ARISTOTLE VERSUS PHILOPONUS: A FUNCTIONAL APPROACH TO THE INTUITIVE PHYSICS OF PROJECTILES

  • Nuno De Sá Teixeira
  • Armando M. Oliveira

Abstract

Intuitive physics is a popular field of research within cognitive psychology which addresses the common-sense beliefs about the physical world, particularly about classical mechanics. An influential stream of research argues for the striking resemblance between common-sense beliefs and those embodied in pre-Newtonian theories, such as the medieval physics of impetus. In this study, two early algebraic proposals for the relation between the force applied to an object, the resistance to its motion and its resulting velocity are compared, the first one derived from Aristotle, the other set forth by Philoponus (VIth century). The methodology of Information Integration Theory was used, revealing a dividing cognitive integration rule in agreement with Aristotle’s proposal. The significance of this finding is discussed through a suggested link with the mental models framework.

Section
Full Articles