[lit-ideas] Re: Shaming, Shocking Editorialising Etc.

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2012 12:59:30 +0000 (GMT)

 From: "cblitid@xxxxxxxx" <cblitid@xxxxxxxx>

>On 29-Nov-12, at 7:34 PM, Omar Kusturica wrote:

>> What would happen if someone suddenly invented perpetuum mobile, any 
>> theories ?

>A long time would be spent 'proving' that it wasn't  'really' a 'perpetuum 

Perhaps even an infinity of time. 

The "perpetuity" is, in and of itself, no more testable than "immortality". 
There was a previous discussion explaining why, though false, 'All men are 
immortal' is scientific because testable; whereas 'All men are mortal' is not 
per se testable or scientific, for its potential falsifier - an immortal person 
- is not observable. The 'per se' is important here: that is, it is impossible 
that we can observe "immortality" in and of itself, and equally we cannot 
observe the quality of "perpetuity" in and of itself. So a problem arises as to 
how we would render the existence of a 'perpetuum mobile' testable or seen to 
have been corroborated by the passing of certain tests - a problem in some ways 
analogous to the problem of how the existence of an immortal person could be 
rendered testable or seen as corroborated by the passing of certain tests. This 
problem would have to be solved adequately before we might ever expect science 
to ever accept such a thing as a
 perpetuum mobile.

It might be that science could throw out most of what we understand as 
concomitant with the 'impossibility of a perpetual motion machine' without 
thereby accepting that there exists - or physically could exist - a perpetual 
motion machine. And this may indicate how far the demonstration of a perpetual 
motion machine would remain beyond any physics we can conceive.


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