[lit-ideas] Re: Logical Corpuscularism

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2015 08:04:52 +0000 (UTC)

Popper does not think "atomism" is a true metaphysical picture of the physical
world or of W1, despite its success as a research programme>
What then might Popper suggest is a truer metaphysical picture of W1? One
answer is in his formulation that reality consists in "changing propensities
for change", which leads us to his defence of a propensity theory of
probability that takes a propensity to be a real (dispositional) property of a
state of the world.
In this metaphysical picture, there is no "atomic" or "corpuscular" structure
that deterministically underpins or holds rigid what is constituted by it. This
metaphysical picture is part of Popper's defence of indeterminism - both within
the natural sciences and at a metaphysical level (i.e. Popper uses an array of
arguments to counter determinism in both its scientific form and its
metaphysical form - including an argument that claims to logically refute
'scientific determinism').
Of course none of this work would have been considered fit for publication by
the esteemed editorial board at Mind.


On Saturday, 5 September 2015, 20:58, "dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx"
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Locke was curious as to what corpuscules TASTE like.

In a message dated 9/5/2015 9:59:28 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes about Popper's position: "on the contrary, it 
explicitly denying that they can be broken down [or "reduced"] in this way, 
and so is, if anything, "anti-corpuscularism"".

I like that. For, what's the good of having Corpuscularianism if we are not
going to come across some philosopher or other (read: Popper) who opposes 

Apparently, Russell, who coined "Logical Atomism" (for Geary, this is a 
misuse of 'coin' -- surely you coin a coin, and figuratively a single lexeme, 
not a 'phrase'), was a closet corpuscularianian.

His point was to oppose Hegel, whom he regarded as a 'monist' (explaining, 
in McEvoy's terms, the lesser by the bigger, rather than the
corpuscularian, who  explains the bigger by the lesser), and he (Lord Russell)
clear if he was  a logical atomist or a mere atomist, since the atoms were
supposed to be the  'facts' -- and there's little logic about those.

Leibniz, too, thought of himself as "totally corpuscular".

In his famous letter to Arnauld (not one of the musketeers), Leibniz  wrote:

"Dear Arnauld,
Since you ask, I am totally corpuscular as one can be in the explanation of
particular phenomena,
and it is saying nothing to allege that they have forms or qualities.
I hope this finds you well, etc.
Your friend Leibniz."

Note that

i. Leibniz is corpuscular.

can receive different interpretations:

ii. Leibniz is composed of corpuscules.

and his intended meaning, most likely:

iii. I believe Boyle is right.

Incidentally, Boyle was responsible for introducing Corpuscularianism (and 
hence Logical Corpuscularianism) into Oxford; but then, since he introduced
Corpuscularianism into the world at large, that should not surprise a
Griceian  (since the latter ENTAILS and IMPLICATES the former).

For Russell, and later for Witters, an atom is a fact, not a corpuscule; 
and an atom IS divisible into 'objects'. In fact, Russell's famous theory of 
relations ("this object is to the right of that object") may be considered 
corpuscularian in that it produces an analysis BELOW the level of the
'atom',  and hence 'corpuscule' is a better and correcter term.



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