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n Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie - Filosofiese tendense in die wordinggeskiedenis van ons verstaan van die fisiese natuur : research and review article

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0254-3486
  • E-ISSN: 2222-4173

Abstract

Die ontstaan van 'n lang tradisie van natuurwetenskaplike denke is in antieke Griekeland te vind - die bakermat van die Westerse beskawing en die bron van geartikuleerde rasionele besinning. Die vroegste fases van die Griekse kultuur het reeds geboorte geskenk aan 'n teoretiese nadenke oor die heelal. Die Pythagoreërs is veral bekend vir hul klem op die verklaringskrag van getalsverhoudinge. In hul tese dat "alles getal is" het hulle egter slegs rasionale getalle (breuke) erken en gevolglik uiteindelik vasgeloop in die ontdekking van irrasionale getalle wat tot die geometrisering van die Griekse wiskunde gelei het en tegelyk die bedding gevorm het van waaruit 'n magtige tradisie van ruimte-metafisika gegroei het wat die hele middeleeuse tydperk omspan het. Die vermeende statiese syn is in die mees ekstreme geval - die skool van Parmenides en die argumente van Zeno teen veelheid en beweging - tot in die uiteindelike antinomiese konsekwensies daarvan deurdink. Dit was egter eers die vroeg-moderne tyd - die voorgangers en nakomelinge van Galilei - wat naas getal en ruimte 'n waardering ontwikkel het vir die verklaringskrag van beweging (vergelyk die klassieke meganistiese wêreldbeeld van die heelal as 'n meganisme van stofdeeltjies in beweging). Maar ook hierdie meganistiese reduksie (waardeur alle fisiese verskynsels herlei is tot die beweging van al of niegelade massapunte) sou uiteindelik misluk omdat dit nie van die onomkeerbaarheid van fisiese prosesse rekenskap kon gee nie. Gevolglik beliggaam eers die fisika van die 20ste eeu 'n erkenning van die deurslaggewend-stempelende rol van energie-werking (dus van die fisiese aspek) in die aard van stoflike dinge en prosesse. Die artikel word afgesluit met 'n vlugtige verduideliking van die implikasies van die voorafgaande argumentasie vir 'n benadering van die misterie van die bestaan van materie. End

<B>Philosophical tendencies in the genesis of our understanding of physical nature</B> <BR>The rise of a long-standing legacy of natural scientific thought is found in ancient Greece - the well-spring of Western civilization and the source of articulated rational reflection. The earliest phase of Greek culture already gave birth to theoretical thinking about the universe. The Pythagoreans are first of all famous for their emphasis on number as a mode of explanation. However, in their thesis that everything is number they solely acknowledged rational numbers (fractions) and this approach eventually stranded on the discovery of irrational numbers that led to the geometrization of Greek mathematics. This transition generated at once also a powerful space metaphysics overarching the entire medieval period. It was only during the early modern period that the predecessors and successors of Galileo contemplated an appreciation for motion as a new principle of explanation (compare the classical mechanistic world view of the universe as a mechanism of material particles in motion). But also this mechanistic reduction (through which all physical processes were reduced to the motion of charged or uncharged mass-points) eventually failed because it was unable to account for the irreversibility of physical processes. As a result it was only 20th century physics that managed to acknowledge the decisive qualifying role of energy-operation (thus of the physical aspect) in the existence of material things and processes. This article is concluded with an explanation of the significance of the preceding considerations for a theoretical approximation of the mysterious nature of matter. End

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/content/aknat/25/2/EJC20380
2006-06-01
2019-08-18

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