[hist-analytic] Materialism and mass as a unit of measurement
Roger Bishop Jones
rbj at rbjones.com
Sat Jan 29 11:26:12 EST 2011
I didn't understand much of your reply Steve, but we may be
on a hide-into-nothing since I don't know anything of Block-
So far I don't see anything that has force against
materialism. Possibly you could amend your argument to
reflect the points I made and post it again.
I have not grasped what you are calling the "ambiguity" of
You say my points all concern this, but I would say if
anything that they all relate to the distinction between
total mass and rest mass, and I don't see an ambiguity in
e = mc^2 which applies really to both.
In general I think in relativistic equations you should
always take M to be total mass.
On the occasions where rest mass is mentioned, it is always
specially indicated, usually as m_0. (m subscript zero).
On the question of whether there is a problem with units,
again I don't see it.
Are you rejecting the materialist position because you don't
think that a proton really is material, because it has no
Presumably you can't be a rest-materialist and have a theory
in which the only thing which exists is rest mass.
(not without rejecting special relativity)
But so long as your materialism admits mass in general then
photons have their place, as does anything which has either
inertia or energy.
I don't know what he does about abstract objects.
It would definitely be tricky if you were not allowed at
least to talk as if abstract entities existed, but you don't
have to suppose that they are constituents of the contingent
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