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Quantity of Matter or Intrinsic Property: Why Mass Cannot Be Both

Hubert, Mario (2015) Quantity of Matter or Intrinsic Property: Why Mass Cannot Be Both. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I analyze the meaning of mass in Newtonian mechanics. First, I explain the notion of primitive ontology, which was originally introduced in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. Then I examine the two common interpretations of mass: mass as a measure of the quantity of matter and mass as a dynamical property. I claim that the former is ill-defined, and the latter is only plausible with respect to a metaphysical interpretation of laws of nature. I explore the following options for the status of laws: Humeanism, primitivism about laws, dispositionalism, and ontic structural realism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hubert, MarioMario.Hubert@unil.ch
Keywords: mass Newtonian mechanics primitive ontology Humeanism primitivism about laws dispositionalism ontic structural realism.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Mr. Mario Hubert
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 14:38
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2015 14:38
Item ID: 11806
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: 10 December 2015
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11806

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