*Michael J. White*

- Published in print:
- 1992
- Published Online:
- October 2011
- ISBN:
- 9780198239529
- eISBN:
- 9780191679940
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239529.003.0005
- Subject:
- Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter discusses the quantum model of spatial magnitude. There are two forms of the doctrine that spatial magnitude is constituted of quanta. According to the weaker form, it is a physical fact ...
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This chapter discusses the quantum model of spatial magnitude. There are two forms of the doctrine that spatial magnitude is constituted of quanta. According to the weaker form, it is a physical fact that corporeal objects are composed of indivisible quanta. The stronger version of quantum theory holds that spatial quanta are units that are indivisible form a geometrical/topological perspective, and not just from a ‘merely physical one’. The first section examines several atomist arguments for the constitution of physical magnitudes from quanta or partes minimae. The second section looks at the relationship of geometry to the quantum model.Less

This chapter discusses the quantum model of spatial magnitude. There are two forms of the doctrine that spatial magnitude is constituted of quanta. According to the weaker form, it is a physical fact that corporeal objects are composed of indivisible quanta. The stronger version of quantum theory holds that spatial quanta are units that are indivisible form a geometrical/topological perspective, and not just from a ‘merely physical one’. The first section examines several atomist arguments for the constitution of physical magnitudes from quanta or *partes minimae*. The second section looks at the relationship of geometry to the quantum model.

*Michael J. White*

- Published in print:
- 1992
- Published Online:
- October 2011
- ISBN:
- 9780198239529
- eISBN:
- 9780191679940
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239529.003.0009
- Subject:
- Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

Part II investigates two Hellenistic models of spatial magnitude, time, and motion — models that can be seen as conceptual alternatives to the Aristotelian model considered in some detail in Part I. ...
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Part II investigates two Hellenistic models of spatial magnitude, time, and motion — models that can be seen as conceptual alternatives to the Aristotelian model considered in some detail in Part I. One such model is the atomistic or quantum model, associated not only with Epicurean atomists but also with the dialectical philosopher Diodorus Cronus. The other alternative model is Stoic in provenance and involves the elimination of geometrical boundaries and other limit entities from the physical world.Less

Part II investigates two Hellenistic models of spatial magnitude, time, and motion — models that can be seen as conceptual alternatives to the Aristotelian model considered in some detail in Part I. One such model is the atomistic or quantum model, associated not only with Epicurean atomists but also with the dialectical philosopher Diodorus Cronus. The other alternative model is Stoic in provenance and involves the elimination of geometrical boundaries and other limit entities from the physical world.

*Michael J. White*

- Published in print:
- 1992
- Published Online:
- October 2011
- ISBN:
- 9780198239529
- eISBN:
- 9780191679940
- Item type:
- book

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239529.001.0001
- Subject:
- Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This book presents a detailed analysis of three ancient models of spatial magnitude, time, and local motion. The book connects the Aristotelian model, which represents spatial magnitude, time, and ...
More

This book presents a detailed analysis of three ancient models of spatial magnitude, time, and local motion. The book connects the Aristotelian model, which represents spatial magnitude, time, and motion as infinitely divisible and continuous, with the standard ancient geometrical conception of extended magnitude: it is a model which represents the marriage of physical theory and mathematical orthodoxy. In the second half the book discusses two ancient alternatives to the Aristotelian model: ‘quantum’ models, and a Stoic model according to which limit entities such as points, (one-dimensional) edges, and (two-dimensional) surfaces do not exist in (physical) reality. Both these alternative models deny the applicability of standard ‘Euclidean’ ancient geometry to the physical world. A unique feature of the book is the discussion of these ancient models within the context of later philosophical, scientific, and mathematical developments. A basic assumption of the book's approach is that such a contemporary perspective can deepen our understanding not only of ancient philosophy, physics, and mathematics, but also of later developments in the content and methodology of these disciplines.Less

This book presents a detailed analysis of three ancient models of spatial magnitude, time, and local motion. The book connects the Aristotelian model, which represents spatial magnitude, time, and motion as infinitely divisible and continuous, with the standard ancient geometrical conception of extended magnitude: it is a model which represents the marriage of physical theory and mathematical orthodoxy. In the second half the book discusses two ancient alternatives to the Aristotelian model: ‘quantum’ models, and a Stoic model according to which limit entities such as points, (one-dimensional) edges, and (two-dimensional) surfaces do not exist in (physical) reality. Both these alternative models deny the applicability of standard ‘Euclidean’ ancient geometry to the physical world. A unique feature of the book is the discussion of these ancient models within the context of later philosophical, scientific, and mathematical developments. A basic assumption of the book's approach is that such a contemporary perspective can deepen our understanding not only of ancient philosophy, physics, and mathematics, but also of later developments in the content and methodology of these disciplines.