The Enigma Of The Universe ► 4 ►A Critique ► II. Space & Time: A Critique ► 1. Views of Western Philosophers and the Jain View ► Second View

Posted: 06.01.2015

The second view holds that space is always associated with the physical objects. For example, Plato has propounded the existence of chora (see, supra p. 43 of Chapter 1) and Aristotle denies the existence of space in absence of the physical objects. (See, supra pp. 44-45 of Chapter 1). But we cannot accept this view. If space has a real existence, it should be independent one-space has to exist independently of the physical objects, for space is infinite and the physical world is finite.

Also, we cannot consider space as an attribute of any physical object, as Descartes wants us to believe. It is true that 'to extend in space' or 'to occupy space' is an attribute of the physical object, but it is clear that the physical object itself is separate from the space it occupies. The facts such as the same space can be occupied by many substances and the same substance can occupy different space at different time prove that the substance which gives room (i.e., space) and the substance which occupies it (i.e., physical object) cannot be the same; they should be different and independent of each other. According to the Jain view, the same space-unit (ākāśapradeśa) can be simultaneously occupied by infinite number of ultimate atoms (paramāṇus) of the physical substance (pudgala).[1]Again, space is non-corporeal (amūrta), while the physical objects are corporeal (mūrta). Then, how is it possible that the non-corporeal space can become an attribute of corporeal physical substance? In this way, number of questions arises on accepting the space as an attribute of matter.

There are some philosophers like Leibnitz who consider space as an order of physical object. The modern scientists like Einstein also accept this view. Let us discuss this view in the section where the scientists' views are considered (See, infra, pp. 281-285).

Footnotes:
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