Relativity and the Problem of Space (Part 6)


NOTE: Einstein’s statements are in black italics. My understanding follows in bold color italics.


All these space-like concepts already belong to pre-scientific thought, along with concepts like pain, goal, purpose, etc. from the field of psychology. Now it is characteristic of thought in physics, as of thought in natural science generally, that it endeavours in principle to make do with “space-like” concepts alone, and strives to express with their aid all relations having the form of laws. The physicist seeks to reduce colours and tones to vibrations, the physiologist thought and pain to nerve processes, in such a way that the psychical element as such is eliminated from the causal nexus of existence, and thus nowhere occurs as an independent link in the causal associations. It is no doubt this attitude, which considers the comprehension of all relations by the exclusive use of only space-like concepts as being possible in principle, that is at the present time understood by the term “materialism” (since “matter” has lost its rôle as a fundamental concept).


Earlier notes by Vinaire:

By “space-like” concepts, Einstein refers to the simple fundamental concepts to which all other concepts reduce. Concepts from the field of psychology are quite complex but they do seem to reduce to space, time and abstraction.

Science focuses on space-like concepts to come up with fundamental relationships having the form of laws. What Einstein refers to as “elimination of psychical element” is actually the removal of logical inconsistencies in conceptualization. These logical inconsistencies come about as a result of “personal filters”, such as, biases, prejudices, fixed ideas, assumptions and blind faith.

When Einstein refers to “exclusive use of only space-like concepts”, he means“exclusive use of logic in conceptualization”, which is the characteristic of “Dimension of Abstraction”.

The word “materialism” is a misnomer. It does not mean the supremacy of the material world. It simply points to the objectivity brought about by the use of the 5-dimensional continuum of the universe.



Previous: Relativity and the Problem of Space (Part 5)
Next:  Relativity and the Problem of Space (Part 7)


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