Thursday, 10 July 2008

Objects and matter

Sol LeWitt, 1972

Objects are often spoken of as if they were material — in contrast to immaterial things like thoughts, feelings, spirits, and so on. Yet contemporary physics does not support this distinction, at least not in any absolute sense.

1. Objects are composed of atoms, sub-atomic particles, etc. which are effectively voids punctuated by miniscule fields of energetic vibration. Objects are not made of solid 'stuff'.

2. Our experience of objects — of the hard, material world — consists entirely of thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, etc. In other words, they are immaterial.

3. These thoughts, sensations, etc. are composed of the very same atoms and particles that are largely void.

We cannot draw anything other than a provisional distinction between the material and the immaterial.