be re-posed in the following way…

If the simpler model is valid, might these twin existents (mass-energy + spacetime curvature) be best conceived as either:

1. Utterly separable;

…or…

2. Both parts working together as a mutually generating dichotomy;

…or…

3. Neither — it’s a false dichotomy (‘mutual dichotomy’ being contradictory + ‘separable’ being meaningless within a context of relational existents).

 

 

I suspect the correct answer for now is conceptually ‘utterly separable’ because that’s the way we currently perceive things to be (via colliders and calculations) — that is until actual reciprocality can be proven beyond reasonable doubt (+ any conceptual contradictions are ironed out ~ apropos Macken's theory).

 

 

Do you think that's a fair way to put it (and if so may we conclude the topic on that note)?

 

 

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7 hours ago, A.C.E. said:

My purpose on this thread is to learn a wee bit more about reality, specifically to better conceptualize the relationship between space, time and entity (as evidenced by physical science, epistemologically grounded in perception).

My understanding is that physical scientists can detect no structure to space. This fits with my perception, and my logic, which suggests that space is not material. It is that which matter occupies. Many physical scientists don't like this concept of space, because it flies in the face of materialist theories like the Big Bang. But it's actually the only concept that fits with all the known facts.

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 6:00 AM, A.C.E. said:

Reasonable?

1. and 2. seem reasonable.

On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 6:00 AM, A.C.E. said:

3. Mass-energy + spacetime

On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 7:44 AM, Boydstun said:

In general relativity, including in its combine with quantum field theory at the event horizon of a black hole (Hawking radiation), mass-energy is one thing and spacetime with all its curvatures is another thing. Mass-energy is an entity. Distribution of mass-energy in spacetime determines how spacetime will curve.

 

More basic than the Standard Model’s 17-or-so ‘indivisibles’, standard GR+QFT identifies really only two ‘fundamental ingredients’ (forgive me Boydstun if I'm interpreting things over-simplistically here):

1. Mass-energy (absolute existent)
+
2. Spacetime (relative existent)

This here seems correct.  Although your division into "relative" versus "absolute" is a little odd to my mind.  All of existence is absolute.   The distance between A and B absolutely IS.... it just is not something separable in any way from A and B.

On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 6:00 AM, A.C.E. said:

If the simpler model is valid, might these twin existents (mass-energy + spacetime curvature) be best conceived as either:

1. Utterly separable;

…or…

2. Both parts working together as a mutually generating dichotomy;

…or…

3. Neither — it’s a false dichotomy (‘mutual dichotomy’ being contradictory + ‘separable’ being meaningless within a context of relational existents).

 

 

I suspect the correct answer for now is conceptually ‘utterly separable’ because that’s the way we currently perceive things to be (via colliders and calculations) — that is until actual reciprocality can be proven beyond reasonable doubt (+ any conceptual contradictions are ironed out ~ apropos Macken's theory).

 

 

Do you think that's a fair way to put it (and if so may we conclude the topic on that note)?

 

Spacetime is not "separable" in any way from the entities in existence, as entities relationships in space and time are not "dispensable" in any conceivable way.  The spacetime relationships exist always between entities because no entity is outside of space or time and every entity has a spacetime relationship with every other entity.

So 1 is out.

Existence is not a "dichotomy", spacetime is not a "part" of existence anymore than an attribute or property of an existent is an independent  "part" of existence rather than some "aspect" of the existent. (these sorts of things are conserved among entities and can be exchanged between them etc., but they still are "of" entities at any one time).  Things are, and the things collectively possess relationships (special kinds of attributes or properties of composites).

So 2 is not really coherent

3.

Yes, I have to go with 3.

And No, I do not believe that 1. is how we perceive of things at all.

...................

Hypothetical exercise, in the way of story telling, to convey a sense of something:

Suppose just for a moment that irrespective of what we think, believe, or feel, the universe were such that utterly separate fundamentally DIFFERENT stuffs existed.  Say "protomatter", and "negamatter".  The universe was such that these could be converted one into another,  and the quantities such as energy and mass would be conserved, but these were the only two stuffs, no third stuff existed. At ant one time, the stuffs are only what they are, and not what they are not.  Consider this as absolute metaphysical fact.

No imagine, a person sitting in a nice warm and comfortable room spending hours upon hours meditating upon existence, and finds this "dichotomy" of stuffs to be distasteful.  The person proposes that the universe "really" is made of a third stuff, which is everywhere, literally making up or filling the nothing which is observed as the temporary absence of specific spatial relationships among the protomatter or negamatter, (whenever particular spatial relationships between the protomatter and negamatter which previously were "occupied" are now unoccupied e.g. C was 2 meters beside B  but now "currently no entity X" satisfies the relationship of 2 meters beside B").  Moreover, this third stuff, (call it mono-fundamento-matter) has three states of "existence", one where it behaves like "protomatter", another when it behaves as "negamatter" and yet a third (dormant state) when it behaves as if it did not exist at all, but has a potential to become protomatter or negamatter.  This person reframes the equations which are used to describe known processes and behaviors of protomatter and negamatter to apply to the various states of mono-fundmento-matter.  Because we actually observe those things which actually exist behaving in the way they do and actually observe the absence of anything in the spaces where there are no things behaving or existing, this brilliant person has described the universe in a way which is consistent with what we observe, simply by introducing the third "unifying" stuff, mono-fundamento-matter.  The errors here are the reification of nothing with something, and the erroneous unification of two stuffs as "merely" two "states" of a singular monolithic stuff.

Observe, this kind of error, can ALWAYS be embraced in the absence of something like Occam's or Rand's razor, no matter what the actual absolute metaphysical reality of the universe.  In the example case here, two metaphysically real and distinct stuffs along with the fact that the INFINITE number of possible spatial relationships are not ALWAYS filled... is transformed into a complete fantasy which is nonetheless consistent with observation... and merely requires the mathematical patchwork of all the math regarding what IS known, and what IS consistent with reality as it actually is.

We can go farther, instead of just unifying the two stuffs and the nothing, one can unify everything in existence and not in existence, everywhere and always into merely a single thing (for fun lets call it EXTENZ) which has as its properties and attributes all the observed entities and relationships, properties, attributes, actions and events, that are were or ever will be, as the mere localized expression of EXISTENZ's infinite potentiality... we are all not separate things and there are no separate events... metaphorically... all that IS are but bumps on the back of the great whale which we are too puny to see.... illusory of the oneness the sheer unity of it all. 

 

The kind of error here, is that "the one stuff running though it all" is simply NOT OBSERVED AS RUNNING through it all... if the universe were metaphysically different and exhibited some common thread existing metaphysically running through it all, there might be some observation providing a reason to make the above type of proposal, but absent an observed perceivable reason in reality, "beauty or taste" simply is no way to guide scientific knowledge, and if anything it threatens the kind of errors above. 

Here concepts are multiplied by "desire", clearly being multiplied beyond necessity,and violating Rand's razor, as well as crossing well into "the arbitrary"... complete unmitigated and unjustified fantasy.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Thank you very much SL,

 I really appreciate the effort gone into the story-telling, it works well as a clear explication — very helpful indeed.

 

My last post seems to have ended on a bum note!

Of my three alternatives regarding the best conceptualization for the spacetime/entity relationship, SL went with 3, whereas I had plumped for 1.

 

Let’s see who is right and why…

 

 

After absorbing the analogy of ‘proto-matter’ + ‘nega-matter’ and the intentionally spurious introduction of ‘spacetime-filling’ ‘mono-fundamento-matter’ the habitual errors are exposed as clear as a clanging bell:

  • The reification of nothing with something (exhortatory spacetime-filling).
  • We need actual observable evidence of the unification of stuffs, otherwise keep conceptually separate (as they are objectively observed to be).

 

The story continues into the realms of ‘extenz’ with a further such unification of everything and nothing, underscoring the absurdity of a meta-melding into meaninglessness (meaning = contradistinction).

 

NB, an interesting way to look at it — the pull towards conceptual unification has the air of keen razoring — why have two concept when one will do. However, this intuition is perfidious: unobserved unification is an additional intruder/usurper which itself necessitates razoring away.

 

 

1. Utterly separable?

I had written:

I suspect the correct answer for now is conceptually ‘utterly separable’ because that’s the way we currently perceive things to be (via colliders and calculations)…

 

But I was wrong.

 

‘Utterly separable’ is not the way we currently perceive of spacetime & entities. We naturally perceive space and time as the indispensable dimensions of (and between) entities.

I was confusing this natural perception with that common naive conceptualization of entities being contained within pre-existing space and time. This childish conception is further cemented by talk of ‘empty space’, Kantian a priori, etc., and so it deftly takes on the mantle of a pure percept rather than the infectious proto-concept that it is.

 

More to the point, our concepts must match observable reality!

We ‘see’ space and time as abstracted out from observed entities, we experience these dimensions as utterly relational and therefore un-separable from entities/events.

 

I’ll risk letting you in to my germinating thought process on reading of SL’s reply:

…Oh but I was speaking conceptually, not actually — arghhh whoops! There's my mistake laid bare — there ought not be any difference: objective actuality is the only valid building-block for concepts.

 

 

Therefore SL is correct, spacetime (space–time) is actually relational and thus can not garner ‘separate concept status’ from entities (mass-energy).

 

NB, our maintenance of separate words for ‘spacetime’ and ‘entities’ doesn’t amount to ‘separate concept status’ because ‘spacetime’ is still a legitimate abstraction, similar to any mathematical abstraction derived from observable entities and their relationships.

 

 

2. Both parts working together as a mutually generating dichotomy?

On 5/13/2019 at 10:00 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

Existence is not a "dichotomy", spacetime is not a "part" of existence anymore than an attribute or property of an existent is an independent  "part" of existence rather than some "aspect" of the existent. (these sorts of things are conserved among entities and can be exchanged between them etc., but they still are "of" entities at any one time).  Things are, and the things collectively possess relationships (special kinds of attributes or properties of composites).

So 2 is not really coherent

 

 

Agreed, as I’ve just argued, a relational existent isn’t a ‘separable part’ or ‘conceptual concrete’ so it follows that spacetime shouldn’t be thought of as ‘one part’ of a ‘dichotomy’ with entities.   

 

 

3. Neither?

By process of elimination we find ourselves going with the third alternative (I suppose I could have offered a fourth ‘both 1&2 option’ ~ but two wrongs don’t make a right!).

 

To reiterate…

 

If the simpler model is valid, these ‘twin’ existents (mass-energy + spacetime curvature) are best conceived as:

Mass-energy (absolute entities) acting in a spacial–temporal (‘spacetime’) relationship.

 

Simple really, and I think this fits in with the spirit of SL’s…

On 5/13/2019 at 10:00 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

The spacetime relationships exist always between entities because no entity is outside of space or time and every entity has a spacetime relationship with every other entity.

 

It also chimes with MisterSwig’s insistence that “…space is not material”.

 

 

 

Good — I feel cleansed!

 

 

 

Now, shall we end the topic here ~ an initial foray into conceptualizing spacetime? 

(Or are there still flaws in my reasoning)?

 

 

 

P.S. As we are in the forum’s Physics and Mathematics department, I’ll remind inquisitive minds of the previous links to John A Macken’s physics-heavy work; The Universe is Only Spacetime: Particles, Fields and Forces Derived from the Simplest Starting Assumption + his recent draft summary — Single Component Model of the Universe.

If you think this represents a route towards a fuller understanding of the physical universe ~ or not ~ please post below.

 

Edited by A.C.E.
typo

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5 hours ago, A.C.E. said:

Simple really, and I think this fits in with the spirit of SL’s…

On 5/13/2019 at 1:00 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

The spacetime relationships exist always between entities because no entity is outside of space or time and every entity has a spacetime relationship with every other entity.

 

It also chimes with MisterSwig’s insistence that “…space is not material”.

We appear to be getting closer together in our concepts of space. But I still struggle with the notion of space as a sort of matterless medium for matter. I agree that no entity is outside of space, i.e., material objects must be in space. Any physical thing takes up and moves through space. But does this mean that space must have matter, or things, in it?

I question whether space is a real relationship. Distance, yes. But space seems like something more fundamental. How is a square foot of space relational? There is the square foot of space that relates to my position in my room in California on the planet Earth as it spins and orbits the Sun. Then there is the square foot of space that I just passed through while riding the Earth through the galaxy. Isn't the former idea mistaking airspace for space-space? Is the space through which entire celestial bodies and clusters move also relational in nature?

I consider the hypothetical of matter filling all of space. If that were the case, how could anything move? Wouldn't motion be impossible if reality were a solid mass of material particles? Doesn't existence necessarily require a nonmaterial medium for the movement of material stuff?

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55 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

matterless medium for matter

Your concept of "medium" cannot form the basis for the concept "space" if your concept "medium" already relies upon (perhaps subconsciously) your preconceived notions of space.  A medium after all, is something which is homogeneous and "occupies" space... eventually this reduces to space occupying itself and space is space, neither of which is particularly helpful in your endeavor.

55 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

no entity is outside of space, i.e., material objects must be in space

Yes "outside of space" is an anti-concept, yes, but this does not imply that everything is technically IN space. 

No thing can be without any spatial relationship whatever to any other thing.  The terms "outside of" or "inside of" space are somewhat misleading, since space is a relationship.  In a sense "A outside of B" and "A inside of B" are applicable only to existents A and B, and "outside" and "inside" are themselves spatial relationships. 

That said. common usage, of spaces in spaces is completely analogous to saying distances are greater or smaller or that a length of one thing could not span the entirety of the length of another thing so one "distance" could "fit inside" another... but "distance" as such does not fit in or occupy anything.

Spaces, volumes, areas, distances, and positions designate existing or possible relationships between things.

55 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

I question whether space is a real relationship. Distance, yes. But space seems like something more fundamental. How is a square foot of space relational? There is the square foot of space that relates to my position in my room in California on the planet Earth as it spins and orbits the Sun. Then there is the square foot of space that I just passed through while riding the Earth through the galaxy. Isn't the former idea mistaking airspace for space-space? Is the space through which entire celestial bodies and clusters move also relational in nature?

Space in multiple dimensions is a consequence of the three degrees of freedom of distance between things.  Distance is a vector quantity, it has an x component, a y component and a z component.  A square foot is a quantity in mathematics as is volume.  They are no more measurements of *stuff* or a quantity of stuff, than distance between any two things is a measure of a "length" of *stuff*.

We speak of how "much" distance, or there being "more" distance between things, but that does not imply "more stuff" of any kind.  It merely designates a relationship whose magnitude varies.  A two dimensional relationship (or a relationship with two degrees of freedom) and a three dimensional relationship (or a relationship with three degrees of freedom) also can be measured and magnitudes measured and assigned, but there is no "stuff" involved.

Between you and the door you can say the distance is equivalent to  20 feet, which also means 20 1 foot rulers could span the distance. 

Now a stuff like water can occupy a 1-foot cube because of the constraints on the spatial relationships of the atoms and molecules, imposed by the forces of the electron shells, covalent bonds, etc create.  They to not pass through one another, nor the walls of a container, so a certain amount (number or mass) of water molecules occupy a measured space of say a cubic foot.  A pool in your back yard might be defined as having a volume of 2000 cubic feet, which also means 2000 units of 1 cubic foot of water could "fill" the pool.  The relationships between all of the material composing the walls of the pool are such that they span 2000 cubic feet.

There is no dichotomy between distance and space.

55 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

I consider the hypothetical of matter filling all of space. If that were the case, how could anything move? Wouldn't motion be impossible if reality were a solid mass of material particles? Doesn't existence necessarily require a nonmaterial medium for the movement of material stuff?

?? If reality wasn't what it is... it would not be reality...

Consider the imaginary case of two particles which can have a relationship distance... if they have attributes, like mass or electric charge, they will attract and maybe repulse each other...  these forces depend upon the distance, so the forces felt by them change as the distance changes...  nothing observed about these two particles requires the concept of some medium... distance fully suffices.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

If that were the case, how could anything move?

It would be like ether, and would basically be classical physics in all contexts. 

The problem I think is assuming that space is "empty" (SL addresses this I think). Maybe empty of matter, but that doesn't mean nothing is there. What is there? I don't know enough about quantum mechanics to say, but there is something physical everywhere, and every where. 

But even if there is no room to move as in your counterfactual example, couldn't everything move together? Things could swap places, or momentum could transfer. That's what classical physics would say probably before quantum mechanics. So in a way, yes, there has to be something non-tangible going on, except it would be because we need to account for how things are so dynamic.

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50 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

The problem I think is assuming that space is "empty" (SL addresses this I think). 

Yes .. but not in the way you think.  I have stated that space is not a something which in turn is occupied by a nothing.  Your next statement is incorrect in my opinion.

50 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Maybe empty of matter, but that doesn't mean nothing is there.

It is true that nothing cannot be anywhere... but it is also true that every "there" can happen not to have anything.

The error I think, is your premise that each "there" requires occupation, and your consequent distaste for its "occupation" with a "nothing".  It is TRUE that a "nothing" cannot OCCUPY anything.  BUT it is not true that every "there" needs to be occupied.

Thinking of space as a relationship completely solves the conceptual and aesthetic issue...

The "there" defined as two meters to the left of the top of the basketball, WAS a relationship fulfilled by the golfball (say two days ago) but since you removed the golfball, the atmosphere filled that relationship, until two hours ago you removed the atmosphere (using a cold bell jar to evacuate as much air as possible and then cause the remaining gases to condense at near absolute zero...), after turning off the lights, every few milliseconds, a cosmic ray, or an atom from the very sparse vapor pressure in the bell will occupied the relationship of "there" i.e. two meters to the left of the top of the basketball, at other specific times nothing else in the universe happened to have that relationship with the top of the basketball, better put, each and every other thing in the universe had relationships to the top of the basketball which were other than "there"... there being no more things in the universe ... we conclude there are more "theres" than there are things.

Be assured, the "there" will be occupied when and if a next entity happens to have that relationship with the top of the basketball... so it makes sense to conceive of the "there" always, at some times as a potential relationship and at other times as an actual one. 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Does it really need to be thought of as a relationship though? I mean, wouldn't it still be fair to consider it physical, in the same way that information is physical, and exists independently of any conceptual operation? This would mean that being physical depends upon a "there", or must be grounded to something possibly measurable (spacetime is measurable in principle). Not that I mean occupying space, occupying space implies matter; I'm saying that matter is not the only kind of physical thing. 

My earlier thought was how atoms are mostly empty of matter. We don't say that there is nothing between the electron and neutron, except to say that there is nothing we can touch. I know that although the position of an electron can only be estimated with a probability, because of the uncertainty principle for things of that small a magnitude, there is some phenomena going on in the entire spread of where electrons could go. That might be an electric field, or other kind of field, which isn't matter, but observable and physical.

My angle here is partly psychology. In terms of observing the world and the mental operations that go on in your brain at the neural level, space and time are unified. Your hippocampus processes space and time in the same way and in the same sense. For sure, the existence of a mental operation doesn't therefore mean that the conceptual representation itself is physical. But I can explore the idea. If space and time can be observed as one, even if we don't have absolute certainty what happens at a specific space and time, then I don't think there can observations without something physical. Uncertainty is baked into quantum mechanics, that's where limits of understanding can occur. But it looks like spacetime isn't near the quantum level, both for physics and psychology. It's really at or near the perceptual level, so perceptual evidence is fair.

As one of the earlier posts said, the OP just sounds like a reformulation of relativity. 

1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The error I think, is your premise that each "there" requires occupation, and your consequent distaste for its "occupation" with a "nothing". 

The premise is that all physically real things are measurable in principle. The issue I have is an informationless location, spacetime that cannot be measured in principle. And of course, I question if spacetime should be thought of as a relationship. We might agree, but the precision I want is very difficult to express.

I've only recently really started to dive into quantum mechanics, so there might be some errors in there.

Edited by Eiuol

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

something possibly measurable

What would a measurement of a "there" consist in? 

It could not consist in measuring things "there", because you would be measuring THINGS which happen to BE "there", and you would not be directly measuring the THERE. 

You could not measure some "attribute" or "property", since "attributes" and "properties" are attributes and properties of THINGs, and don't want to measure things that happen to be there, you want to measure the sheer "there".

Here comes the difficult part, if there is a measurable thing that IS THE THERE, where is it AT?  Is the "there" a thing AT the "there" .. i.e. is it AT itself?  What kind of thing can be AT itself and what does that mean?  If not "being there" but "being THE THERE", where is it?  Nowhere?  Where is the nowhere? 

But you want to measure a THERE so it must be a WHAT... and a WHAT always is SOMEWHERE...

 

A philosophically coherent conception of "space" as a measurable thing rather than a measurable relationship is something I have yet to see. 

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"Empty space" does indeed have attributes.  The permittivity of free space is a physical constant relating to an electric field's ability to spread through empty space.  The permeability of free space is a physical constant relating to a magnetic field's ability to spread through empty space.   It just so happens that the speed of light, sometimes itself regarded as an independent physical constant, is actually predicted and calculated as the inverse of the square root of the product of the permittivity (Greek epsilon )and permeability (Greek mu).

In the equation below the subscript 0 denotes the attribute of empty space.  Space filled with some other material will have different values and a different propagation speed of light.

c0=1/√μ0ε0

Space is not empty.

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30 minutes ago, Grames said:

Space is not empty.

Are you saying “space” is filled with something and therefore not empty?

or

Are you saying space is filled with itself?

or 

Are you saying there is no space to fill to begin with?

or

Are you saying there is space, you can’t fill it, but there is always something in it? 

 

You used the word “empty”, what is the meaning of the concept to which the word ( as you use it) refers?

If you merely said that there are electric fields permeating throughout all of space, that would seem true.  You seem to be saying something else.

You base you conclusion that space is not “empty” because of the permeability and permitivity of what... compared to what?

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

 

Space-time has measurable attributes in addition to curvature.  If it has attributes then it is an existent.  Space-time is not a type of nothing, nor is it a discrete entity.

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1 hour ago, Grames said:

Space-time has measurable attributes in addition to curvature.  If it has attributes then it is an existent.  Space-time is not a type of nothing, nor is it a discrete entity.

Entities are in Space-time relationships... whatever attributes or entities are observed anywhere, they are in those Space-time relationships, they are not Space-time itself.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Just now, StrictlyLogical said:

Entities are in Space-time relationships... whatever attributes or existent observed anywhere are in those Space-time relationships, they are not Space-time itself.

Space-time is not merely a relationship, it is an existent in itself.  For all we know it may even be compound existent, made of more fundamental existents.   Wikipedia can provide an introduction to the topic with the article Zero-point Energy .

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2 minutes ago, Grames said:

Space-time is not merely a relationship, it is an existent in itself.  For all we know it may even be compound existent, made of more fundamental existents.   Wikipedia can provide an introduction to the topic with the article Zero-point Energy .

The article seems to state that energy “exists” (I’ll use the term loosely) every where.  That implies energy or matter fields or something existing everywhere.  

The energy, those fields or that something which are everywhere, are not the “wheres” at which they are.  

E(x,y,z,t) M(x,y,z,t) or any quantity Q(x,y,z,t) at any location in spacetime (x,y,z,t) IS not the location of (x,y,z,t)... it is something AT the location (x,y,z,t)

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10 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

E(x,y,z,t) M(x,y,z,t) or any quantity Q(x,y,z,t) at any location in spacetime (x,y,z,t) IS not the location of (x,y,z,t)... it is something AT the location (x,y,z,t)

Location (x,y,z,t) only exists because of whatever is there.

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26 minutes ago, Grames said:

Location (x,y,z,t) only exists because of whatever is there.

Now space is a conditional existent?  In any case the “there” is not the “what” that is there... A is A.  Moreover for the “Location (x,y,z,t)” to exist, and exist BECAUSE of “whatever is there” it cannot BE the “whatever is there”  anymore than it can be the cause of its own existence.   A is A

Imho rather than a conditional existent, it is an absolute and relational existent.

 

If we disagree at this point I see no way to reach agreement, which is unfortunate because I usually agree with you.

Anyway, it was fun!

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6 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

What would a measurement of a "there" consist in? 

You were basically saying that all things that exist have a location, but not all locations have things. ("Thing" stated loosely):

"BUT it is not true that every "there" needs to be occupied."

What I don't get is your claim that there could be locations without things. If that were true, you would need to consider spacetime as something conceptual or representational (i.e., is a construct). 
 

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6 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You were basically saying that all things that exist have a location, but not all locations have things. ("Thing" stated loosely):

"BUT it is not true that every "there" needs to be occupied."

What I don't get is your claim that there could be locations without things. If that were true, you would need to consider spacetime as something conceptual or representational (i.e., is a construct). 
 

I was not going to do this but just one more.  

If there were only two entities, I would say the distances between them are a relationship.... it is a specific distance at any one time but we also know at various times they can be at other distances and in general they could be at any distance but there must exist some distance relationship between them.  That relationship is absolute in its existence but can potentially be any number of possibilities.  

What we happen to define and conceive of as space includes the particular relationships as well as all the possible ones.

In other words, the way we think about space includes both the absolute particular relationship of the now: the distance they have between them now, and the potential distance relationships they could have in future as well as the previous distance relationships they had in the past.  It should be noted that the distance between these two entities is a single relational existent which changes, not an infinity of relationship existents which rapidly pop into and out of existence.

Consider space to be just as much of a construct as our concept of time. [In fact space as a concept is all wrapped up with time because things move in space over time... spatial relationships change]

Things change and move and we conceive of time to understand and predict how these changes and movements occur.  Time is defined and conceived of as including the past, present, and future.  The events of the past existed .... they do not exist... but things of the now have a causal relationship with the past, they are a direct result via causality or simply continuity ... of things in the past... likewise things of the now have a relationship to things of the future ... the events of which do not exist now, but for which potentialities do exist (because of the relationship of now to the future). 

The sliver of now exists, the past does not exist... it existed, the future does not exist now, it will exist... so does time exist?  Yes.    Does our concept of time include potentialities... and things that are no more? Yes.  

 

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I'm still considering your substantial replies, but I'll try to address a few points.

On 5/16/2019 at 9:54 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

Your concept of "medium" cannot form the basis for the concept "space" if your concept "medium" already relies upon (perhaps subconsciously) your preconceived notions of space.

This seems right. I'm using "medium" analogously. Basically, I'm struck by how physical media can be measured from high density to low density (solids, liquids, and gases). Then there is a perfect vacuum of space, which has zero density. Of course it's not a perfect vacuum anymore once material enters the space, and it's not a medium if nothing is in it. So, yeah, I have to think about that some more.

On 5/16/2019 at 9:54 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

In a sense "A outside of B" and "A inside of B" are applicable only to existents A and B, and "outside" and "inside" are themselves spatial relationships. 

If space is an immaterial, boundless existent, maybe we can only be aware of it indirectly through its dimensional relationships with matter.

Also, when I say that an object is in space, I don't mean to differentiate it with the impossibility of being outside space. I intend to contrast it with being in matter, such as a physical medium of solid, liquid, or gas. I'm describing an environmental condition, not a spatial relationship. It's confusing, though, since I'm envisioning concurrent environmental conditions, where physical media exist simultaneously with and in space. Does that make sense?

On 5/16/2019 at 9:54 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

A square foot is a quantity in mathematics as is volume.  They are no more measurements of *stuff* or a quantity of stuff, than distance between any two things is a measure of a "length" of *stuff*.

I should've said cubic foot instead of square foot, since we don't live in only two dimensions. I don't think space is stuff. Certainly not material stuff. To me, "stuff" suggests individual things. I don't mean a quantity of space things. A cubic foot of space would be a particular region of space. The region would have a spatial relationship to other regions or objects. I see the problem of spatial regions being relative to the position of material objects. But is that because space is a relationship, or because we can only know space through its relationships?

On 5/16/2019 at 9:54 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

Consider the imaginary case of two particles which can have a relationship distance... if they have attributes, like mass or electric charge, they will attract and maybe repulse each other...  these forces depend upon the distance, so the forces felt by them change as the distance changes...  nothing observed about these two particles requires the concept of some medium... distance fully suffices.

Does calling it an environment help? I imagine that your two particles would act differently in a physical medium versus a perfect vacuum. They would be affected by other particles in a physical medium, but not in the vacuum. Distance is not the only external factor involved in the particles' interaction. Whether there is environmental resistance or other forces acting on them matters.   

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 5/16/2019 at 10:29 AM, Eiuol said:

But even if there is no room to move as in your counterfactual example, couldn't everything move together? Things could swap places, or momentum could transfer.

If everything moved together, collisions could not occur and momentum could not transfer. Also, we would have to assume that everything has been moving together throughout all of history, otherwise how did everything initially start moving? Swapping places is interesting, but doesn't it imply permeability, which implies space? 

On 5/16/2019 at 12:43 PM, Eiuol said:

I'm saying that matter is not the only kind of physical thing. 

What would "physical" mean in this view? To me, physical refers to the body of matter, whereas material refers to the substance of matter. Physical focuses on the thing as a whole; material focuses on the thing as a composition. 

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On 5/17/2019 at 3:47 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

The events of the past existed .... they do not exist... but things of the now have a causal relationship with the past, they are a direct result via causality or simply continuity ... of things in the past... likewise things of the now have a relationship to things of the future ... the events of which do not exist now, but for which potentialities do exist (because of the relationship of now to the future). 

The sliver of now exists, the past does not exist... it existed, the future does not exist now, it will exist... so does time exist?  Yes.    Does our concept of time include potentialities... and things that are no more? Yes.  

There is something here that does not match my view of time. Yes, things of the past and things of the future do not exist. There is only what is happening now. In a sense, past things caused things now, through a chain of actions. But we cannot likewise claim a causal relationship between things now and things in the future, because the future hasn't happened; there is no effect that has been caused. The future is only a present idea in someone's head. If anything, the effect is the present idea, which would make the cause past choices.

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:47 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

What we happen to define and conceive of as space includes the particular relationships as well as all the possible ones.

I read all that, and that's fine, but now I'm left wondering what you would say is in between an electron and a neutron. If spacetime is only a relationship, rather than some directly (albeit with tools) observable phenomena of something, then it seems like we have gaps of existence, i.e. nonexistence, throughout the universe. 

3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

If everything moved together, collisions could not occur and momentum could not transfer.

It would be like a propagating wave. Or maybe stretching. But then at some point it probably gets absurd, the smaller scale you get. The article that Grames linked about zero point energy gives some idea of how a true vacuum is (plausibly and up for debate) literally impossible, without assuming some material medium. 

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8 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

What would "physical" mean in this view? 

Physical ought to mean merely causal for the philosophically minded, or else one run's the risk of committing oneself to dictating what the ontology of the universe is from a bedroom or porcelain throne based on a non-physicist understanding of physics.

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