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This has always bugged me (eternal, finite universe, plenum)

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The universe cannot conceivably have an "edge".

 

It's been suggested that it may be spherical in higher dimensions [like Pac-Man; flying off of one side causes you to emerge on the other] or that it may be intuitively infinite; both are plausible to me.  However. . .

 

The concept of "length" is formed by comparing multiple entities, observing and identifying the differences in their sizes/shapes.

The concept of "distance" is formed by comparing multiple relationships between entities, observing and identifying the differences of their arrangements.

And while there is usually air inbetween any given pair of entities, that's derivative knowledge; a two-year-old forms the concept of "distance" specifically by considering them as separated by empty space.

 

So while the universe may be a metaphysical plenum (idk) that doesn't invalidate the concept of "space", which is relational between entities.  And I don't see how asserting that a hypothetical volume could truly be "empty" is an assertion of nonexistence; it's only asserting that there are 'no existents here' (which is just as valid as 'no jedi here').

 

What would be asserting the existence of a nothing is the concept of the universe's "edge" if it would be in any way discernable from the rest of the universe- because an edge divides one thing from another.

So if I were to declare that at some spot in space there is an "edge" of space, that would be a reification of the zero.  Specifically because it turns "space" from a relationship into its own entity.

"And I don't see how asserting that a hypothetical volume could truly be "empty" is an assertion of nonexistence; it's only asserting that there are 'no existents here"

 

That is what I contend when talking about "empty space", but LP argues that is asserting the existence of non-existence. The universe to him has to be filled to the brim with entities, what we consider "empty" no electrons, protons, etc. is just space filled with some undiscovered entities.

 

"So if I were to declare that at some spot in space there is an "edge" of space, that would be a reification of the zero.  Specifically because it turns "space" from a relationship into its own entity."

 

I would think so exactly, there is this universe of existence according to LP (listen to the links above) and then there is this edge, because obviously the universe is finite. An edge would presume contact with something else, this something else would have to be the exact opposite of existence, non-existence, why else an edge then. This to me would make non-existence a real thing.

 

To me this is how I picture the universe, as a bunch of existents patterned into galaxies, clusters, etc., who knows what other structures, enveloped in empty space, empty merely because the universe is finite and there is no edge to anything. Empty merely meaning an absence of entities.

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I'd be interested to know how he arrived at the conclusion that the universe in either sense (all 'things' or all 'places' because there seems to be some equivocation) must be finite.

On the "edge" of space:

 

-An object at rest will stay at rest until acted on, an object in motion will stay in motion, etc.

-For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 

-There is a boundary at the "edge" of space, such that an object whose path intersected it would be stopped (like a wall).

 

Where would the kinetic energy go?

---

 

That solves every conceivable sort of boundary which I was concerned with.

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Per Wikipedia, regarding an article on outer space, cites a density of less than 1 atom of hydrogen per cubic meter.

According to a NASA citation, they're willing to commit to 1 particle per cubic centimeter, along with a citation of (a refinement of?) 2*10-31 gm/cm3 (which would need to be converted via Avogadro's mole.)

Interestingly enough, there are 1 million cubic centimeters in a cubic meter (ref.). Quite a discrepancy.

 

If a Cartesian quadrant of either one cubic centimeter or meter were to be segregated somehow - say, in a box - could a hydrogen atom move about within the specified region?

 

Would you consider it an equivocation to suggest that if there were truly "nothing" between the 'walls of this box' - that the walls would be 'flat' up against one another? (i.e.: a Cartesian quadrant measuring 0 cubic centimeters or meters?) In this sense, the equivocation might be drawn on the implications of the concept 'void'.

 

 

 

 

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He says that in his history of philosophy course when talking about Heraclitus and his idea, in which LP agrees, that the universe has to be a plenum because "there can't be nothing", nothing cannot exist.

 

LP goes over some questions on the Universe in these links:

 

http://www.peikoff.com/page/6/?s=universe#list

 

http://www.peikoff.com/page/5/?s=universe#list

 

In the first link, in an answer, he makes the claim that there is existence, a plenum by his accounts, filled to the brim with existents, whether that be protons, neutrons, electrons, and presumably some unknown other stuff we haven't discovered yet, and then there is a boundary to it and non-existence. He claims that if you were to try to travel to that boundary, and "through" it, you physically couldn't.

 

To me, as soon as you put forth this claim to a "boundary", the next thing I think of is a boundary between what and what. That other what beings something that exists, not some "non-existence", it seems ludicrous to me.

 

When you say my hands are the existents in the plenum argument, no, not according to LP, there would have to be some other existents in between them. He would not accept any absence of entities in between them.

 

I missed the LP reference to "plenum" (if it was there in those links), and I definitely did not take away from those discussions that he is saying the world is literally "filled" with matter (or, "existents") and, further, that voids in space are impossible.   This is just to say that I still don't understand the source of this "plenum" question.  

 

But, if I am correct,you are disputing a supposed claim that says, (paraphrasing), "No measurable or definable aspect of the universe is without some entity." 

 

Perhaps this is both a physics and philosophical question.  

 

Best way I can say it is going back to my two hands analogy:

The space between your two hands is a distance. The plenum argument says that there must be other existents in that space (distance). 

 

 

If you wish to discount distance as an existent, then how would you answer the following question:  

 

If "nothing" exists between my two hands, then why aren't they touching each other?

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  • 1 month later...

I understand that their are no actual infinities. The infinite in mathematics is just a potentiality. I understand that the universe has to be eternal, meaning outside of time or always existing, because the opposite, that it was "created" is nonsense and violates A is A, etc. Same thing with its finiteness, there can't exist an actual infinite amount of things.

 

I don't understand, however, why the universe has to be a plenum, that every nook and cranny has to be "filled" with existents. I just don't see why that is necessary, from how I believe LP explained it, that to say their is "empty space" is to say that nothing exists. I don't see it that way, when saying no thing (i.e. nothing) occupies a volume you are not saying that a unit(s) of nothingness exist in that volume, you are just saying that at that given point in time, no actual existents are occupying it, and that can change, some thing can move into it.

 

The universe being a plenum, to me brings up a very complicated problem, namely that question that is always brought up, what is outside of it. What happens when you approach the "edge", because the universe is finite. Then LP will of course reply with, well you can't ask that, that question is invalid, etc. I think he or some Objectivist said the universe will have a way to make it so you can't reach the edge, which I thought was a bit outside the purview of metaphysics, describing how the universe works physically.

 

A finite and non-plenum universe would have no edge, it would be just a bunch a finite matter interacting within a void. And that void would stretch out infinitely in all directions, infinite because the infinite can be applied to a non-entity, really just a concept used in relationships of existents, "space".

 

That was my tirade on a plenum.

 

Now back to eternality, and finiteness, from the beginning.

 

But when picturing this it seems somewhat odd, or you can't really wrap your head around it. Wouldn't an eternal universe have an infinite amount of events, happening within it. Doesn't that violate A is A?

 

I guess there isn't really anything wrong with the finite part, it would seem a bit odd though when thinking about it in both a non-plenum or plenum universe. The non-plenum being the fact that if you "left" the universe, there being no edge, just leaving the vicinity of all those other existents, and kept looking back at it the scale of the universe would look pretty small a ways out there. And I think I explained earlier the weirdness of the plenum finiteness, there being an edge, what is outside, and so forth.

 

If anyone can share their thoughts on the subject that would be great.

Yes, Cantor proved that there are many actual infinities.

 

The universe is not outside of time, and is filled with 'things' as an astro-physical fact. ther is no void, hence, no 'space'.

 

That the universe is relatively flat with an edge enables microwaves  to bounce back, from said edge, thereby offering big-bang evidence.

 

Lastly, I'm really not sure as to whether statements of formal logic such as A=A have much to do with the understanding of science.

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1.) Yes, Cantor proved that there are many actual infinities.

 

2.) The universe is not outside of time, and is filled with 'things' as an astro-physical fact. ther is no void, hence, no 'space'.

 

3.) That the universe is relatively flat with an edge enables microwaves  to bounce back, from said edge, thereby offering big-bang evidence.

 

4.) Lastly, I'm really not sure as to whether statements of formal logic such as A=A have much to do with the understanding of science.

1.) It is commonly accepted that Cantor proved there are many actual infinities.  Knowledge, however, is not something acquired by how commonly accepted it is, i.e., that the earth is flat.

 

2.) The universe, or existence, is not in time, rather time is in the universe. It was Parmenides who correctly identified the philosophic position with "What is, is." and the correct converse of "What is not, is not."  While there are no regions of non-existence within existence, the term space is a relational notion, so if you are referring to no "space" in the sense of a tangible concrete, it would fit.

 

For your last two assertions, the formal logic derived from Aristotle, later, its essence put into the short tautology of "A is A" is not so much to do with the understanding of science per se, but to serve as an epistemological framework to guide one's self if proper thinking leading to knowledge is the desired goal.

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1.) It is commonly accepted that Cantor proved there are many actual infinities.  Knowledge, however, is not something acquired by how commonly accepted it is, i.e., that the earth is flat.

 

2.) The universe, or existence, is not in time, rather time is in the universe. It was Parmenides who correctly identified the philosophic position with "What is, is." and the correct converse of "What is not, is not."  While there are no regions of non-existence within existence, the term space is a relational notion, so if you are referring to no "space" in the sense of a tangible concrete, it would fit.

 

For your last two assertions, the formal logic derived from Aristotle, later, its essence put into the short tautology of "A is A" is not so much to do with the understanding of science per se, but to serve as an epistemological framework to guide one's self if proper thinking leading to knowledge is the desired goal.

1) Abbot is free to look up Cantor's proofs at his own convenience. So are you. If, after reading,either of you decide that it's within the 'flat earth' genre, i'll be happy to explain. Otheriwse, you're statement is empty rhetoric.

 

2) No, according to both Relativites, time is a basic constituent as to what the universe consists. Parmenides did not do Physics.

 

:"Space" is not 'relational' as far as Physics goes. Rather it's a meaphor that's basically nonsense.

 

3) A=A is not epistemology. rather. logic. As epistemology is abouit how we justify statements as true, to claim that such statement is A-true  because it's A is a hopeless tautology.

 

FH

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1) Abbot is free to look up Cantor's proofs at his own convenience. So are you. If, after reading,either of you decide that it's within the 'flat earth' genre, i'll be happy to explain. Otheriwse, you're statement is empty rhetoric.

 

2) No, according to both Relativites, time is a basic constituent as to what the universe consists. Parmenides did not do Physics.

 

:"Space" is not 'relational' as far as Physics goes. Rather it's a meaphor that's basically nonsense.

 

3) A=A is not epistemology. rather. logic. As epistemology is abouit how we justify statements as true, to claim that such statement is A-true  because it's A is a hopeless tautology.

 

FH

1.) Does that explanation elucidate why a 10mm line, 10mm x 10mm area and a 10mm x 10mm x 10mm cube contain the same number of points without taking into consideration point densities?

 

2.) I find time as a method of recognition or establishing a unit of motion with which to measure other units of motion quite satisfactory. And you are quite correct about Parmenides. He did not do Physics, He addressed a basic philosophic issue with its basic philosophic answer.

 

3.) Thank-you for stating your assessment (your implicit philosophic position) on this philosophic premise so succinctly.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Where would the kinetic energy go?

It bounces back and is received by ultra-sophisticated microwave devices....as waves.

Waves of kinetic energy?  Or have you not considered what would happen to physical objects?

And how quickly are these microwaves travelling, to arrive at Earth from the very edge of the universe?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)     

 

A=A, you know; meaning that "light" travels at the "speed of light".  Even if you wanted to get technical about speeds relative to the observer (in this case, Earth) we would have to be moving towards the edge of space in order to see its light across such distances.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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1.) Does that explanation elucidate why a 10mm line, 10mm x 10mm area and a 10mm x 10mm x 10mm cube contain the same number of points without taking into consideration point densities?

 

2.) I find time as a method of recognition or establishing a unit of motion with which to measure other units of motion quite satisfactory. And you are quite correct about Parmenides. He did not do Physics, He addressed a basic philosophic issue with its basic philosophic answer.

 

3.) Thank-you for stating your assessment (your implicit philosophic position) on this philosophic premise so succinctly.

 >>>why a 10mm line, 10mm x 10mm area and a 10mm x 10mm x 10mm cube contain the same number of points<<<<

 

Cantor wrote that because the infinities of line and space are different, they  are therefore real. 

 

>> find time as a method of recognition or establishing a unit of motion with which to measure other units of motion quite satisfactory.>>>

 

You could not do the math or either of the two relitivities with this notion of time.

 

My explicit philosophical position is the orthox one in this regard: A+A is logic, not epistemology. It's statement cannot justify truth because everyone feel that their own A's equal real A's.

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Waves of kinetic energy?  Or have you not considered what would happen to physical objects?

And how quickly are these microwaves travelling, to arrive at Earth from the very edge of the universe?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)     

 

A=A, you know; meaning that "light" travels at the "speed of light".  Even if you wanted to get technical about speeds relative to the observer (in this case, Earth) we would have to be moving towards the edge of space in order to see its light across such distances.

Band shifting towards red indicate that galaxies are moving apart.

 

As for the bounce-back, they already have, from the time of the universe's creation. With hearing devices that are sufficiently sensitive, we can listen to the primordal echo of the big bang...

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 >>>why a 10mm line, 10mm x 10mm area and a 10mm x 10mm x 10mm cube contain the same number of points<<<<

 

1.) Cantor wrote that because the infinities of line and space are different, they  are therefore real. 

 

>> find time as a method of recognition or establishing a unit of motion with which to measure other units of motion quite satisfactory.>>>

 

2.) You could not do the math or either of the two relitivities with this notion of time.

 

3.) My explicit philosophical position is the orthox one in this regard: A+A is logic, not epistemology. It's statement cannot justify truth because everyone feel that their own A's equal real A's.

1.) Thanks for the explanation. I just don't know how I could have been so mistaken about this.

 

2.) I'll try to keep that in mind when evaluating how many days are in a year.

 

3.) Did you just come here to tell visitors of this forum your explicit orthodox philosophic position?

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>> find time as a method of recognition or establishing a unit of motion with which to measure other units of motion quite satisfactory.>>>

 

You could not do the math or either of the two relitivities with this notion of time.

The theory of relativity (both general and special) states that all measurements of time and space are relative- specifically relative to the speed of whoever is measuring.  A "measure of motion" is a speed!

So for your information, not only was Dream Weaver's  statement compatible with the relativistic conception of time; it was actually synonymous!

 

I won't give you any rhetorical questions because that would be deceptive.  I'm simply indicating, for the sake of anyone else who reads this, not to take you seriously- because you don't, either.

 

 

My explicit philosophical position is the orthox one in this regard: A+A is logic, not epistemology. It's statement cannot justify truth because everyone feel that their own A's equal real A's.

This final response is a negation of objective truth, on the basis of disagreement.  This means that something can only be true if everyone agrees that it's true.  This means that in Frank's own mind, not only does he substitute the opinions of other people as his own- he considers that the proper method of coming to any sort of conclusion (because he didn't hesitate to mention it, explicitly and with moral authority).

 

As for the bounce-back, they already have, from the time of the universe's creation. With hearing devices that are sufficiently sensitive, we can listen to the primordal echo of the big bang...

And Frank could not possibly have missed so much of the content he was responding to here, if he had anywhere near the scientific familiarity which he pretends to.  It is worth noting that no matter how blatant or numerous his factual errors, he has yet to drop the grandiosity.

It is worth noting that because it lends further insight into the epistemology he, himself, confessed to holding.  He places higher importance on tones and impressions than whatever he happens to actually say.

 

3.) Did you just come here to tell visitors of this forum your explicit orthodox philosophic position?

Doubtful.  It's more likely that he simply wants to express that he has one (since he really couldn't care less which).

After all, the only title which carries more authority than "scientist" is "philosopher". 

. . . . .

 

So Frank, if you feel inclined to answer anything, please respond to this:

I will disagree with anything else you have to say.  And since I would disagree with it, nothing you could say could possibly be true.

 

How would you respond to that?

. . . . .

 

To everyone else who reads this: 

I'm sorry for derailing this thread so completely; this will be its final off-topic post from me.  I simply wanted to say it once because the pretense of "science" was driving me insane.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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To everyone else who reads this: 

I'm sorry for derailing this thread so completely; this will be its final off-topic post from me.  I simply wanted to say it once because the pretense of "science" was driving me insane.

The allegation of empty rhetoric from practitioner, none the less.

 

The point density inquiry probes into a more subtle equivocation error. When measuring anything, it is important to keep in mind what is being measured, and keep the unit in mind while determining the magnitude.

abott1776, about half way down this link is a section on Space, Void and Vacuum.

It is written by Michael Miller, dubbed as an Objectivist filosopher.

 

You may find some of his commentary fruitful to 'chew on'.

And this reference was much clearer to me than an assertion about Cantor's ideas regarding actual infinities shed on the topic.

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The theory of relativity (both general and special) states that all measurements of time and space are relative- specifically relative to the speed of whoever is measuring.  A "measure of motion" is a speed!

So for your information, not only was Dream Weaver's  statement compatible with the relativistic conception of time; it was actually synonymous!

 

I won't give you any rhetorical questions because that would be deceptive.  I'm simply indicating, for the sake of anyone else who reads this, not to take you seriously- because you don't, either.

 

This final response is a negation of objective truth, on the basis of disagreement.  This means that something can only be true if everyone agrees that it's true.  This means that in Frank's own mind, not only does he substitute the opinions of other people as his own- he considers that the proper method of coming to any sort of conclusion (because he didn't hesitate to mention it, explicitly and with moral authority).

 

And Frank could not possibly have missed so much of the content he was responding to here, if he had anywhere near the scientific familiarity which he pretends to.  It is worth noting that no matter how blatant or numerous his factual errors, he has yet to drop the grandiosity.

It is worth noting that because it lends further insight into the epistemology he, himself, confessed to holding.  He places higher importance on tones and impressions than whatever he happens to actually say.

 

Doubtful.  It's more likely that he simply wants to express that he has one (since he really couldn't care less which).

After all, the only title which carries more authority than "scientist" is "philosopher". 

. . . . .

 

So Frank, if you feel inclined to answer anything, please respond to this:

I will disagree with anything else you have to say.  And since I would disagree with it, nothing you could say could possibly be true.

 

How would you respond to that?

. . . . .

 

To everyone else who reads this: 

I'm sorry for derailing this thread so completely; this will be its final off-topic post from me.  I simply wanted to say it once because the pretense of "science" was driving me insane.

First, there are two relativities--not 'a' theory with two parts.

 

Special says that the Lorentz contraction is present as a third coefficient in all Newtonians. 

 

General calculates how gravity bends light.As the velocity of light serves as a standard © by which both time and distance can be measured, gravity 'reletivizes' this measurement.

 

Now i'll be happy to go into greater detail, but my basic point is that before you 'do' philosoophy, you need to grasp the science.

 

* The two relativities are first of all...equations. If you don't understand the equations, all further commentary is useless.

 

* 'Space' isn't empty

 

* The universe, while expanding, has finite boundaries, or an 'edge'. Weyl geodesics explains how gravity works in these far reaches, absent of any mass.

 

* In sum, there is not an 'Objectivist' physics, rather objectivist insights as to what physics means. Fierts, know the physics, Or as Kant said, 'Dare to know'.

 

FH

 

 

 

FH

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