Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ludwig B├╝chner:
Force and Matter--Empirico-Philosophical Studies Intelligibly Rendered, 1855



This is one of the most successful, and early, statements on Materialism stemming from the conclusions of the New Science.

Force and Matter

No force without matter---no matter without force! Neither can be thought of per se; separated, they become empty abstractions. Imagine matter without force, and the minute particles of which a body consists, without that system of mutual attraction and repulsion which holds them together and gives form and shape to the body; imagine the molecular forces of cohesion and affinity removed, what then would be the consequence? The matter must instantly break up into a shapeless nothing. We know in the physical world of no instance of any particle of matter which is not endowed with forces, by means of which it plays its appointed part in some form or another, sometimes in connection with similar or with dissimilar particles. Nor are we in imagination capable of forming a conception of matter without force. . . . Force without matter is equally an idle notion. It being a law admitting of no exception that force can only be manifested in matter, it follows that force can as little possess a separate existence as matter without force....

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