Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Basic Concept: theories differ in what terms they choose as the basic concepts, which are not further defined. A definition of these concepts within the theory would be circular and may cause > paradoxes. E.g. The theory of mind by G. Ryle is based on the concept of disposition, other theories presuppose mental objects. See also paradoxes, theories, terms, definitions, definability, systems, explanations.
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I 59f
Basic Concepts/Sizes/Classical Mechanics/Fraassen: all measurements are reducible to series of time and position measurements -" therefore, physical quantities can be reduced to functions of time and place alone (reduction) -" For that, we do not need mass, force, momentum, kinetic energy -" (e.g. in descriptions of astronomy) -" Modern Physics: (mechanics) here, mass is not a basic concept - Problem/Suppes: if we postulate with Newton that every object has a mass, then mass cannot be defined in terms of simple observables - e.g. a given object (or particle) has a constant speed throughout the experiment, then the total force would be 0. But every value for the mass of this body would be compatible with this information ((s) n times 0 = 0) -

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-29