more from Gabriel M.A. Segal

Single Idea 3119

[catalogued under 18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content]

Full Idea

We can't define mass in terms of its causal powers because massive objects do different things in different physical systems. …What an object (or concept) with a given property does depends on what it interacts with.

Gist of Idea

Even 'mass' cannot be defined in causal terms


Gabriel M.A. Segal (A Slim Book about Narrow Content [2000], 4.1)

Book Reference

Segal,Gabriel M.A.: 'A Slim Book about Narrow Content' [MIT 2000], p.97

A Reaction

This leaves an epistemological problem, that we believe in mass, but can only get at it within a particular gravitational or inertial system. Don't give up on ontology at this point.