Causality in natural science (American lecture series, by Victor Fritz Lenzen

By Victor Fritz Lenzen

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Extra info for Causality in natural science (American lecture series, publication no. 213. American lectures in philosophy)

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The motion will be reversed by reversal of velocity at any time. If in the equations of motion for a conservative system the time as independent variable is replaced by its negative, the equations remain unchanged. The symmetry of motion with respect to time is a further expression of identity. The motions of observable natural systems are subject to frictional resistance which depends upon velocity. The motions of such isolated non-conservative systems are irre-49- versible. In the previous example of the body which moves along a straight line, if it is subject to frictional resistance it will gradually slow down.

This constant is the acceleration of gravity, but it is also intensity of gravitational field which depends on the mass of the earth and its radius. In uncritical terms, the cause of the second derivative of coordinate for a body of mass m is the force mg which is exerted upon it by the earth. Force may also be expressed in terms of potential energy. The work of a force is defined as the product of force and component of displacement in the direction of the force. The potential energy of a body at a given position in a field of force, and with respect to a standard position, is the work which can be done by the field as the body is displaced from the given to the standard position.

Physical science itself has completely abandoned such simple ideas. Contemporary physics offers theories about the structure of elementary particles which have wave as well as corpuscular properties. The objects of microphysical study have properties and conform to laws which are far removed from the mechanisms of an earlier era. -55- Whether or not these new concepts and laws will serve to explain the laws of biology in terms of physics is undecided. m. file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Juan%20Carlos/Mis%20docum...

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