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Why matter matters massively.


In a conceptually complete and non-compromisingly processual approach to physics, material matter can show its complete features. They encompass those accessible in traditional physics (quantum theory, relativity theory, non-linear dynamic theory, etc.), which can reveal only some perspectives and moreover can't integrate them all in one conceptual system. In the new and truly holistic approach, especially, the concepts of mass and energy are queried, which must remain enigmatic in the traditional approaches. Physical matter reveals itself as not being primarily causal, but only an effect, namely of forces. This new account explains problems like the energy density of the so-called vacuum (zero-point energy), or why gravity cannot really be located. It is a clear conceptual approach to physics that includes, by principle, life.


Since classical antiquity, human inquiry follows two opposed paths: an object-oriented versus a relational process-oriented perspective. It started with sophists versus philosophers, developed into scientists versus humanists, and later into a gesture of offering technical dominion versus one of proposing a process of enlightenment by viewing the whole. Science split off from attempts to think of the universe as a whole in constant change, and sought knowledge in measuring its parts. It approached the infinitely small, which alas revealed itself not as stable, but as eternally changing. Science thus needed processuality--but heuristically it kept its object-oriented approach from parts down to observables that are thought of as separable attributes. Its idea of process is thus the sequence of events, the series of causating and caused particles. Querying the conditions for measuring the smallest parts led to quantum theory, investigating movements of bodies led to relativity theory, while the study of movement patterns led to the theory of nonlinear dynamics. The many achieved photos of states and things are then made into films, up to nucleosynthesis and cosmological theories.

On the other side, philosophers grappled with regularities in the appearances, trying to grasp what is stable and yet allows individual manifestations. Under the difficulty of thinking pure laws as such (universals are debated since the scholastic era), gradually the majority heuristically also shifted toward thinking propositionally, seeing the world as a collection of things, in the vein of science. On this path the possibility of grasping the whole in its inherent dynamism, thinking in the full potential of human forms of being, had to give way to the reductionisms by which we are surrounded today, and which are so often believed to be inescapably true.

But are they really? Are we sure that in believing them we are not being fooled by some point we did not yet notice? All of science now professes, e.g. being materialist--but does it understand adequately the nature of material matter itself? In transcending old limits we can find new clarity.

A seemingly simple aspect of material matter, namely its mass and its link to energy, eludes full understanding to a surprising degree (Max Jammer (1) exposes the problem), even though it is fundamental for any science that stakes its hopes on the idea of materiality. Today's science, specialized in knowing how to effect change, has an insufficient aim; any ape can produce effects galore without needing to know all of what they imply. On the other hand, materialism is riddled with beliefs; its hope of being free from metaphysics is thus an illusion. The gap nourishes the increasing call for ethics to which crucial decisions must inevitably be delegated. Is this our lot?

1. Approaching the Nature of Things

1.1 What is the nature of material reality?

Today's physics, having set out from the mass point in its spatiotemporal relations, followed the emotional supposition that material matter consists of basic things (atomism). Attempting to handle them led classical mechanics to early quantum mechanics and today's quantum theory. The lodestar was the idea of separability, first in imagining discrete things (molecules, atoms, particles, etc.), then discrete observables (velocity, location, impulse, mass, etc.). The idea of separability produces the baffling paradoxes of this theory, because in the very end nature is not just a puzzle of parts. When mirroring reality, the paradoxes are true in a certain sense, since they are inevitable within that language and must thus appear in all experiments that are interpreted in it, even though conceptually they only result from imposing a specific mental pattern. In this case the pattern is to think in terms of separable, manipulable objects or aspects. The pattern is "S is p," the thing is identifiable by its predicates. This is the propositional view of the world.

Yet in reality none of the parts or aspects are absolutely durable, as modern quantum theory had to conclude--in the end everything is fleeting structures of energy obeying some laws. Hence the supposition of fundamental parts is not the most reasonable approach; it does not allow an understanding of material matter in its full processuality. Particles are not its ultimate nature; this is why ever-smaller ones must be discovered. The conceptual flaw shows also in the gaps left open--what happens for instance between complementarity in non-locality? The idea of entanglement is descriptive only; it can explain nothing, because it does not trace back the facts to a strictly universally valid law. The holism of quantum theory is true within its realm, but incomplete, self-limited by its conceptually compromised approach to the facts.

It is thus necessary to grasp the fundamentally processual nature of reality. This idea is as such not new. It had its first protagonists in Buddhist philosophy and the Greek presocratic era. Their ideas were taken up again in philosophy, but with a propositional bias by talking about what is observable in processes, effects, results. Even the pinnacle of modern process philosophy, the method of extensive abstraction developed by A. N. Whitehead on a strict logical and scientific basis, (2) remains in categories ("actual entity", "prehension", "nexus", etc.) that do not address directly the laws and agencies. In his idea of the basic actual entity, the aspects of regularity and of agency are a bit confused. His proposal is still burdened by a propositional bias, by relying on materially discernible attributes, but it shows a hunch in the fruitful direction.

What all queries ultimately are after is the relevant regularity and its agency in the respective structural context. The detour through objects and their states is only the consequence of a first type of approach. The limits shown by science urge us toward the processual view. But setting out from a non-compromised approach to the processual nature of things requires the use of fundamental categories that are themselves processual as such, i.e., which come directly to terms with regularity and agency. It is by principle impossible when remaining in habitual categories of things, states etc. The problem is similar to Zeno's paradoxes--you can add up as many bits of distance as you want, you will never get to where the problem requires you to get, as long as you don't notice that the category of speed is relevant. When thinking in terms of things and states, in truth-values of propositions, seemingly insoluble difficulties of ultimate foundation arise and no absolute certainty seems possible. A mysterious feeling remains that keeps people in anxiety. It is no surprise that Hollywood keeps producing movies depicting mysterious dangers looming in the deep cosmos. But they are projections; when understanding properly how to understand the universe, no such fears are necessary any more. The problems are dissolved once one realizes that any validity of signs can always be provisional only, useful for a specific communicative process, but superfluous afterwards. In this process, the criterion for a grasp is non-propositional (we test by paraphrases). The haggle about truth-values of propositions can offer no finally firm ground, as it is always relative to the queried perspective. Hence, also this text is to be read as a hint to think through fully the indicated laws, but not as a doctrinaire fixation.

Interestingly enough, already 2,500 years ago a conceptual foundation for a fully processual view was laid. It is often misread, when seeing only results and thus fading out activity, but still useful: Aristotle's conceptual distinction, in a process, between its form aspect (what forms the process, effecting the change) and its matter aspect (what allows itself to be changed in the process). But his categoreal structure of matter and form can't allow an unambiguous clarification of what is particularly interesting now at the beginning of the 21st century: the structure of what is actually active in the form aspect of a thing, and the concrete qualities of its matter aspect.

1.2 A processual approach without any burden of compromise

Only lately a proposal has been presented in which this ambiguity is overcome. (3) It operates on accepting the object of interest as the unity it is, whatever it may be. It acknowledges that the thinker applies his /her concepts to it, and that therefore we first need to know the law by which conceptualizations arise. It is the law whereby really going to the end of any query makes the required concepts become polar. For instance, with Immanuel Kant, any cognition arises in the conceptual polarity between its aspects of percept and concept. Or, with Ferdinand de Saussure, the nature of any sign can be understood within the conceptual polarity between its aspect of the signifying and of the signified. Any query finally arrives at its specific conceptual polarization. This list can be prolonged to any desired degree.

Any strictly polar conceptual distinction between 'A' and 'non-A' embodies a full coverage of the universe, while its also embodies a specific perspective, in this case by setting out from 'A'. In setting out from a query of processes, form and matter are concepts applicable to absolutely all processes in the universe. The law of conceptual polarity confirms the value of the Aristotelian approach in the polarity of form and matter for querying processes.

Concepts are here not meant as abstract words or as propositions, but as a grasp of the nature of the queried fact, the thing's inherent way of being, or what we are clearly aware of, to say it in Descartes' words. Forming a concept of something, deepening the insight by observation and thus making the concept more penetrative, is a process.

Today we are used to analyze, to dissect, to decompose. Hence we see only specimens (some philosophers say everything that exists is a particular)--flowers or seeds, hens or eggs, mind or body, waves or particles--and are then compelled to wonder how all our bits and pieces can possibly fit together again. But looking at the respective process as a whole, instead of objects that we have severed from their context, we might see the live principle of plants and animals in their full existential cycle--which is precisely how Plato and Aristotle approached things.

Aristotle called the form aspect eidos on the level of species and ousia on the level of the specimen. These regularities are in modern words the species or types, i.e., the thing's inherent way of being, that which is referred to by sortal terms (for a detailed discussion see Liske (4) or Rapp (5)). Aristotle was still groping for overall clarity, not yet totally precise in this distinction between eidos and ousia. Yet we can be clearer--under the condition of not reading him from his Organon, in which he only talks about talking about things. The query of processuality, i.e. operating conceptually in terms of the object of interest's form and matter aspects, can be deepened by applying these basic categories onto themselves. In the same way as he finally came to understand that any process can as such be grasped within the conceptual polarity between its form aspect and its matter aspect, we can conceive that the form aspect is itself understandable in the conceptual polarity between the order in the process and what enforces this order or in other words: as its law-of-the-thing-itself aspect (its way of being or law-of-nature) and its force aspect (that which makes it evolve, concretely manifesting itself).

The conceptual relation to a medium or the matter aspect (hyle), which allows the change, is a different problem, but we can tackle it in the same way. Just as having asked: What is the form aspect of form and the matter aspect of form, we can now query matter: What is its form aspect and its matter aspect? The linking concept is force, because only this aspect can effect change; for matter, its inherent structure is relevant. These considerations lead us to the polarity of the dis-equilibriability of all structures versus a basic equilibrium that allows all the changes. The resulting tetrad of basic categories is also applicable to all processes in the universe.

The intrinsic law is, as the name says, the regularity that the process inheres as such, in itself, as the thing's life cycle. The force aspect is conceptually that which has concrete effects; no law can ever act on its own. The disequilibriability of force structures is the fact that any thing can be thrust into a disequilibrium, up to the point of killing it; living beings can influence their own equilibrium, as opposed to inert matter, which is changed by external influences. The equilibrium of all forces in a force structure is the fundamental quality that allows all the changes, as much in any entity as in the universe as a whole, whether produced from outside or from inside.

For instance the process of poultry is not hen or egg, but hen and egg and rooster and chick and cackle and flutter, etc., including all drives and moves--in the same way as in physics and chemistry a particle is not wave or corpuscle but its wave aspect and corpuscular aspect, through all its energetic transformations (as any good physicist or chemist understands material matter).

These four fundamental categories are conceptually unfolded together out of the perspective of processuality; they embody an inner equilibrium of content. They must thus be applied jointly, just as also Aristotle's form and matter aspects must be applied jointly; there is no point in talking only about the form or the matter aspect of something. The function of such polarized categories is to know what to ask for they are of heuristic value. In conjoint use, they can ensure certainty in the results, because on the level of pure content the four conjugated aspects are fully interrelated; hence the set as such has the quality of lawfulness, of ultimate regularity.

Hence, this set of conjugated categories offers a totally clear structure for approaching all of what all queries ultimately refer to--regularity and agency, in the respective structural context. It is in full accordance with Prigogine's approach to dissipative systems. His far-from-equilibrium describes, in fact, static far-from-death laws of existential self-equilibration, but not the specific dynamic way of being (Aristotle's eidos/ousia, in modern terms the species' and being's intrinsic law) that lets the thing oscillate as a whole between birth, death, new birth, new death, etc. This law is simultaneously stringent (no being can escape birth and death) and non-coercive (dying and being born is an integral part of its own intrinsic law), valid for inert as much as living things.

The secret of including as much the living world as the inert realm in one single conceptual continuum lies in the equilibration of the matter aspect. By means of the disequilibriability of force structures and the equilibrium of all forces in a force structure, all objects can be read as entities because they consist of the metabolic flux through them--like a waterfall, a particle in physics, or your body. The difference between the living beings (organisms) and inert structures (mechanisms) is only that in living beings the agency acts from within, with a capacity to autoregulate their inner equilibrium to the degree of their awareness. They are subject to heteronomy to their degree of unawareness of connexes, i.e., the regulating laws. Inert structures are fully determined by external forces. The categories for grasping fully the two principles, mechanisms and organisms, can be exactly the same. Today's science, by thinking only propositionally, can't offer them without some conceptual compromise.

2. The Nature of Material Matter, Viewed Fully Processually

2.1 Understanding our own process of understanding

This set of concepts explains in a strict way (i.e., by tracing back all phenomena to universal laws) why propositions and equations can play an essential role in formulating connexes in natural processes. The principle of a proposition or equation is the overall equilibrium between the implied contents of the abstract terms or words. In the mind they allow following consciously the necessary conditions for the equilibrium. The reason why they are successful in mirroring reality is in the structures in the material world: these are the result of the actual equilibrations, while propositions and equations formulate conceptually the conditions of the equilibria. A proposition or equation is a link between two representations of the same law; the law referred to is what makes the aspects comparable at all. Awareness of the law is thus crucial.

The processes that occur in nature through its forces must be adequated (a scholastic term) by human mind force, so as to correspond to reality. Judging always is the act of comparing the intrinsic law of the perceived phenomenon (percept) with the law imagined to correspond fully (concept), which is referred to by imagining it ideally (as a pure regularity) and a comparison is, again, an equilibration, a purely mental one. One can't identify a straight line without an ideal idea of straightness, and one can always see the non-ideality of its materialization, by mental contrast. The secret of true adequation is that the mental force becomes forceless in the decisive point, like a balance pointer at zero, by listening to both sides at once, percept and concept. This is a process that must be sustained as the actual mental equilibrium of all forces in the respective force structure.

This structure of comparison does not keep us from committing errors. We make our mistakes by believing in inadequate ideas and lending them our will and, as we all know, we do this most of the time. As opposed to knowledge, a belief is a constant bias in the acts of comparing, a constant disequilibration. A complete correspondence between percept and concept requires a lot of attention. Too often we acquiesce with incomplete assessments.

2.2 The conditions for structural stability of material matter

The key for understanding also the intrinsic nature of material matter is thus in the capacity of a mind to assimilate its will to the content of the ideas that correspond to the queried subject. In this way it produces its conceptual structure through a mental translation of the reality accessible to thought, including the condition itself for structural stability.

The possibility of a foundational equilibrium and its disequilibriability is evidently the direct and full opposition of forces. Translated into mental language, this corresponds to the will being linked to ideas, or the terms of an equation, that are in an overall equilibrium. In its minimal form it is the will of non-will. It implies a twoness and is the basis of making itself available, putting at disposal. Metaphorically speaking it is like willing silence, or an absolutely blank sheet of paper: something so slippery that the slightest itch modifies it massively. All signs are born this way.

In analogy, what appears in everyday experience as material matter can be understood at its origin as the law of being at disposal, manifest in a concrete way. In terms of the concretizing forces, this can only be a force plus its exact counterforce, or in other words, a complex of two forces structured in an equilibrium, counterbalancing each other dynamically. Traditionally it was called "materia prima". As such it can't be observable, since observation implies a third instance, with influencing forces. In quantum theory this is known: observation is said to perturb the configuration; the process is called decoherence. It makes decidable in the macroscopic realm, through the many implied interactions, whether Schrodinger's cat is alive or dead, which is by principle undecidable on the non-disturbed quantum level.

2.3 The conditions for interactional stability of material structures

By not being freely roaming forces any more, but impeded by their mutual opposition, the two primal forces acquire an additional vectorial quality, a concrete one that they can't have when no otherness is implied. Once forces are bound by being structured into a new equilibrium, their hindrance vector makes them into an energy structure. It accounts for the aspect of resistance that one can't avoid associating with material matter, since it is the palpable characteristic that it shows othernesses even when not thinking in the least. The reason for the seeming massiveness of material matter to senses is that the laws of the bodies, also of organisms, are an otherness for whatever force structure comes along. Otherness implies massive potential differences (see 3.1).

When viewed instrumentally (not in its own quality), material matter looks like a something, a thing. We have it already in the energy quanta, which Max Planck discovered in black body radiation, and those of light that Einstein postulated for the photoelectric effect--wherever an otherness is implied, the primal continuity is necessarily broken and must give rise to discontinuous entities. This is correct within the language of separability, and it will be confirmed again in every situation or experiment that is interpreted in that language. Nevertheless it is not absolutely true, but only in relativity to this language. Through the newly proposed fundamental categories we can grasp however that in its core, i.e., its intrinsic nature, material matter is not a cause, but an effect of forces.

This view explains many riddles, such as the energy density of the vacuum (zero-point energy) that baffles cosmologists because their concepts can't reach there, the phenomena of coherence appearing in the double-slit experiment, or those that Alain Aspect's experiments demonstrated so clearly. On the level of biological theory, it clarifies the belief that material matter can be the ultimate cause of life: it is not, it is only a necessary condition for existing.

Nobody doubts that forms of life can be steered by manipulating their necessary condition, e.g. on the genetic level. But nothing is gained by believing that this knowledge of manipulability is already all the knowledge of what life is all about. The fact that it consists of dis-equilibrations shows in the other fact that the produced organisms regularly reject the influence again after a few which leads to a new form of equilibrium and its respective disequilibriability. These process generations. Nothing really durable can be achieved in this way. Life must exist out of itself.

In the complexifications beyond the basic symmetry, with every additional force introduced, called particles and atoms, that are known in the Mendelejew table of the chemical elements, their isotopes, etc. By their patterns of dis- and re-equilibriability, these force structures entail the factual transmutational processuality that we know in chemistry. As long as the creation process does not arise out of its basic the structure of material matter becomes more complex. At each one of those thresholds some further disequilibrium is introduced (by an additional force vector), induce the set of variations that lead in nucleosynthesis to the types of equilibria, law (absolute equilibrium of two mutually counterbalancing forces), material matter can be synthesized only in some sort of short-lived mimickry.

The essence of material matter is a basic equilibrium of forces that allows for all structurations by additional forces. The actualization of a higher-level equilibrium makes a structure of fluxes perceivable as a singled-out entity. In inert matter, all equilibria are a result of external influences, e.g. ,objects follow gravity; when iron is near oxygen, it will oxydate, etc. Living material structures incorporate an overall coordination that allows specific reactions to its environment (e.g., chemotaxis). To the degree that an entity becomes really equilibrated in its own condition, i.e., forcelessly united with its context, the flux through it becomes unimpeded. This opens the door to actualized unification with the environment and thereby to new structurations. It is the reason for many phenomena, from superconductivity to sexual union. Thus, the most interesting energetic interactions occur in the points where an equilibrium is actualized, freeing the path for the shared flux.

3. A New Approach to the Old Questions of Mass and Energy

3.1 Conceiving mass in a fully processual view

Some specific characteristics of material matter, such as heaviness and inertia, are summed up in the concept of mass. It reaches into the very constitution of matter, as much in its static as its dynamic aspects. The diverse physical theories (relativity, quantum, chaos, string, etc.) can not all be fully fitted together; hence this concept remains unclear and controversial, even though it concerns fundamental features. Even the famous relativistic equivalence of mass and energy does not answer all questions. For an introduction into the problem see Max Jammer.1 The point evidently is one of the basic concepts through which the facts are approached. Also in this point the categoreal tetrad is useful.

The proposed conceptualization suggests that "materia prima", the primal opposition of forces, has no mass in the sense of inertia. It is the constance of opposition at the very foundation of all secondary material structures, which--by dint of this very constance--makes them possible at all. It features its immense slipperyness for third party forces, whose intervention can be viewed in terms of energy, as entailing a compensatory flux. This flux permeates the whole universe. Stored structurally, it becomes mass. It is not surprising that early in the development of physics the question of mass led to a formulation in what seems to be nearest to flowing freely: electromagnetism.

The fact that this approach did not solve all problems is less interesting than the fact that indeed electricity is the type of force that is operative in setting up and modifying most of the molecular structures, and can thus account to a high degree for the mass as accumulated energy.

Material structures, being the result of additive or subtractive forces in every new form of re-equilibrated dis-equilibrations of forces, incorporate that specific set of energies that constitute the equilibrium (i.e., spatio-temporally organized forces) that defines the respective particle or chemical element as a type. These energies are inalienable to that element and account for its mass as classical inertia. Changing them means modifying either the spatio-temporal situation of the structure (requiring a physical acceleration), or the structure as type of structure (requiring a chemical reaction). The fact that the energy flux, necessary for effecting and compensating the dis- and re-equilibrations, permeates the whole universe would account for the many difficulties in ultimately locating the gravitational aspect (heavyness aspect of mass, traditionally associated with quantity, agglutination). The difference between passive and active gravity mass would then reside in the portion of non-afflicted forces in the process of reaching the new equilibrium.

In relation to the purity of the "materia prima", all forms of material matter are something less perfect and offering thus less stability, which can therefore be provisional only, ephemereal, and must somehow tend toward the original and thus final equilibration again as soon as it is not upheld any more by the third party forces. The law of entropy illustrates this. Material matter has the inherent dialectics of allowing a buildup, namely by living beings, while it sinks back into its eternal silence as soon as it is left to its own devices. The dynamics of dis- and re-equilibrations and the dynamics of organic life make understandable that the idea of mass has seen a gradual modification from static ideas to ever more fluid ones, as energy. On the other hand, all material reactions imply and cause some other ones and reveal a closedness of causalities in the realm of inert matter--every cause has some other one, as Kant already noted. This means that the inert domain as a whole constitutes one organism (interactive parts). In the perspective of the proposed basic categories, this passive way of being organic is rooted in the coherence of "materia prima" as the substance that entails the many-faceted flux in weaving and unweaving material matter.

The relativistic equivalence of mass and energy is indeed correct, but a complete view requires some conceptual precisions. In a way, mass is energy, but in the end this complex can only be assessed correctly when also viewing the overall laws, by which the facts are exactly as they are.

3.2 Practical implications

For a few decades, hunches about a fundamental type of energy led to many endeavors to make use of this energy source. From John Keely, Nikola Tesla and Victor Schauberger to Harold Puthoff, the idea is that it can be tapped eternally, like a well of universal water. The insufficience mentioned above, in knowing how to effect changes, is that "It works!" is not automatically the knowledge of all conditions under which it works, or in other words, of side effects that a manipulation can entail. This is the crux of today's self-understanding of science. The manipulated system should be understood as a whole. Also in this point, the proposed set of conjugated categories is helpful, because it reveals the law by which any structure is a structure. Let us view this more closely.

The object of inquiry, the thing, is as such its wholeness. It is not to be divided materially, but to be discerned conceptually in its existential aspects--as a mirror to having folded out the equilibrated set of concepts by querying the oneness of the chosen perspective. Properly used as one coherent set, this structure of laws is totally reliable because it is on a level where--in the perspective of processuality--also the law of being forces and laws is included as the overall orderliness (for other perspectives, the structure is analogous--after a double polarization, totality is covered). Hence in this case (laws and forces) the effects are not dependent any more on which kind of forces is associated with the set of conjugated laws. By their being a closed loop in the arche (Greek: origins), such structures offer not only intelligibility of the phenomena, but surprisingly for many--also certainty as to the overall balance of its principles (here: concrete effects). Therefore, when thinking in such a set of categories polarized within themselves, it is not necessary to know through which channels, on which paths and through what conflicts the effects will be produced.

As a simple example: In case a system of economy operates by forcing nature and humans into disequilibria, under the perspective of these categories it is not necessary to know whether its effects will become manifest in conscious reactions (theoretical and practical improvements in economics and the economy), half-conscious movements (such as innovations or elusive moves of the firms or consumers, up to strikes, revolts and revolutions), or in fully unconscious events (diseases, nature dying away, etc.). The knowledge that a backlash will occur is accessible as a certainty. Merely the paths of the effects will be longer or shorter, in this case depending on the degree of awareness of the participants. But, of course, the proposed categories can be used also for analyzing the economic subsystems. The scarcity of basic awareness is the reason why today most of strategy is in fact merely blown-up tactics--see e.g. the puny debate on sustainability. The problems invariably are in the fundamental concepts.

In the same way we can see, through the proposed set of categories, that simply tapping some energies is not a secure endeavor as long as the ultimate laws are not grasped by which the facts are just as they are. In a nutshell, the basic law is that any dis-equilibration entails its backlash, its need for a re-equilibration. Whether this is effected by nature or has to be provided by the dis-equilibrator depends on his insight. We can have some knowledge about this connex already.

The approach proposed here permits also to grasp that, for instance, the phenomena of electromagnetism and radioactivity show nature's way of reacting to disequilibration. Not only in "natura naturans" (the cosmos as causative principle, pure law, and force), but also in "natura naturata" (the cosmos as concretely manifested principle, law & force & matter) all types of radioactivity are gradually absorbed and tend toward zero, inoffensive to all forms of life. In the same way, the equilibrium of electricity is adjusted (electron-proton-balance) to a degree that looks incredibly exact when setting out from the modern supposition that some parts must dominate the whole. The facts show that the overall law of necessary equilibration of arising disequilibria, the central concept of the matter aspect as proposed here, is indeed fundamental. It explains also why nature has no need to provide for a sensory system that is sensitive to electromagnetic or radioactive events. If human beings disrupt those equilibria, measuring what they do is of their responsibility.

In the same way, if humans disrupt the equilibrium of the primal forces that are enclosed in the zero-point energy, it will be of their own responsibility to bear all the consequences. But it is possible to achieve secure knowledge concerning all the implied questions, as has been shown--even if very briefly--in this essay. The crucial question of sustainability can, in the last resort, be satisfactorily be clarified only in completely processual terms--while this is conceptually the weakest point of today's science.


(1.) Jammer, M. (1961). Concepts of mass. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

(2.) Whitehead, A. N.(1929, reprinted in 1978). Process and reality. New York: The Free Press.

(3.) Schaerer, A. A. (2001). Conceptual conditions for conceiving life--a solution for grasping its principle, not mere appearances. Fundamentals of Life (Palyi, G.,Zucchi, C., and Caglioti, L., eds.) Paris: Elsevier

(4.) Liske, M.-T. (1985). Aristoteles und der aristotelische essentialismus. FreiburgMunich: Alber

(5.) Rapp, C. (1995). Identitat, persistenz und substantialitat. Untersuchung zum verhaltnis von sortalen termen und Aristotelischer substanz. Freiburg/Munich: Alber

Alec A. Schaerer

Gempenstrasse 10

CH-4053 Basel, Switzerland

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Author:Schaerer, Alec A.
Publication:Frontier Perspectives
Date:Sep 22, 2001
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