Friction of bodies, friction of minds

  • Agnes Heller


In the middle of the fifteenth century, roughly three hundred years before Newton formulated the socalled “laws of motion”, Nicholas of Cusa, the philosopher-cardinal, had pondered the phenomenon which has been known since as “rolling friction”. He said as follows:

“Notice that the movement of the ball declines and ceases, leaving the ball sound and whole, because the motion that is within the ball is not natural, but accidental and violent. Therefore when the impetus that is impressed upon it dies out, it stops. But if that ball were perfectly round ... its motion would be round. That motion would be natural and in no way violent, and would never cease.”


Rolling Friction Fifteenth Century Corporate Body Metaphysical Foundation Observation Sentence 
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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agnes Heller

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