The End of Space as Entity

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 39)


The common idea of space that we still have is surely due to Newton. Space, similar to a plank, is the ‘entities’ on which and within take place all facts of the world. Although later intuition of Maxwell and Faraday of electromagnetic fields had become more complex and problematic the Newtonian idea, so much so that the ‘field’ is a widespread entity (thus no longer fixed) that fills all space determining it, however, it remained the foundational concept of ‘entity’. A ‘entity’, once again, predetermined and preordained. Only with Einstein come to lay the foundations for the revolutionary concept whereby this space does not exist. The space is an immense gravitational field constantly moving. The world, the complex of ‘things’, is not made of particles and fields that live dynamically in a space as fixed ‘entity’, but from fields that, one on the other, overlapped and/or in continuity, move in a dimension (the gravitational field in fact) to turn dynamic. There is no longer an absolute position in space, because there isn’t an absolute space predetermined that can be leveraged. However, it is only with the acquisitions of quantum mechanics that finally disappears the idea of space-entity. Each ‘thing’ is, in fact, led to its own granular structures: the electromagnetic fields themselves are composed of grains (photons). Moreover, the ‘granular’ combination is not based on deterministic axioms, but ‘only’ on probabilistic ones. This means that the ways in which bodies combine and move are determined only by probabilistic projections. From all this—that is, from Einstein’s discoveries and acquisitions of quantum mechanics—follows that the space as a field (such as the gravitational field) has a granular structure that every time is the result of the probabilistic combination of entities in combinatorial movement. The space, therefore, by ‘entities’, in its being gravitational field in this new sense, can finally be described as a ‘cloud of probability of space’s grains’ that is no more than the expected (desirable in a probabilistic sense) way, always changing, of interrelation, never intended and necessary—and therefore never necessitated and necessary—between entities. Space is therefore not a pre-determined and consistent entity within and on which things exist, but it is a ‘something’ only, and each time, starting with the relationship of contiguity between entities/objects returning to be ‘something’ and that, in turn, are the result of probabilistic, granular, combinations.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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