Single Idea 15313

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / c. Forces]

Full Idea

I mean by the word 'force' the source or sources of all possible actions of the particles or materials of the universe: these being often called the powers of nature when spoken of in relation to the different manners in which their effects are shown.

Gist of Idea

By 'force' I mean the sources of all actions - sometimes called 'powers' by their outcomes


Richard Breheny (Letter to Clerk Maxwell [1855]), quoted by Harré,R./Madden,E.H. - Causal Powers 9.II.B

Book Reference

Harré,R/Madden,E.H.: 'Causal Powers: A Theory of Natural Necessity' [Blackwell 1975], p.175

A Reaction

He uses 'force' for what is fundamental, and 'powers' for their results. I am inclining to talk of 'fundamental powers' and 'complex powers', leaving the word 'force' to the physicists.