Janusz Sytnik-Czetwertyński

The Philosophical Foundations of the Kinematic Atomism of Ruder Josip Boscovich

Article
12/1 - Spring 2007, pages 139–155
Date of online publication: 15 June 2007
Date of publication: 01 June 2007

Abstract

Ruder Josip Boscovich (1711–1787), a philosopher, mathematician, physicist and astronomer. The greatest of the forgotten—as Barrow says. The author of the Theory of Everything, based on the presumption that the whole substance of this world is reducible to simple, homogeneous, discontinuous and invariable physical points. These points being the centers of forces of repulsion and attraction. His system of kinematic atomism constitutes a crucial stage in the development of physics and philosophy. The physical points combine both material and psychological features, therefore among commentators the prevailing view is that they possess rather a quasi-material nature. The following presentation, however, emphasizes their psychological aspect, especially in the light of Boscovich's fairly original attempt to reduce mental states and physical facts to one, common definition. This reduction is based on the presumption that the rules which govern both kinds of substance (bodies and minds) can be reduced to the one (and only one) Rule of All Forces. Hence, this rule concerns everything in the Universe.

Keywords

Cite this article

Sytnik-Czetwertyński, Janusz. “The Philosophical Foundations of the Kinematic Atomism of Ruder Josip Boscovich.” Forum Philosophicum 12, no. 1 (2007): 139–155. doi:10.5840/forphil200712128.

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