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6/04/2017 8:44 pm  #1


Quantum mechanics and act and potency

"A potential can only be actualized by something already in act."


"Anything whose existence is really distinct from its essence depends on something else for its esse or existence."

Does quantum mechanics undermine these metaphysical principles? Can mere potential actualize itself?

 

6/06/2017 11:28 am  #2


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

I was just recently looking into this subject and fell upon some works of Dr. Wolfgang Smith and his book 
Quantum Enigma https://www.amazon.ca/Quantum-Enigma-Finding-Hidden-Key/dp/1597310077/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496764756&sr=8-2&keywords=quantum+enigma. I have just started that book but the basic idea is that the subatomic particles are in potency rather than in act and hence when an interaction happens that just actualizes its potential based on the kind of interaction / observations we are doing to it. He tends to think that the issue with Quantum Mechanics is due to the cartesian metaphysical premises and they could be easily solved by replacing them by thomistic ones.

My physics is elementary but I would love to learn more on this topic as well if there are other recommendations on it I would love to hear about them.

 

6/06/2017 12:42 pm  #3


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

Jason wrote:

I was just recently looking into this subject and fell upon some works of Dr. Wolfgang Smith and his book 
Quantum Enigma https://www.amazon.ca/Quantum-Enigma-Finding-Hidden-Key/dp/1597310077/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496764756&sr=8-2&keywords=quantum+enigma. I have just started that book but the basic idea is that the subatomic particles are in potency rather than in act and hence when an interaction happens that just actualizes its potential based on the kind of interaction / observations we are doing to it. He tends to think that the issue with Quantum Mechanics is due to the cartesian metaphysical premises and they could be easily solved by replacing them by thomistic ones.

My physics is elementary but I would love to learn more on this topic as well if there are other recommendations on it I would love to hear about them.

Woah interesting book. Are you saying quantum mechanics may operate in a purely potential realm?

     Thread Starter
 

6/06/2017 4:40 pm  #4


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

RomanJoe wrote:

Jason wrote:

I was just recently looking into this subject and fell upon some works of Dr. Wolfgang Smith and his book 
Quantum Enigma https://www.amazon.ca/Quantum-Enigma-Finding-Hidden-Key/dp/1597310077/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496764756&sr=8-2&keywords=quantum+enigma. I have just started that book but the basic idea is that the subatomic particles are in potency rather than in act and hence when an interaction happens that just actualizes its potential based on the kind of interaction / observations we are doing to it. He tends to think that the issue with Quantum Mechanics is due to the cartesian metaphysical premises and they could be easily solved by replacing them by thomistic ones.

My physics is elementary but I would love to learn more on this topic as well if there are other recommendations on it I would love to hear about them.

Woah interesting book. Are you saying quantum mechanics may operate in a purely potential realm?

Yes as far as I understand it and as such subatomic particles do not have a substantial form they simply exist in what Decartes called res extensae. So the state vector collapses when the particles interacts with res cogitans and it takes on a substantial form based on the many potential states it can have. 

I am still a newbie in this so please take my statement as such but here is another article that might help you as well 
http://www.thomist.org/jourl/1999/Jan%20A%20Smith.htm 

 

 

6/06/2017 4:42 pm  #5


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

My own opinion: even in physics we don't know nearly enough about quantum mechanics to have a full-fledged scientific understanding of what is happening, so at this time trying to construct a full-fledged philosophical interpretation of what is happening is just stupid.

EDIT: This question has come up a lot in the past on this forum, and I've tended to point out why I don't think quantum mechanics comes close to an argument against the Aristotelian idea of act and potency (people who think it does tend either not to understand act/potency or not to understand QM... or both). But it's absurd to attempt a synthesis of the two when QM is still pretty mysterious, and its interpretations so controversial, even among physicists.

Last edited by Alexander (6/06/2017 4:46 pm)

 

6/06/2017 6:44 pm  #6


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

Jason wrote:

RomanJoe wrote:

Jason wrote:

I was just recently looking into this subject and fell upon some works of Dr. Wolfgang Smith and his book 
Quantum Enigma https://www.amazon.ca/Quantum-Enigma-Finding-Hidden-Key/dp/1597310077/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496764756&sr=8-2&keywords=quantum+enigma. I have just started that book but the basic idea is that the subatomic particles are in potency rather than in act and hence when an interaction happens that just actualizes its potential based on the kind of interaction / observations we are doing to it. He tends to think that the issue with Quantum Mechanics is due to the cartesian metaphysical premises and they could be easily solved by replacing them by thomistic ones.

My physics is elementary but I would love to learn more on this topic as well if there are other recommendations on it I would love to hear about them.

Woah interesting book. Are you saying quantum mechanics may operate in a purely potential realm?

Yes as far as I understand it and as such subatomic particles do not have a substantial form they simply exist in what Decartes called res extensae. So the state vector collapses when the particles interacts with res cogitans and it takes on a substantial form based on the many potential states it can have. 

I am still a newbie in this so please take my statement as such but here is another article that might help you as well 
http://www.thomist.org/jourl/1999/Jan%20A%20Smith.htm 

 

Would this be admitting that a potential can actualize itself? Unless of course we could discover something already in act which actualizes the potential.

     Thread Starter
 

6/07/2017 11:21 am  #7


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

RomanJoe wrote:

Jason wrote:

RomanJoe wrote:


Woah interesting book. Are you saying quantum mechanics may operate in a purely potential realm?

Yes as far as I understand it and as such subatomic particles do not have a substantial form they simply exist in what Decartes called res extensae. So the state vector collapses when the particles interacts with res cogitans and it takes on a substantial form based on the many potential states it can have. 

I am still a newbie in this so please take my statement as such but here is another article that might help you as well 
http://www.thomist.org/jourl/1999/Jan%20A%20Smith.htm 

 

Would this be admitting that a potential can actualize itself? Unless of course we could discover something already in act which actualizes the potential.

No what I am saying is that the measurement equipment (res cogitans) is the one that transfer act to the particles. No matter how good your measurements are of an object they are just a part of that object that describe it and not its essence.

 

6/07/2017 7:02 pm  #8


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

Hi RomanJoe,

Maybe this blog post will help you: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-and-radioactive-decay.html

 

6/07/2017 7:08 pm  #9


Re: Quantum mechanics and act and potency

Jason wrote:

RomanJoe wrote:

Jason wrote:


Yes as far as I understand it and as such subatomic particles do not have a substantial form they simply exist in what Decartes called res extensae. So the state vector collapses when the particles interacts with res cogitans and it takes on a substantial form based on the many potential states it can have. 

I am still a newbie in this so please take my statement as such but here is another article that might help you as well 
http://www.thomist.org/jourl/1999/Jan%20A%20Smith.htm 

 

Would this be admitting that a potential can actualize itself? Unless of course we could discover something already in act which actualizes the potential.

No what I am saying is that the measurement equipment (res cogitans) is the one that transfer act to the particles. No matter how good your measurements are of an object they are just a part of that object that describe it and not its essence.

Ah, okay. 
 

     Thread Starter
 

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