lordbyron wrote: "Interesting that you speak of feeling gravity."

Yes, I suppose it is.

lordbyron wrote: "As the Einsteinian model of the universe has no place for the concept of gravity are you claiming that as your bodies exist then Newton is right and Einstein wrong?"

Actually, I was not making any statement directly about the theories proposed by either of these individuals. I wasn't arguing that either of them are either right or wrong. Rather, I was simply referring to something which I experience firsthand: when I pick a book up off a table, it has weight and resistance. This is the effect of what we call gravity, that downward pull to the earth which makes the book feel heavy, and which makes the table feel even heavier than the book. That's why the table has legs, to support it above the floor against the gravity. A table top would not simply hover above the ground if we removed its legs. When I let go of the book, it falls to the floor and makes a loud smashing sound. That's gravity pulling it to the earth. If some people want to say this does not happen, I suppose they're free to do so. But such claims would obviously contradict my direct, firsthand experience, and I would bet that it contradicts your direct, firsthand experience too (unless you've lived in a gravity-free space station all of your life, and you have no idea what I mean by 'gravity'). Thus, unless Einstein and I are referring to different things when we both use the term 'gravity', I cannot accept the claim that he "proved" that gravity is not real.

lordbyron wrote: "If Einstein is correct, don't you feel a little silly claiming that you can sense gravity when it has been proven that it doesn't exist?"

Do I "feel a little silly" disagreeing with Einstein? Well, no, not really in fact. If Einstein said that the earth did not exist, would you simply agree with him? Many people these days seem to attribute a sense of infallibility to Einstein, when in fact many of his ideas have not weathered criticism very well. I tend to agree with David Harriman when he writes,

<DIR> <DIR>

History shows that the irrational ideas dominating contemporary physics came from philosophers, not from experiments. Immanuel Kantís view of physics as the science that offers "mathematical descriptions of appearances" was widely accepted by the late 19th century: the result was Einsteinís theory of relativity. The philosophic schools of positivism, pragmatism and existentialism agreed that causality was a myth and reason was impotent to know reality: the result was the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory. The false ideas at the root of these theories were first accepted from philosophers and then used by physicists to misinterpret their experiments. (Student's Survival Guide to Physics, pamphlet, p. 1.)

</DIR></DIR>

Einstein's conclusions and theories which he derived from those conclusions are only as good as the philosophical premises on which they're founded. If it is discovered that those premises were at best shaky or in fact invalid, what do you think we can say about his conclusions and theories?

lordbyron wrote: "What kind of senses do you have?"

The same five senses you have (assuming all five of yours are intact; you could be deaf for all I know).

lordbyron wrote: "Is this mystical knowledge you claim to have a fundamental part of objectivism?"

I do not claim to possess "mystical knowledge." This is the domain of religion. If something is mystical in nature, it cannot qualify as legitimate knowledge. My determination about gravity is based on direct evidence which I perceive firsthand. If you, Robert, pick up a book and then toss it up into the air, what do you think will happen? If you haven't tried this yes, try it right now, and let us know what happens.

lordbyron wrote: "Does objectivism have any interest in the facts of physics?"

 

Objectivism is the philosophy of reason. As such, it provides the rational foundation for proper scientific inquiry and research. Philosophy is a comprehensive field of study, and thus more broad in scope than the individual sciences, which focus on particular areas of nature narrower in scope than philosophy. Thus, "the science of physics depends on a foundation provided by philosophy" (Harriman, ibid.) Or, as physicist Alex Silverman writes,

<DIR> <DIR>

Philosophy must logically, as well as chronologically, precede all other areas of study, including physics. Knowledge is hierarchical in nature; it isnít merely better for one to have a philosophy before one studies physics, it would be impossible for any special science to exist without some philosophy behind it, i.e., without some view of reality and of manís means of knowing it, rational or otherwise. In other words, the grasp of a non-fundamental must be preceded by the grasp of the fundamental, i.e. physics is inherently dependent upon philosophy. (Philosophy and Physics: Is There Any Connection? 2001, p. 3)

</DIR></DIR>

So, to answer your question, Robert, many Objectivists surely do have an interest in physics (for instance, you might want to participate in this group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/objsci/), but Objectivists recognize the proper relationship between the particular sciences between their philosophical foundations.

 

I hope this answers your question.

 

CertainVerdict