Physics: Is It Really Genuine Knowledge? Essay

1244 Words5 Pages
In a present day conference on whether physics can provide valuable, genuine knowledge of the world, two people sit, listening attentively. Both people are deep in thought about their own theories on the subject. One, David Hume, shakes his head in outright denial. While most those in the conference are in agreement that physics can, indeed, provide genuine knowledge, he contends that physics and mathematics provide nothing at all. In fact, he thinks to himself, only things that can be divvied up into various sensory impressions provide genuine knowledge and, since mathematics and sciences cannot (particularly because they rely on causal relationships) they are essentially a waste of time.

Across the room is Immanuel Kant. At certain
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In effect, impressions hold much more vivid senses since memories become increasingly vague. Furthermore, without impressions, there would be no ideas.

Because all ideas originate from a combination of impressions, the only genuine knowledge we can certain of is that which can be broken down into impressions. As an example, take a grey cloud. We can only think of a grey cloud because it is formed by previously acquiesced impressions of grey and cloud, which we then combine.

Therefore, without the corresponding impressions, any imagination cannot be of genuine knowledge. In physics this holds drastic consequences; let’s take the idea of causal relationships and the universal law that, “for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction”, such as when two balls collide. In essence this implies two things. One, there is, causal relationship – that is one ball causes the other ball causes the other ball to move – and, two, there is always a causal relationship – which means that anytime the first ball hits the second, the second will always be caused to move. Furthermore, for this to occur there is a supposed transfer of energy.

However, there are a few problems with this, as there is in any cause of causal relationships. First is that we see no true relationship or connection between the two balls. All we see is the first ball move, touch the second, and the second then move; but we cannot
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