Free Daily Reads 2022: Article 212

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Article Title: No absolute time


Article Summary

The article at hand traces links between David Hume’s philosophical thought and Einstein’s theories of relativity, maintaining all the while that though these theories are enlightening, they are not absolutely exhaustive when it comes to understanding the world. Einstein did away with theories that stated time existed as an absolute, or that it was transcendental, as Hume had also done. However, their methods varied – Einstein concentrated on the scientific side of things, and Hume the philosophical. Newton had stated that at least one facet of time existed independently of human perception, and Emmanuel Kant stated that time existed only in the human mind – both of which were later proved wrong by Hume and Einstein. Einstein had repeatedly stated how big an influence Hume’s, among other philosophers’, works had had on his science, and this article primarily attempts to emphasize that link. However, it also points out lacunae in Hume’s thoughts about time and the world, like the apparent lack of congruency in his concept of idea-impressions creating the world and the physical world already existing. According to him, the world is created in the human brain through impressions and ideas, through perception, as all other things are, but he also believes in an independently extant world, wherein lies an apparent gap in comprehension. The author believes that these problems and more can be solved through a revival of studies of natural philosophy.

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Words to learn from this article:

Erroneous: fallacious, wrong.

Axiom: a proverb or pithy saying.

Simultaneity: the quality of more than one thing happening at the same time.

Empiricism: the doctrine of thought/philosophy that places the observations of the sense organs over everything else.

Temporal: involving the quantity of time.

Jargon: esoteric and difficult, domain-specific language.

Radical: extreme and non-conventional.


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