David Kolb

Coming Soon: Two topics in the history of science

1.) It is fairly well known that Aristotle’s science could not well explain projectile motion (the flight of arrows, thrown stones, and, later, cannonballs). It is not so well known that the rival Greek atomists could not explain it either. I’ll explore the reasons why both failed, and why the medieval theory of impetus began the reformation of science in part by abandoning a deep principle of Aristotle and in part by bringing back something from Plato that Aristotle had rejected.

2.) Why Parmenides is disturbingly relevant to quantum mechanics. I will trace the surprising influence of the pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides on all scientific theories up to and including general relativity, but possibly not quantum mechanics, and why that poses a problem for us all. With reference to a recent book by Carlo Rovelli.