Foundations of Physics

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 63–81 | Cite as

Mass, matter, and energy. A relativistic approach

  • Eftichios Bitsakis
Part IV. Invited Papers Dedicated To John Stewart Bell


The debate concerning the relations between matter and motion has the same age as philosophy itself. In modern times this problem was transformed into the one concerning the relations between mass and energy. Newton identified mass with matter. Classical thermodynamics brought this conception to its logical conclusion, establishing an ontic dichotomy between mass-matter and energy. On the basis of this pre-relativistic conception, Einstein's famous equation has been interpreted as a relation of equivalence between mass-matter and energy. Nevertheless, if we reject this epistemologically illegitimate identification, it is possible to elaborate a unitary conception of matter, which at the same time is an argument for the unity between matter and motion. In particular, the classical antithesis between matter and field becomes obsolete in the frame of the proposed interpretation.


Relativistic Approach Modern Time Logical Conclusion Classical Thermodynamic Unitary Conception 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eftichios Bitsakis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of IoanninaGreece
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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