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Some Points Concerning Dialectical Materialism

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Soviet cogitations: 4764
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Forum Commissar
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:02
Hey, c'mon. Let's keep this polite, please.


OK, Rosa. I think I see what you're saying. Rather than an object being abstracted to a point, you state that it is abstracted to a location, which is defined by a point. Motion would mean then, going from one point to the other, "passing through" points, so to say; not "being" a point in motion. Am I getting this straight?


I still don't see how that implies this though:

Quote:
L35: Motion implies that a body is in one place and not in; that it is in one place and in another at once.

L36: Let B be in motion and at X1.

L37: L35 implies that B is also at some other point -- say, X2.

L38: But, L35 also implies that B is at X2 and at another place; hence it is also at X3.

L39: Again, L35 implies that B is at X3, and at another place; hence it is also at X4.

L40: Once more, L35 implies that B is at X4, and at another place; hence it is also at X5.

By n successive applications of L35 it is possible to show that, as a result of the 'contradictory' nature of motion, B must be everywhere in its trajectory if it is anywhere, all at once.


Because if locations are infinite, than an infinity of locations does not mean "all" locations, thus, the body would not be everywhere. Again, especially if this "implying" refers to an observation, a modelling.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:16
I've stopped talking about the contradictions because I see we're stuck in a much more elementary level. You don't even know that science describes motion by using material points. When I said crack open an elementary book I meant that even there, even in an elementary physics book you'll find that Newton's second law is presented as an equation of motion. You may check advanced physics books also, to convince yourself that even in the most advanced physics books Newton's second law is still considered equation of motion. Unfortunately, you have to go earlier than the elementary physics books to somehow convince yourself that, yes, motion can and is described all the time by using material points. It turned out that the problems in your thinking are far worse than I thought initially -- you haven't come to terms with even the most elementary notions of science and yet are trying to understand its intricacies.
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:27
Praxi:

Quote:
OK, Rosa. I think I see what you're saying. Rather than an object being abstracted to a point, you state that it is abstracted to a location, which is defined by a point. Motion would mean then, going from one point to the other, "passing through" points, so to say; not "being" a point in motion. Am I getting this straight?


In fact, you are allowing a certain picture to dominate your thought here, as Wittgenstein said.

The problem is that our words for location and movement are far more complex and sophisticated than is captured by mathematics and physics.

I have devoted a large section of the page at my site that I linked to earlier explaining this point (no pun intended!).

For example, it is possible to show that objects can both move and stay in the same place while they do so. Indeed, they are quite capable of remaining stationary while they undergo a change of place, moving and not moving all at once. And they are capable of moving even while they don't occupy all the regions of space between the start of their journey and the end. [You'll find the answers in Sections 8-11, at that link, and much more besides.]

Quote:
Because if locations are infinite, than an infinity of locations does not mean "all" locations, thus, the body would not be everywhere. Again, especially if this "implying" refers to an observation, a modelling


I'm sorry, I don't wish to be obtuse, but I don't get your point (no pun intended, again!).

----------------------------

FW:

Quote:
I've stopped talking about the contradictions because I see we're stuck in a much more elementary level.


In other words:

1) You can't explain/justify the introduction of this word, and,

2) You still can't quote a single standard physics/mathematics text that talks the way you do.

Fine, at least we have settled that issue.

Quote:
You don't even know that science describes motion by using material points. When I said crack open an elementary book I meant that even there, even in an elementary physics book you'll find that Newton's second law is presented as an equation of motion. You may check advanced physics books also, to convince yourself that even in the most advanced physics books Newton's second law is still considered equation of motion. Unfortunately, you have to go earlier than the elementary physics books to somehow convince yourself that, yes, motion can and is described all the time by using material points. It turned out that the problems in your thinking are far worse than I thought initially -- you haven't come to terms with even the most elementary notions of science and yet are trying to understand its intricacies.


Where have I questioned the motion of material points? Why are you inventing things to put in my mouth?

What we lack from you is an explanation of how a mathematical point (like the centre of mass) can move.

You keep ducking that issue, and it's no great mystery why.

And we can do without the condescending comments -- especially since you find you have to tell fibs about what I actually know/believe/have argued to make this impertinent allegation stick -- as you have done in this thread from the get-go.
Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein on 22 Jun 2012, 11:36, edited 1 time in total.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:29
Quote:
Motion would mean then, going from one point to the other, "passing through" points, so to say; not "being" a point in motion. Am I getting this straight


There's more to motion than that and Hegel has explained it really profoundly in his Science of Logic. Almost all major ideologues starting from Engels and Lenin and ending with Mao, to name a few on the political left, have picked it up from there. Unfortunately, one has to be fluent in German to really understand the depth. I don't think any of the English translations does justice to the Hegel's work.

Now, there are issues that I'd like to discuss but we can't get anywhere near them because we're finding ourselves stuck in more and more elementary levels of confusion. The use of material points in describing motion is never even an issue when talking about this topic. This is a convenient abstract model to describe motion and the problems are not in the model. The problems arise in the one-sidedness of using that model.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:35
FW:

Quote:
There's more to motion than that and Hegel has explained it really profoundly in his Science of Logic. Almost all major ideologues starting from Engels and Lenin and ending with Mao, to name a few on the political left, have picked it up from there. Unfortunately, one has to be fluent in German to really understand the depth. I don't think any of the English translations does justice to the Hegel's work.


Which is the same sort of excuse that those other, but more open and honest mystics (in the Roman Catholic Church) use when they talk about the 'mysteries of the Godhead' -- a set of dogmas that also sprang from the same Neoplatonic swamp that spawned Hegel's work.

Quote:
Now, there are issues that I'd like to discuss but we can't get anywhere near them because we're finding ourselves stuck in more and more elementary levels of confusion. The use of material points in describing motion is never even an issue when talking about this topic. This is a convenient abstract model to describe motion and the problems are not in the model. The problems arise in the one-sidedness of using that model.


Which is precisely where you find your ideas breaking down, for it is now obvious that your dt is a temporal interval, thus nullifying your 'contradiction' -- a notion which it is now plain you can't explain, anyway!
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 79
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Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:38
It's not because I can't explain/justify the finer points of the discussion at hand. I think it is worthless to even touch them before it is understood that material points can be used to describe motion. Describing motion is the issue here and you're denying that material points can be used for that purpose, aren't you? Or you'll again try with the lame excuse that I haven't understoo/quoted you correctly? The conversation cannot even begin. It is stalling at its preliminary stages of clarifying well understood scientific terms. That is not my fault.
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Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:39
Future World wrote:
I've stopped talking about the contradictions because I see we're stuck in a much more elementary level. You don't even know that science describes motion by using material points. When I said crack open an elementary book I meant that even there, even in an elementary physics book you'll find that Newton's second law is presented as an equation of motion. You may check advanced physics books also, to convince yourself that even in the most advanced physics books Newton's second law is still considered equation of motion. Unfortunately, you have to go earlier than the elementary physics books to somehow convince yourself that, yes, motion can and is described all the time by using material points. It turned out that the problems in your thinking are far worse than I thought initially -- you haven't come to terms with even the most elementary notions of science and yet are trying to understand its intricacies.


I take it you mean this:

Quote:
...while Newton had used the word 'body' vaguely and in at least three different meanings, Euler realized that the statements of Newton are generally correct only when applied to masses concentrated at isolated points.


Now, whether that object (concentrated to a point) goes from point A to point B (that is, passes through points), or is conceptualized as a "moving point", seems like a matter of convention and not worth wasting two pages of discussion on, or am I missing something here?

Quote:
In fact, you are allowing a certain picture to dominate your thought here, as Wittgenstein said.

The problem is that our words for location and movement are far more complex and sophisticated than is captured by mathematics and physics.


I am aware of that. I'm constraining myself to the rules applied in Cartesian space. I do know that real movement poses its own set of problems. That is why I was alluding to an insufficiency in Cartesian space, as a model, when it comes to motion.

Quote:
I'm sorry, I don't wish to be obtuse, but I don't get your point (no pun intended, again!).


You appear to state in that quote that an object cannot be said to be at two locations, because by infinite regress, it would mean that it would be "everywhere"; I'm saying that an infinity of locations does not mean "everywhere" if locations are infinite.


Future World wrote:
There's more to motion than that and Hegel has explained it really profoundly in his Science of Logic. Almost all major ideologues starting from Engels and Lenin and ending with Mao, to name a few on the political left, have picked it up from there. Unfortunately, one has to be fluent in German to really understand the depth. I don't think any of the English translations does justice to the Hegel's work.

Now, there are issues that I'd like to discuss but we can't get anywhere near them because we're finding ourselves stuck in more and more elementary levels of confusion. The use of material points in describing motion is never even an issue when talking about this topic. This is a convenient abstract model to describe motion and the problems are not in the model. The problems arise in the one-sidedness of using that model.


As I said above, I am not saying that motion is as its described by an abstract Cartesian space, I'm aware that it's a model. I explicitly asked about the rules of Cartesian space and if it was sufficient or not, because I thought the discussion was jumping from one to the other.

EDIT: Just like now, one is mentioning mathematical points and the other is bringing up material points.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:48
Quote:
Which is precisely where you find your ideas breaking down, for it is now obvious that your dt is a temporal interval, thus nullifying your 'contradiction' -- a notion which it is now plain you can't explain, anyway!


So, now we're all set with the material points and can proceed with my argument, right? Indeed, dt is a temporal interval and I have always emphasized on that. Contradictorily, that temporal interval finds itself in unity with a concrete point of time t. Bat that is something I've been saying from the get go. This is the gist of my argument. Not only dt being a temporal interval is not nullifying my argument but that's the argument itself -- dt and t are in contradiction and yet they are inseparably united.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
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Pioneer
Post 22 Jun 2012, 11:59
FW:

Quote:
It's not because I can't explain/justify the finer points of the discussion at hand.


That will always be my allegation until you explain that key component of your argument.

And you can very quickly shut me up by quoting a single standard mathematics/physics text that uses this notion to account for motion. If you are right, and your view represents standard science, there should be hundreds of these.

Quote:
I think it is worthless to even touch them before it is understood that material points can be used to describe motion. Describing motion is the issue here and you're denying that material points can be used for that purpose, aren't you? Or you'll again try with the lame excuse that I haven't understood/quoted you correctly? The conversation cannot even begin. It is stalling at its preliminary stages of clarifying well understood scientific terms. That is not my fault.


Now you are just posting bare-faced lies.

Where have I said anything like this? Or even something that implies it? You can't find a single quotation from anything I have posted here, or at my site, that supports this fib. You'd have done so by now if it were true.

You are the one who is 'stalling' by posting such untruths, and we can all see why: you have yet to explain (1) why your dt isn't a temporal interval (thus nullifying the alleged 'contradiction'), (2) how mathematical points can move (you seemed to be quite confident earlier that you could do this -- that seems to have evaporated).

That is quite independent of the other things you keep ducking -- see above.

-------------------------

FW:

Quote:
So, now we're all set with the material points and can proceed with my argument, right?


So, we are no longer talking about the centre of mass -- as you insisted earlier?

Quote:
Indeed, dt is a temporal interval and I have always emphasized on that.


As far as I can recall, this is the first time you have acknowledged this. If so, there is no contradiction.

Quote:
Contradictorily, that temporal interval finds itself in unity with a concrete point of time t. But that is something I've been saying from the get go. This is the gist of my argument. Not only dt being a temporal interval is not nullifying my argument but that's the argument itself -- dt and t are in contradiction and yet they are inseparably united.


So, you don't mind introducing philosophy after all. This is certainly not standard physics (as we now know since you have failed to quote a single standard text that argues this way).

I'm sorry, but what the George W Bush is this: "a concrete point of time t", and how is this a contradiction? It would be if it were this:

FW1: Dt is a temporal interval and it isn't.

FW2: T is a concrete point in time and it isn't.

But, since neither of the above seem to be what you are arguing, why is this 'contradictory'?

As I said earlier, your reliance on the ideas of that logical incompetent, Hegel, means you have an insecure grasp of contradiction.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 79
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:04
@praxicoid, this seems a good example which gives an idea where Hegel is headed:

Quote:
External, sensuous motion is itself contradiction’s immediate existence. Something moves, not because now it is here and there at another now, but because in one and the same now it is here and not here; because in this here it is and is not at the same time. One must concede to the dialecticians of old the contradictions which they pointed to in motion; but what follows from them is not that motion is
not but that it is rather contradiction as existent.


It's from Hegel's Science of Logic, translated by Giovanni. Probably it summarizes a thought that has gone throughout the literature of the left from Engels and Lenin to Mao. Don't know how the right-wing Hegelianas are viewing it and would be curious to learn if someone has studied it. Now, this is where all the entanglement occurs, which I'm trying to resolve in this conversation by simplifying it to pure mathematical talk. By the way, material point is a mathematical point with no volume which cannot interact with the other material points. It's just a matter of terminology.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
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Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:11
Praxi, I am posting this is as a separate item, since you might miss it if I bury it in one of my replies to FW:

Quote:
You appear to state in that quote that an object cannot be said to be at two locations, because by infinite regress, it would mean that it would be "everywhere"; I'm saying that an infinity of locations does not mean "everywhere" if locations are infinite.


What I am arguing is that Engels can't claim that a moving object is in exactly two locations at once. If it is, it must be stationary.

As soon as that is admitted, then the induction (it isn't a regress) follows: it must be everywhere along its trajectory, if is anywhere, and if it is moving.

Recall, I'm not claiming anything (so these aren't my views), just working out the ridiculous implications of what Hegel and Engels argued.

FW simply ducked this issue since he can't answer it.

-----------------

FW:

Quote:
By the way, material point is a mathematical point with no volume which cannot interact with the other material points. It's just a matter of terminology.


But, these 'material points' do not exist 'outside the mind' which, according to Lenin, means they aren't material. In which case, how can they move?
Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein on 22 Jun 2012, 12:14, edited 1 time in total.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 79
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:12
Right here:

Quote:
how mathematical points can move


So, I gather you doubt it that mathematical points can move. If so, then I'm not lying. You do doubt mathematical points can move and therefore you doubt all classical mechanics, thermodynamics and what not.Right? Right.

As for contradictions, indeed, a temporal interval contradicts a concrete time t. dt and t contradict each other and yet are in unity. I forgot already how many times I said that.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:15
Quote:
FW simply ducked this issue since he can't answer it.


What is the issue I'm ducking isn't at all clear? You have invented something you can't even enunciate and are blaming it on me. Go figure.
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Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:16
Just a time out:
I don't see the need to get hot-headed here. There's obviously been a lot of confusion in this thread with a number of things, and I don't mean "he/she is confused" (wrong), but rather what one has said was misinterpreted by the other and vice versa.

And I don't think it's constructive to obsessively insist on having every point you make answered, especially if they are the product of miscommunication, and very especially if you are not reciprocating by addressing the points the other makes. That's life, that's debating, deal with it, and I mean this as a friendly advice.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:19
Quote:
But, these 'material points' do not exist 'outside the mind' which, according to Lenin, means they aren't material. In which case, how can they move?


Here we go again, name dropping as a substitute for an argument. The material points are abstract reflections in the mind of material things. Is it so hard to understand that?

This (using the concept of a material point) is done for convenience. It allows the process of logical thinking to extract the issues at hand, not stalling every time at details which have nothing to do with the object of study. This is the basis of scientific training. How can one discuss science if the basis is wanting?
Last edited by Future World on 22 Jun 2012, 12:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:23
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
Praxi, I am posting this is as a separate item, since you might miss it if I bury it in one of my replies to FW:

What I am arguing is that Engels can't claim that a moving object is in exactly two locations at once. If it is, it must be stationary.

As soon as that is admitted, then the induction (it isn't a regress) follows: it must be everywhere along its trajectory, if is anywhere, and if it is moving.


I hate to repeat this, but, if locations are infinite, then having infinitely many locations, doesn't mean being "everywhere".

So saying that an object in motion is in two locations, means infinite locations, OK, I get that. I don't see how that means that it is "everywhere" if locations are infinite, and therefore the object doesn't "fill up" these locations.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
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Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:29
FW:

Quote:
So, I gather you doubt it that mathematical points can move.


I have expressed no doubts. What I have done is ask you to explain how they can move. You have ducked this issue, except you now claim that mathematical points are material points. But they can't be, since they (mathematical points) do not exist outside the mind, which according to Lenin is the criterion he used to decide if something is material or not. Of course, you might like to disagree with Lenin, but that is a separate issue.

Quote:
If so, then I'm not lying.


Yes you are since I have never said material points can't move, and you can't quote me to that effect.

Quote:
You do doubt mathematical points can move and therefore you doubt all classical mechanics, thermodynamics and what not. Right? Right.


Once more, where have I expressed any doubts that material points can move?

I do not accept your equation of mathematical points with material points, since (1) that would mean that material points do not exist (which is Lenin's point expressed differently), and (2) we use mathematical points to explain how material points move; if they are the same, then we'd lose that ability.

Praxi:

Quote:
I hate to repeat this, but, if locations are infinite, then having infinitely many locations, doesn't mean being "everywhere".

So saying that an object in motion is in two locations, means infinite locations, OK, I get that. I don't see how that means that it is "everywhere" if locations are infinite, and therefore the object doesn't "fill up" these locations.


But the induction takes care of that.
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Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:37
Future World, could you explain this very simply:

Quote:
when a body is in motion its velocity is not zero and therefore (in common notation) v = dx/dt =/= 0 and therefore, although infinitesimal, dx =/= 0


Now, this equation can be characterized as this:

v= x2-x1/t2-t1 =/=0

right?

Now the problem, as I see it, is that saying that the object is at x1 at t1 and at x2 at t2 means that when taken separately, when considering snapshot 1 or snapshot 2, we are neglecting that it is a body in motion, therefore with a v=/=0, right?

so for snapshot 1 we would need to divide it further into an x1"-x1'/t1"-t1', and so on and so forth...

All I can reply with is that Achilles does catch the hare, in that motion can be subdivided infinitely, without this meaning that motion must "pass through" every subdivision, which is something imposed on the model.

Am I somewhere near what you're saying?

EDIT:
Rosa wrote:
But the induction takes care of that.


Takes care of what?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
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Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:43
FW:

Quote:
Here we go again, name dropping as a substitute for an argument. The material points are abstract reflections in the mind of material things. Is it so hard to understand that?


So, when you mentioned Engels on the first page of this thread, that wasn't 'name-dropping, eh? Or when you mentioned these characters on this page:

Quote:
There's more to motion than that and Hegel has explained it really profoundly in his Science of Logic. Almost all major ideologues starting from Engels and Lenin and ending with Mao


That wasn't name-dropping either, I suppose. As I said, it's all the same to me if you disagree with Lenin.

Quote:
The material points are abstract reflections in the mind of material things.


But they can't be material since they exist only in the mind.

Anyway, what is the nature of the points they supposedly 'reflect'? And what evidence have you that 'the mind' is able to 'reflect' these material points, the nature of which is now entirely mysterious? Or that they exist in the outside world, and aren't a figment of your imagination? All you have to go on are images, or images of practice.

Quote:
This (using the concept of a material point) is done for convenience. It allows the process of logical thinking to extract the issues at hand, not stalling every time at details which have nothing to do with the object of study. This is the basis of scientific training. How can one discuss science if the basis is wanting?


So, how does one of these 'mental points' (which is what they now are) actually move?

[You're in a deep hole on this one comrade; my advice is stop digging.]

By the way any progress on finding a single standard physics text that talks this way?

Or is your total silence on this issue an admission that the odd ideas you have inflicted on the good people here aren't in fact standard science, but quirky 'dialectical science'?

--------------------

Praxi:

Quote:
Takes care of what?


Your question. Inductions span infinities.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 79
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2012, 00:59
Unperson
Post 22 Jun 2012, 12:49
@praxicoid, you may do that, you may continue dividing as infinitum. However, even with your finest division the non-zero character of the quantity in question will persist. It is different from Zeno's aporias because the trick in these sophisms is to "forget" an aspect of the phenomenon, just as what Rosa is doing. In the case of dt or dx their non-zero value is their true nature, without withholding any aspect regarding them
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