Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hobbes the fool

~From Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Anotherby Philip Ball, page 17:

On meeting the great man [Galileo], Hobbes became convinced that [intertia] must be the axiom he was seeking [to form a fundemental hypothesis about human behavior]. Constant motion was the natural state of all things, including people. All human sensations and emotions, he concluded, were the result of motion. From this basic principle Hobbes would work upward to a theory of society.

I didn't know Hobbes was that foolish... to take the physical property of inertia and just decide it must apply to human thought?! Where in the world does that axiom come from?! I can understand how the human mind is like a computer, a very simple notion nowadays, and the notion that it "remains in motion" might have some merit, but it's Hobbes's logic that I find surprising... he learns something about physics and just decides to apply it humans in way that its meaning changes so much its basis in physics is almost meaningless. Give me a break, Hobbes, you fool!



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