Advanced Search

Can the theory that everything that exists exists in time and space, which is materialism as I understand it, explain how things have motion as well? Motion is not itself a thing that can be located within time and space it is only the word that we apply to the effect of something changing position in a continuous manner. But if the only things which exists exists in time and space what is there to move the things that is in motion? Certainly not something else which is in time and space since that demands as well an explanation for it's movement.

This is a deep question or set of questions! The history of the philosophy of motion is fascinating as is the general philosophy of space and time. There are historically significant arguments to the effect that to account for motion in the cosmos, one needs to posit an unmoved mover --God (as developed in the work of Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century). If you are interested in this line of reasoning, you may wish to take a look at more recent articulations of the cosmological argument: you can find these in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy under 'Cosmological Arguments' and in the entry 'Philosophy of Religion' --entries are free and available online (as this website makes clear). These entries will speak to your sense that something more is needed to account for space-time as currently conceived. There may be two things to keep in mind as you reflect on the philosophy of motion. First, while motion is not a thing in the sense that it is not a concrete individual object (a rock) it is not...

I have a series of questions about Time, motion, and space. Or maybe they are the same question expressed different ways in an attempt at clarity. Is the concept of "Time" possible apart from the concept of "Change"? In what ways are the two concepts different? Is it possible for "Time" to exist apart from "Change"? Can anything truthful be said about "Time" that does not also apply in an identical way to "Change"? Is "Change" possible without "Motion" of some kind? If even at an atomic level? Could time exist if nothing moved? How is the concept of time possible without the concept of motion? How is it in anyway different? How can space be conceived apart from the relation we refer to as 'distance' between two or more objects? If there was only one object in the universe how would space be conceived or possible? The same question applies to motion, how is it conceivable unless there is movement in relation to some other body? I am not a philosopher. I'm a high school drop out and...

You may be a high school drop out, but you have a genius for asking great questions! Let me try to break up the questions a bit. There is a difference between motion and change insofar as motion appears to involve physical objects and events. If there is motion, there is change, but some philosophers have either denied the existence of physical objects or events (some idealists) or they are theists who believe that there was a time when God (an immaterial / non-physical reality) existed and there were no physical objects. These philosphers would allow that change could exist, but without motion. In any case, once you have change, you have time, for change presumably involves there being one time when X occurs and then another time when X is not in the same state. If motion ceased, would time cease? Not necessarily, if there could be a nonphysical reality (God or souls or...) that change. But what if all change ceased? Would time then cease? Well, if by 'all change' we include 'temporal change'...