A Rational Cosmology
G. Stolyarov II
A Journal for Western Man-- Issue XLI-- September 16, 2005
Note: This essay is the sixth chapter of Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive filosofical treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, which can be ordered in electronic format for only $2.50 at http://www.lulu.com/content/140855. Free previews, descriptions, and information on A Rational Cosmology can be found at http://rationalargumentator.com/rc.html.
Modern empiricist-positivist “science” often sports the grave ontological error of claiming that “all entities are in some degree particles and in some degree waves.” Of course, in order for this statement to hold any ethos, both the speaker’s and the listener’s idea of what a wave is must be quite vague indeed, and certainly not examined with any extent of filosofical rigor. It shall be apparent from the present treatise that, while a particle is indeed an entity, a wave is a relationship, and an entity cannot be a relationship in itself, and, though waves are many times observed to emanate from particles, they cannot ever be particles in themselves, nor achieve an existence independent from the entities that happen to emit them.
The broadest definition of a wave, which applies to the tides of the ocean and electromagnetic vibrations alike, is that of a periodic disturbance. This immediately begs the question: a disturbance—of what? A disturbance is by definition an action of some sort. Since only entities can be acted upon, a wave must be a disturbance of entities, be those entities water molecules, air molecules, or coils of a spring when the spring is rotated to bring about the occurrence of sine-like curves along its length. Moreover, since only entities can act, waves can only be produced by entities. Waves are thus the action of certain entities to invoke a periodic disturbance within other entities. A loudspeaker may, for example, act to invoke a periodic disturbance in the air molecules of its vicinity, or a stream of air particles (known as “wind”) may act to invoke a periodic disturbance in a large body of water molecules.
It may be recalled from Chapter II that a relationship is defined as “an interaction between or among several entities that affects, in some manner, the qualities of these entities.” A wave is precisely such an interaction, requiring an entity to originate, and affecting the positional qualities of other entities so that said qualities vary with time in a periodic and cyclical pattern. Thus, a wave is indeed a relationship. More specifically, it is a relationship of certain entities inducing motion in others. A vibration of any object implies some manner of positional displacement in that object, and a periodic vibration implies a continuous and recurring pattern of displacement, i.e. a mode of motion easily subject to description by the model of Newtonian calculus discussed in the previous chapter.
Thus, a “wave” is not some otherworldly substance coequal with a “particle” and necessarily defining all entities. Rather, at its core, a wave is merely one of the ways some entities can induce motion in others. For example, the fysical machinery within a loudspeaker might push the air molecules immediately in its vicinity in a certain direction, and those molecules might push those still further off in slightly altered directions, and so forth, until this chain series of pushes reaches its terminus upon the eardrum of the listener. A wave is indeed an extremely intricate set of motions, as its periodic nature requires that given entities orient themselves in precisely the proper directions to “push” the entities immediately adjacent to them. Nevertheless, the entities which originate the waves are observably capable of bringing about such complexity in their relationships with the entities thus “pushed.”
Along with the complexity of wave relationships is apparent their derived nature from simpler and more fundamental concepts, such as those of material entities, relationships, space, time, and motion. This insight should evidently exclude any notions that waves might be placed on an equal fysical, metafysical or epistemological level to particles. Fysically, they are interactions among particles (or, more generally, entities). Metafysically, they are relationships among entities. Epistemologically, an entire chain of concepts is required to derive the concept of a “wave,” all of which themselves are established, through a lengthy logical sequence, from examination of entities and their properties. Without entities, neither waves nor anything else can exist. (Of course, as proved earlier, the altogether cessation of the existence of entities is logically impossible.)
Waves cannot exist without entities, but some entities can conceivably exist without waves, i.e., neither triggering nor partaking in such periodic disturbances. Indeed, if waves are just relationships of motion, it is entirely conceivable for an entity to be static during a given time period (i.e. experience no change in its three spatial parameters) or to undertake motion of a different sort, either non-periodic or not involving the astounding multiplicity of entities required to exhibit a wave relationship. How many such entities exist in comparison with the entities that constantly partake in wave relationships is not cosmology’s question to answer, but rather that of fysics, yet cosmology can state beyond doubt that the proposition that wave properties are somehow inherent to all entities is absurd. Indeed, were a single entity placed in a vacuum and separated from the air molecules and other entities in its vicinity, it would never be able to exhibit wave relationships, as it would have no other entities to contact and induce periodic vibrations in! This would hold no matter how frequently or constantly the entity would exhibit wave relationships under normal circumstances, thus further verifying that waves can never be said to be inextricably inherent to entities.
Classical fysics has confirmed that fenomenon known as “sound” is made accessible to the human perception by means of electromagnetic waves. This, while true, is an empirical observation and rightfully belongs to the specific-observational sciences. However, even had sound not been made manifest by means of such waves, rational cosmology’s insights concerning this fenomenon would have nonetheless been the same ones as this treatise shall put forth. The core understanding of sound that cosmology presents must necessarily underlie all accurate specific-observational studies of this fenomenon, namely, that sound is a relationship among entities.
The wave nature of sound fenomena aside, there is another, far more fundamental and incontrovertible manner in which the fact that sound is a relationship can be identified. First, sound requires entities to exhibit. There can be no melody without the instrument or electronic device (disk player, computer, stereo system, etc.) that emits it. Moreover, sound requires entities to receive. There can be no melody without the vibrations in the eardrums of the listener who hears it. Indeed, the waves that the emitting device will induce in the surrounding air molecules will continue to exist, but, absent an interaction with the auditory apparatuses of human listeners, the requirements for producing the pitches that men describe as “sound” have not been met, as the sound waves must cause the human eardrum to vibrate and thus stimulate nerve signals to be sent into the brain so that the latter might interpret them as a melody. This does not mean that sound is relative, however. The objective natures of the human brain and eardrum, as well as the objective natures of the sound-emitting device and the waves it stimulates, cannot combine to produce anything but an objective relationship of sound. Two observers in an essentially same fysical condition (i.e., without impairments to their hearing), present the same distance from an emitting device, will hear the same sound.
In the realm of cosmology, this insight reveals that sound is not in itself an entity, nor is it somehow distinct from the material realm. Some might claim that sound has no mass, no volume, no dimensional measures associated with it, and thus that it is somehow distinct from all which is made of and pertains to matter. This fallacy, however, rests on the presumption that sound is an independent “thing” made of some “otherworldly fabric.” In reality, however, sound is emitted by material entities, and is in fact an intricate and mathematically precise relationship among millions of such entities which make fysical contact with one another. It requires a material observer to receive, whose material eardrums would need to vibrate, entailing a material fenomenon spanning all three dimensions.
G. Stolyarov II is a science fiction novelist, independent filosofical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician and composer, contributor to organizations such as Le Quebecois Libre, Enter Stage Right, the Autonomist, and The Liberal Institute. Mr. Stolyarov is the Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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