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The Enigma Of The Universe : Subjective Inability or Objective Indeterminacy

Published: 10.01.2015
Updated: 13.01.2015

First of all it is necessary to find out whether the impossibility stated in the theory of relativity is 'subjective inability' or 'objective indeterminacy'. If our inability to know the absolute motion of any system in uniform motion is, in reality, the subjective inability then it does not mean that the absolute motion does not really exist. On the basis of the Jain metaphysical concept, it can be said that the said impossibility is a result of subjective inability, and not that of objective indeterminacy. Reichenbach has very well explained this confusion in his well-known treatise. He observes: "Thus we are accused of having confused subjective inability with objective indeterminacy.

"There are, indeed, many cases where physics is unable to make measurements. Does this mean that the magnitude to be measured does not exist? It is impossible, for instance, to determine exactly the number of molecules in a cubic centimeter of air; we can say with a high degree of certainty that we shall never succeed in counting every individual molecule. But can we infer that this number does not exist? On the contrary, we must say that there will always be an integer which dents this quantity exactly. The mistake of the theory of relativity is supposed to consist in the fact that it confuses the impossibility of making measurement with objective indeterminacy."[1] Thus it becomes clear that it would be wrong to infer on the basis of the theory of relativity that the absolute space has no existence at all.


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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe Publisher: JVB University Ladnun English Edition: 2010 HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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  1. Reichenbach
  2. Space
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