Real Natures: Basic, Consequent, Resultant and Emergent
I. Introduction 271
II. Sharpening the Issues 279
1. Tunes -- Forms and structures. 282
2. What about indeterminacy and the borders of natural and synthetic kinds 287
3. Same constitution and replicability. 291
4. Realism again. 293
5. Consequent natures. 295
6. The status of the laws. 297
7. Real natures: Basic, consequent, resultant and emergent. 299
III. Conclusion 300
Real Natures: Basic, Consequent, Resultant and Emergent
We have to discuss these things: (1) That there are real natures that are constant dispositions, whether active or not, (like fluidity of water), solid with things. "Things" for this purpose analogously include the elements, compounds, animals, forces, fields, galaxies, galactic space and anything else that exerts physical causation upon anything else. (2) That because natures involve matter behaving according to forms (mathematizable structures of constant, and sometimes instantaneous [time-irrelevant], causation), it is as if there were software everywhere. (3) That there are consequent, resultant and emergent natures, relatively to what appears physically fundamental, though all may be embedded recursively in further structures without ever touching bottom for all we know so far. (4) That such a recursive structure, if that should be the universal structure of the cosmos, is not an equivalent of the "prime matter" attributed to Aristotle by Aquinas and others before him, nor is it a universal substratum of some kind, but the negation of such a bottom layer. (5) Thus, on that supposition, top-down explanation of origin, by creation, necessary emanation or pantheistic identity, might be the only option because "bottom up" explanations of the necessities of nature would have no final basis. To borrow a phrase of Quine's: They would not wind down. (6) Lastly, it is the forms in nature that are intelligible and, as explained in Chapter 5, originate our conceptions.
But first we need to sharpen the edges of the claim that there are real natures wherever there are physical realities with regularity of behavior. For instance, wherever there are physical realities whose spatio-temporal approach or other "presence" to other physical realities is enough for a measurable (in principle) physical change in one of them we have behavior from a real nature. That's true even for what I called "friendship among the quanta." So, for example, a force-field considered as a spatio-temporally distributed mathematizable physical function, amounts to a real nature if some level of entities exhibit regularities of behavior differentially when within its spatio-temporal boundaries. An electro-magnetic field can be displayed by the lined-up iron filings we throw on it. Whether or not we sprinkle the filings, the causation of the magnetic field is constant. Such constant causation is a force.
Real natures typically involve an analogue of Aristotle's matter-form composition. If we want to talk of the nature of electric current, we conveniently distinguish the electrons and the structure of their behavior, their script, as it were: flow, direction, force, volume, inductive and magnetic properties, etc. Form as "intrinsic explanatory programs for observable behavior" applies analogously across the entire cosmos, from the level of a grand unified theory, to light, sound, explosions, tides, all the elements and compounds, to all species of plants and animals and to every real thing that humans make, whether automobiles, pesticides, dams or lasers. It is as if there is software everywhere.
Some of the simplest real forms are the distributive forms used in building -- arches, buttresses, bracing, timbering -- arrangements of the material that distribute gross physical forces, like gravity, mass, surface resistance, friction, compression of matter by volume, so as to constitute the particular stability, endurance, shock-resistance, wind-resistance (and all the other properties that result from the arrangement of the materials) of that sort of building: aqueduct, bridge, barn roof, bays of stone, cathedrals and skyscrapers. When you arrange a pile of stones so that they hold one another in place to make a New England stone wall (of which there are indefinitely many designs, discernible after one learns how to look at them), you make an active distributive structure with the component stones. It is the structure that explains the stability, frost resistance, slope, curvature, cornering and leveling of the wall. The structure, though far too complex to be described except in very general terms and sketches, is constant causation, in this case, distribution and alignment of more basic physical forces, to achieve characteristic behavior; the structure is as real as are the component stones and as far beyond the capacity of the component stones to attain on their own as is speech.
When we come to the level of crystals, for instance in metals and gems, we find distributive forms of higher complexity: for they distribute not only the forces like gravity, but various electromagnetic and atomic forces, even light reflective and absorbent forces, to produce the characteristic behavior, from conductivity to sheen to elasticity, heat-expansion, light reflection and absorption, even light focussing on a brilliant center. As crystalline structures display, the explanatory arrangement of atoms can be repeated over and over, with numberless variations and deviations, while the common structure can be understood by abstraction and is seen to be realized in each case.
So there is no point in disputing the reality of forms (mathematizable explanatory structures that are modes of constant causation) whose components are only passively capable of such behavior. You can find them in table settings, and sea walls; actively in trusses and ties in a roof, and in the utility of arches and buttresses; even more actively in a radio or a computer, where satisfying the design is essential to performance and impossible for the parts by themselves.
There may be a point in disputing whether all intrinsic explanatory physical and biological structures are reducible (perhaps, eliminatively) to a few fundamental structures, or even to some basic components and universal forces, the same throughout the cosmos, that in fact produce all the more complex forms over time. But that inquiry, however it comes out, is peripheral to the present one, which concerns the complexity and reality of various forms (intrinsic explanatory structures that are modes of constant causation), as the foundation of the intelligibility of the material world, and as the explanatory origin of the observable regularities of behavior: sub-atomic, molecular, cellular, organ, plant, animal, ecosystem, planet, star, galaxy and the whole universe. It is by conceptualization of real structures that we make the realities into components of judgment. So, when we say "mass determines space" we are thinking of, and talking about, real mass and real space.
It is the particular that is perceptually present to an animal, but it is its intelligible form (of which most are accidental and incidental and seldom "the essence") by which the real thing becomes a component of judgment. So the red buttocks of the baboon is apparent to other baboons, but color is present only to humans, and by conceptualization red becomes a component not only of animal perception but of human perceptual judgment.
The forms as principles of constant causation cannot be eliminated as unnecessary, the way 17th century mechanists hoped. Forms are the intelligible features, which, realized materially, constitute the real natures of particular things, from light waves to ocean waves to spiders, cats and people. The forms are not the natures. The material components are not the natures. The components-formed into constant causal dispositions are the natures. Thus, real natures are not generalities, they are to particulars as capacities are to realizations. The individual thing is a realization of capacity for that sort of material organization exhibiting that sort of behavior. Such real active ability is the nature, and the intrinsic organizing constant causation is the form or structure.
The real nature of rubies and sapphires, originating the hardness, translucency, reflectively and the like, is complete (though perhaps not perfect or pure) in each and every stone. Real natures are repeatable but are not universals because the disposition of one ruby is not numerically that of another. How then -- to speak as classical philosophers did -- can there be a multitude of things "of the same nature," glaciers, rubies, snow flakes, fruit flies or stars? What is the ontological status of common natures, whether it be the drying properties of an evaporating paint or those of a heat-interacting epoxy paint?
For a first step, multitude and regularity exist apart from conception, whereas universals, abstractions, do not. Multitude and regularity are the foundations for our conceptions, but conceptions are products of the understanding and make real things components of judgments. Conceptions are not components of material things, but acts of the understanding whose content is the forms of things. The multitude and regularity all reduce to the behavior of single things whose behavior exhibits the real nature, which in turn is material components (atoms, molecules, cells, etc.), organized formally and, in certain cases, there may be forms that are what-they-do, requiring no material components but having only physical effects, perhaps like energy, or maybe gravity (if there are no gravitons).
But if constant causation, like electromagnetic fields, exists everywhere in the cosmos, then constant causation must be a reality on its own? No. Causation is not subsistent; it does not exist on its own, but only through forms and components by their interactions. One stone leans on another; one brick presses another down; one sun attracts the moving earth; a tree crushes a car. Gravity is the constant mathematizable causation by which mass (de)forms space and space determines motion. In a sense gravity is everywhere because it is the field of masses, the shape of space. But gravity can also be regarded as a form co-present with mass. We need not decide on one or the other at this point.
Consider a superstring type hypothesis that, in effect, postulates that all matter consists in the spatio-temporal distribution of what are mathematically and theoretically energy waves, perhaps originally and ultimately a single wave without a medium, that fragmented (why?) into the multiplicity of waves that may be regarded either as having space-time as their medium through which they pass as wave forms pass through water or as having space-time among their characteristic effects. If anything like that hypothesis were true, then form -- as spatio-temporally distributed mathematizable structures of constant causation -- would not only be everywhere and real in the cosmos, it would be ultimate physically. As I said we don't have to decide anything so general. But notice, the physics of wave theory relies on the notion of form as italicized above. It is that sort of form that I say is present everywhere and at every "level" or dimension of matter, from the galaxies to the diameter of the atom 10-19 cm and beyond at least to 10-21 cm.
As with each of the analytic nodes in this metaphysical inquiry, there is both analogy of meaning among the words and analogy of reality among the things. The words, like "form," "behavior," "observable," "essence," "nature," and "cause" adapt to the discourse, both to the meanings of words in the statements and to their conditions of applicability (to the overflow conditions, not contained in the meaning but incorporated by referential practice). Similarly, the things we talk about and find in the material world are really analogous, the way the "dielectric polarization, that occurs also in all electrical insulators is a reversible electrical property analogous to their mechanical elasticity" [Holden, 1965, p. 4]. There is analogia entis among the realities under discussion. For instance the basic structure of solids that makes elastic distortion, heat capacity and dielectric polarization to be reversible properties, which is analogous among the features mentioned, is certainly not a form, a program or software, in the same sense as is the unifying structure in a mouse, a water beetle or a dog. But the function of constant causation that, through the passive dispositions of matter, explains the regularity of observable behavior is again "the same" in all. The fact that a notion is analogous and that the realities encompassed are really analogous, and not further similar, is not a reason to separate the study of the one from that of the other. On the contrary, the ability to recognize that the dielectric polarization in electrical insulators is a reversible electrical property analogous to their mechanical elasticity, is a scientific insight leading to the further insight that mechanical changes cause thermal changes and electrical changes cause thermal and mechanical changes and vice versa. So there is physical causation among analogous realities.
In the physics of solids, as I explained, there are features recognized to be analogous to one another and to stand in mathematizable relationships as well. So for a philosopher to say "Well, if the phenomena are only analogous there is nothing important in common" is entirely to miss the point: wherever there is analogy of the realities, there are very important intelligible commonalities, not reducible to identities, even when, as with wave theory, there is a common mathematization. Nature goes together not so much in unisons -- which would make dull music -- but in proportionalities, which Pythagoras took to be the foundation of analogy and order. A-440, C, E and F, A, C have the same intervals but distinct frequencies. They are proportionally the same (analogous) but not identical or even the same by doubling as octaves are.
After some further remarks about the variety of real forms and why they are the intelligible features of things, I will explain why the indeterminacy of the physical as to pure functions that is central to the argument of Chapter 6, does not apply to real forms, as constant causation wholly physically present in every one of their material realizations: e.g., the support features of a properly constructed arch. For this, it is useful to keep in mind that the real nature of a thing is the constant active cause of the characteristic behavior of the thing, and that the form is metaphorically, at least, the program according to which the material components act (and react) to exercise that constant causation. Thus form is an intrinsic constant organizing cause, while the nature, which includes the particular sort of matter involved, is an intrinsic cause of external behavior, of actual and potential changes in other things (even where there is no effect to be detected, as in the empty magnetic field). Thus, the nature is the essence as principle of the operations of a thing, to use an ancient phrase, and the form organizes the material into the essence, thereby causing the form-matter complex to exist. Although the terminology is old, the ideas, understood in light of what we know now, have vitality, new mathematizable content and new explanatory utility.
Now there is no doubt that in attempting to articulate a physical form with mathematical and ideal precision, problems of indeterminacy as to which, if any, pure function is realized may arise. I apply the solution of Chapter 6, that where it is physically indeterminate which among incompatible pure functions is realized, then none of them are. There is no reason at all why real forms cannot both fail to realize any pure function perfectly and yet can be intelligible, with the help of such abstractions, and, furthermore, that the real forms should be the principle of intelligibility of the material world; in fact many are intelligible because they can be approximated by competing pure functions which are accessible to understanding alone.
I apply the principles, "no names, no cases" and "no cases, no kinds" to real natures. The result is that there are no merely possible real natures, no real natures without cases and no reality to natures apart from their realization in cases. Of course "cases" is also analogous, ranging from individual animals, cells, molecules, to waves, fields and forces. Once we recognize that real natures are the objects of the articulate, stable comprehension that amounts to scientific understanding, as well as of the pre-scientific comprehension of farmers, hunters, fishermen, sailors, and craftsmen of all sorts, we provide modern content to the ancient generality that "the proper object of human understanding is the natures of material things."
And, lastly for this chapter, what ontic status do the laws of nature have? In what sense is the behavior of lead solder governed by a law that relates rising temperature to fluidity of lead and dropping temperature to solidity? In what sense is the behavior of a wave governed by the law "A wave travels one wavelength during one period" or even a less definitional law that a wave's crest is related to its trough by a certain mathematical function? If at a conjectured moment of maximum compactness, the big bang, there are no physical natures, then where do they come from and what status do they have afterward? I conclude that laws of nature have no causal efficacy and have no ontological status except as products of human understanding, and that the real natures of things which we can comprehend and then articulately express in mathematized laws, could be differently conceptualized and expressed in different laws, without loss of the intelligibility of nature or of the success of science, and that, sometimes at least, we have to revise and refine the laws to make the systems neater or more comprehensive (as we did to Newton's physics), without losing what we previously comprehended (though comprehension can in part be lost for a while too, as we advance on another front). So, in brief, the laws of nature epitomize real explanations (causation and constitution) as far as we have grasped them, but have so many made-up features that they are not even just "obtuse abstractions" as that idea was explained earlier, but are products of our "intellectual composition of nature," more closely analogous to landscape art, architectural and mechanical drawing and map making than to wall-building.
II. Sharpening the Issues
No one is likely to deny that there are natural laws, even natural necessities, e.g., as the velocity of an object with mass approaches that of light, the mass approaches infinity, or F=MA applied to automobile crashes. Few would deny that the necessity mentioned is an abstraction and extrapolation by theory from the regularity of physical behavior. That is especially obvious in the relation of velocity, mass and the speed of light, since we do not have any observed cases at large fractions of the speed of light, or at the least had none when the generality was accepted on theoretical grounds. And some might insist that the law has ideal status, like a platonic archetype, or holds because of the divine immutability (Descartes), or is only a human instrument for the prediction of regularity in experience (Berkeley), or even, is an a priori mental structure of experience (Kant). Those are all too extravagant. The real natures of things are the basis for the laws we abstract, however much mathematics and theorizing we do to formulate them. Some people, of course, are satisfied to say there is no further basis than the observable regularity of behavior, and perhaps, artifacts of our thinking. But that just leaves the question "whence the regularity of behavior?" unaddressed, but not suppressed. And it is the regularity of behavior we want to recognize, predict and explain. If the laws are the abstractive/judgmental outcomes of regular material behavior, then the explanation of the regularity does not lie in the laws but has to lie in real principles of constant causation (some, with immediate effects). So real causation has to include something more than event-causation as Hume and many other philosophers describe it; in fact, event-causation is, probably, entirely reducible to constant causation of immediate effects.
An active dispositive nature is an intrinsic explanatory principle (a causal origin) of observable regularity of behavior that is the basis for law-like generalization. For instance it is the nature of liquids that if contained, pressure applied at any point through the surface of the container is distributed equally all over the inner surface of the container: the principle of hydraulic brakes and airplane hydraulics. Very probably we can now provide a reductive account of that element of the nature of fluids; but that does not impugn the claim that the hydraulic properties are features of fluids by nature, that is, from the intrinsic molecular/atomic constitution that causes observable fluid behavior, like moving a piston, that we rely upon to produce further effects (braking, flap positioning).
For a long time philosophers dismissed the idea of intrinsic explanatory structures as unnecessary and unintelligible. For if there is one universal cosmic physics, then all physical behavior is in principle at least, reducible under the universal physical principles and nothing additional is required. So what is the point of forms, essences and natures? What explanatory content could they add, and how could we avoid the appearance of causation by magic? Within the 17th century idea of res extensa with only geometric properties, acting under a universal divine deposit of motion, like a giant clock wound up by the divine will and never to run down (but with no part actually pushing its ghostly three-dimensional geometric nearest neighbor to a new relative position), the old Aristotelian notion of multitudes of innate forms (like "little souls in things" to use a very apt phrase of Descartes') was arbitrary and unneeded.
The internal defects of a notion of continuous matter with only Euclidean geometrical properties that could still be discrete and able to transmit motion, apparently by getting out of the way all together (without any explanation of transmission, resistance, friction, etc.), did not become obvious right away, and there was such rapid supplementation within 45 years by Newton that the incoherence of the Cartesian system was not as much of interest to physicists as Newton's explanatory successes by the offensive ideas of action at a distance. Nevertheless, both systems lack coherent accounts of physical causation. After all, besides the mysterious force of gravity that was supposed to propagate without a medium (and at what rate? instantaneously?), there is also the mysterious attachment of the close particles of solids that weakens with distance; but why? (Now we can explain it.) And gradually electro-magnetic force was recognized, as was the strong nuclear force and the weak force (since reduced, I think, to the electro-magnetic force). All the phenomena of observable matter were to be explained through these basic forces, supplemented by quantum theory, without the need of any additional forms, natures or other software.
As things turned out with the development of physics, chemistry, biology (and hundreds of other subdisciplines), the cosmic physics, as far as we have it worked out, very little resembles 17th century mechanism, or even Newtonian mechanics, and much more resembles an almost innumerable variety of scripts composed within a framework of universal physical principles (the universal constants and forces) from which one cannot usually deduce the scripts, though there are indeed notable exceptions, some having to do with star and galaxy-formation and some with the behavior of metals, glass, glaciers, ocean waves, light waves, sound waves, hydraulics, aerodynamics, electronics and the like.
The script for concrete hardening is probably reducible to chemical and physical subscripts. So also, electrical induction is probably reducible to atomic and electromagnetic principles. But there is no known similar reduction of crabs, worms, birds, insects, spiders, or mammals of any species to the components, even to cells, much less to molecules or atoms. In other words, there are principles of organization, especially obvious in living things, that produce a unified existent, explain its characteristic behavior, that are destroyed by its death, and cannot, as far as we know so far, be produced by mere sequencing and arranging of the universal physical principles.
The universal reductionist dream seems further from reality than ever, while the reality of intrinsic dynamic structures that script the observable phenomena, sometimes rigidly and sometimes probably, is harder and harder to deny. Who can doubt that when critical mass of fissionable uranium is reached, the resulting phenomena follow exactly as if they were written into the atoms in the first place? Who can doubt that when a baby red squirrel matures in a hospitable environment, it will feed and play and seek to reproduce as do the others of its kind? The squirrel, unlike the critical mass of uranium, has an active, overall organizing principle that makes it one living thing, a principle of constant causation that is active in a way a radio's design is not?
1. Tunes -- Forms and structures.
To clarify both the intelligibility and the constant causation, including the causation of being, by forms, let's begin with the idea of a tune. The page here displays several tunes, spread out in space in printing and spread out in time in performance, but with no relation between the two extensions. Each has an internal structure. How the internal structure of the sung tune is to be described depends of course on one's made up musical theory, of intervals, notes (pitches) and, perhaps voice leading, and one's principles about how to divide up the sound rhythmically and metrically. If you describe some of these tunes in terms of classical diatonic structures you get progressions made out of such intervals as major thirds, consecutive whole tones, minor thirds, perfect fifths, and so forth. But if you describe them according to a 23 tone scale (still between A-440 to A-880), the intervals will be quite different, and unless we are careful about what tunes we pick, there may even be no equivalent in that scale. Similarly, Gregorian Chants, in the chant modes, can be notated as diatonic melodies. But not all diatonic melodies can be notated or sung within the chant modes.
[Insert half-page of illustrations]
Melodies have personality and energy that cannot be explained by the general musical theory alone. J. S. Bach melodies have peculiar energy qualities (intelligibility, striving and driving toward the resolution) not shared by the Brahms, though sometimes something analogous appears in Bartok melodies. [See the illustrations.]
Singing or playing or writing out the song is a materialization of the form, the tune: you can show that by transposing the tune up a third or down a tone. The material, the tones, entirely changes but the structure remains the same. In fact, skipping the abstraction by which we render a melody without the particular sounds by marks in a score, the melody has no reality apart from the singing or playing, or the image in someone's memory or recording, or digital program, or the composer's making. The relation of the melody to the song is the relation of form to matter. Structure determines what the thing is, in this case, which song it is, and that it is a song, and that it exists, and is not a random sequence of squeaks, say. The fact that the melody can be repeated in different media for materialization, say, in magnetic impulses in radio waves (which are actually light waves, not sound at all), on violins, pianos, organs (with different systems of tuning and different temperaments), is merely a modern illustration of Aristotle's observation that a material form can be received in many kinds of matter, that is, matter capable of the differentiations and stability and unity the form requires. The melody has no existence apart from a materialization as I said: it is a form. Yet the melody is not the same as any of its materializations and is an internal, intrinsic, constant organizing cause of the melodic features of any of its soundings and also an intrinsic constant cause of the existence (being) of the song.
The melody that makes a particular song to be "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," is not detectable to the senses as a melody, even if it is found to be pleasurable; that is, melody has to be grasped, understood, and in the understanding made present as a cross-temporal unit. The same holds for a spoken sentence too (as Augustine noted in De Magistro). A judgment under a conception is required to turn the perceptual multiplicity into a perceived unity, that, as understood, like a sentence, is understood all-at-once (in a time different from the time of performance). It is only the unity perceived that can be repeated in other performances. A child less than a year old can perceive simple tunes that even a herder sheep-dog cannot. Do not confuse the material repeatability of music and all other messages by copying or reproduction of the signal; even random sounds with no message and no form can be physically replicated. Multiple realization requires the same form. We have to be able to say there is no relevant difference as to what is sung, whether a man sings a phrase or a woman does, though a woman's voice is an octave higher than a man's.
That kind of experience by which you grasp the song, even if you don't have a name for it or a conception for it, is abstractive judgment. So is the situation in which someone says something in an unknown language; and you, without any idea of its content, judge that something was said (asserted, exclaimed, asked, ordered, etc.). Thus judgment can have very little content while still being genuinely abstract. Notice, any tune has the same indeterminacy, compared to pure functions, as any other physical form. But that does not cause "no fact of the matter" as to whether a song is "Three Blind Mice" or "Frere Jacques."
There is no physical relation that constitutes sameness of form. So a tune can be played beginning on any note (or any pitch or even any frequency). The intervals do not have to be preserved in any physical way; they can all be out of tune. Identity is a matter of recognizability and some of that requires expertise or habitual appreciation, for instance, to recognize a melody under the transformations of jazz improvisation. There is no merely physical isomorphism that has to be preserved for replication of a tune (or any other material form); that's illustrated by the fact that you can play a tune on some old twangy piano with no intervals in tune, and thus none of the intervals is even proportionally the same as on a well-tuned piano. The tune can be the same, even if some of the keys won't sound.
Now that is not a suggestion that distributive and organizing forms are not material realities. Rather, although no such form can exist unmaterialized, the form cannot be identified with any materialization even though, in each, the form explains both the organization of the components and the existence of the material thing. The tune explains the organization of sound into the song, that (sort of) song, and the existence (internally) of the song. Recognizing a song is not like a sheep-dog's recognition of the master's whistled directions from a mile away in New Zealand. The understanding has to organize into a present unified identification, what is presented successively as a transtemporal unit, temporally organized (e.g., with some parts longer than others).
No, I don't want the reader to conclude that every time there is a common formula among things there is a common form in nature, except perhaps in the sense of an accidental form. Accidental patterns can occur in traffic, in investments, even in literature and music; some novelist may use "th" sounds more often than another, and not because of a character's accent. Whenever there is a tune-like structure to things that are causally interacting, there will be patterns in the interaction that will also have a formula-like structure but for the most part those will be resultants, that is, causally accounted for by the material transformations in which the constitutive formula is realized. So I leave the question of what are the fundamental structures in nature apart for the moment, merely pointing out that no adequate science could account for the behavior of things without regarding, for instance, the element-structures by which each has its own identifying light signature, and every particle of each element has the same light signature, as real. The explanation is in the organization of the atoms (the elemental form), the nature of light and their interactions. The atomic constitution and the crystalline organization explain the features of steel by which it gets its contrasted laminating qualities, tensile qualities, strength, stability, elasticity, and its other features in contrast say to glass. Nature is full of tunes -- continuous causation according to a program, whose dynamic features explain the exhibited behavior of things. Whether those natural tunes are themselves somehow fundamental and not themselves the resultants of other forms is a separate matter. For the most part, we're inclined to think that such natural structures as we find in, say, water molecules, are in fact causally resultant from structures we can find in the components, the atoms. So, for instance, the fact that water has three states, liquid, gas and solid, and as gas has several distinct states, is a resultant of the atomic features of the molecules yet conditional upon there being environments in which those three states might occur. Sometimes latent capacities can be discovered theoretically, by comparisons, even though not practically producible. Azimov reports that hydrogen under a pressure equalling that at earth's center would form a dense black solid.
A truly physicalist account of matter, which is surely the ideal of empirical science, has to say that the entire reality of physical laws is in material things without requiring any abstract object or any thinking being at all. So if the wind chimes happen to make the sound of "Three Blind Mice," although what tune it is depends on human invention, that such a progression of intervals is of the form A, A, B, B, B, A has to be entirely accounted for by the physical features of the particular sounds. That structure has to be entirely in the material thing or else it does not organize the material thing. But if the structure is entirely in the sounds, then it begins and ends with the sounds and is as particular as they are. That's why the discussion of abstraction and its normal outcome, conception, is so important for explaining understanding and truth [see Chapter 5]. What I called "dematerialization of the singular" is actually a real change in the intelligent perceiver by which the form that is particular in the thing and to the senses is also present, as structure, to the understanding. The sounds are not really changed, but the person is who hears the tune.
The notion of a formula is too static to explain the notion of natural structures that I have in mind. If the natural structure is real, in the thing, a formula, mathematical or chemical, or the like, may be an expression or description of it. So the formula, say, given in a scientific description of a crystal structure like corundum, is related to the particular emerald somewhat the way a concept or a conception is related to a perceived thing. It is the same in content.
The formulas and other mathematized generalizations with which we describe the physical phenomena are like a score transcribed by a skillful musician upon hearing a work. He can so transcribe the work that you can recover the work from the score by making a sounding of it according to the pattern laid down by the score, interpreting the marks according to the prevailing conventions for reading scores. The score is related to the composition the way a sentence in use is related to what is said. And the composition, what is said, is far more definite than any expression of it, and a performance, like other real situations, is transcendently determinate, as that notion was explained in Chapter 1 and again in Chapter 6.
Similarly, it is as if there has to be a certain kind of tune running through all the matter in the human body and continuing for quite a long time, as long as the matter is capable of the tune, in order for there to be a human being at all. When the matter, like the sounds, can't maintain the continuation of the tune, the whole thing (song, human) ceases to be. I end the discussion of structures or forms of things that operate dynamically like software to explain the unified being of things, for now. The main point to be made out of this is that what a thing is, determined by the melody or form, is itself something realized entirely in the materialization and spread out in time, presented to us by the senses and recognizable by the understanding alone (cf. Descartes' similar point in his wax example, Meditation 2).
2. What about indeterminacy and the borders of natural and synthetic kinds?
With many natural kinds we can find or make cases that fall on the borders or outside the borders of things that bear the name, either because of a similar constitution with a difference of behavior or because of the same behavior but from a different constitution (emeralds: beryl v. corundum). There are three different automatic focussing systems for a still camera (not entirely equivalent because some results differ). And apparently some of the same software can run on Mac and DOS and even Unix-based systems. But, the argument goes, if natural and synthetic kinds are indefinite at the edges, and if the structures or forms of things, measured precisely enough are not the same as the ideal forms, then we don't really know the forms or natures of the individual cases and have to get along with conventions about them. Granted that, we are told, then we might as well conclude that there are not real forms or natures or natural kinds, because, granting that we cannot know them, we have no reason in experience for saying there are such things. No real difference in aspirin and arsenic?
But we do have reasons in experience for saying there are such things: pythons, of certain species, kill by fangs and poison, boa constrictors kill by crushing, congestive heart disease kills by failure to pump blood, coronary occlusion kills by blockage of the blood passage. If some burning paper falls on your hand, you can plunge it into water and extinguish the fire (even lessen the burning of the hand). If some ignited napalm falls on your hand you cannot extinguish it with water, and the burn is far worse in the same time. The fact that napalm is gasoline thickened to flow jellied, either by soap thickeners or by polystyrene or by similar polymers, and can, therefore, have varying chemical constitution, does not cancel its being a really different kind of stuff from ignitable paper, and that, regardless of the differences of constitution, certain gross properties (not only of weight, viscosity and electron behavior) but being non-extinguishable by water, causing searing burning, and burning what cannot be ignited, are distinctive. We should acknowledge that there are real (even if synthetic) equivalence kinds, the same in certain behavior and with distinct equivalent constitutions for producing the behavior.
So we proceed to abstract a chemical formula for some stuff, say, gasoline. Someone points out that a particular gasoline may not be ideally pure, having admixtures of other chemicals; someone else points out that gasoline often has deliberate additives, as did leaded gasoline. The conclusion is supposed to be that we do not know "what" gasoline is. But the conclusion does not follow at all. We can know what something is, when there is not a single perfect case available. And, of course, in a pre-scientific way we can know for certain that an average caucasian, a seven-foot Zulu, a pygmy, a dwarf and a midget are all humans without being able to say more precisely than "rational animal" what the common nature is. But it is real and equally present in everyone. Scientifically we can say what nitroglycerin is and how it differs from semtex, and can predict the explosive behavior of each precisely.
So, even though the under-determination of hypotheses by data, the inscrutability of reference, the grue problems of Goodman and "quus/plus" plus problems of Kripke can be replicated over the question, "what is the identity of the tune or the melody in any given sounding?" since there is nothing about the sounding that tells us whether it has ended, nothing that tells us what would have occurred, had a half-step been added or a note divided in two, or had the pitch of the instrument flattened a quarter-tone and so, when you take an entirely enumerative inductive approach, there is no particular reason to project one predicate (call it "Moon River," rather than "Spoon River," a contrasting and incompatible predicate), on any given pattern of sound. The fact is that those conjectural differences are irrelevant, both cognitively and entitatively. We discover the real natures of things, even of our own inventions, by comprehension based on abstraction and not by generalization based on counting cases. The Humean induction problem and Goodman's new riddle of induction and even meaning -- skepticism, apply to processes we do not usually use in understanding the natures of things.
The fact that any description of constitution we offer might be replaced by a better or more comprehensive one, or may even need to be replaced as we fit chemistry more securely into the lap of physics, has nothing to do with whether the earlier description is sufficient for us to comprehend the active principle of characteristic behavior. We can even comprehend that some inner constitution is the constant cause of observable behavior, say of a fiber "with memory," so that even if stretched out into a line, when dropped into warm water, it returns to its spring-shape with all the spring properties intact, when we have no idea (as non-specialists) of what the inner constitution is or how it achieves the "memory" effect. We know that the inner constitution has to have a part or feature that acts like a program, a command structure, that causes the components to do what they do, in contrast to arrangements where the same components (qualitatively) do not have the active abilities we observe, but have others of the same complexity or others of a lower complexity, instead.
In a word, the argument that from indeterminacy of various sorts we can conclude that if there is a definite structure we cannot know it, and because we lack such knowledge in principle we are in no position to insist that there are inner explanatory structures in things, has everything backwards. Our experiential knowledge that what things are and what they do is explained by their constitution, and that same components are not enough for same constitution, but that there also has to be a story, a program, or form, and that that generality holds throughout all the dimensions of matter from 2x1040 cm to 2x10-23 cm is certain and something scientific theory and philosophy of science have to suppose and to explain, not deny. It is the intelligible in nature that we strive to understand, and to use in explanations. Philosophy that denies intelligible reality is really there and really everywhere, has torn out its eyes.
The wrong conclusion was drawn from saying our knowledge of the material world based on the examination of cases is always indeterminate among conflicting generalities. Oftentimes any one of the relevant generalities will do to articulate our comprehension, just as distinct scores taken by dictation form a symphony may do equally well for later performances. Knowledge runs ahead of the data, and does so rather quickly, using it like snow to ski on. So while it is true that an inexperienced person has great difficulty in identifying what the melody is in a passage from Strauss's Electra, and would be even more baffled at differentiating cells microscopically or at reading a sonogram, that's really no different from an ordinary person's being baffled to figure out what the formula for formica is, or an outsider's not knowing when the windup begins and ends for a baseball pitch and, thus being unable to see a balk. Most of our discriminations as to what things really are have to be learned and are modified by teaching. The fact that there is a theoretical haze around many such judgments is no basis for uncertainty, usually, and is merely a byproduct of the fact that thought can be, with respect to ideal objects and pure functions, more definite and precise than matter can be. And so, in principle we can always ask a question, "It is A, or incompatible B?", that nature cannot answer because it cannot actually be either. Yet nature can and is still definite in its own way: intrinsic form and structure explains observable regularity of behavior. And any physical thing has overflow features we do not know of, and, as to individuation, we cannot in principle understand.
3. Same constitution and replicability.
One cannot multiply things of the same sort of constitution without numerically differing components or relative locations (two electromagnetic fields, say), but the same form. Now as was known from ancient times, "same form" cannot mean numerically the same form because one case can be destroyed without affecting the other. You would only have numerically the same form in all the letters "A" in this manuscript if by erasing one you could make them all disappear. So there has to be real repeatability materially, just as there can be real repetition of a statement or a tune, where each is the same but the materialization is different and distinct.
Human nature is repeated and multiplied analogously to Sinatra's and Ella Fitzerald's singing "Time Goes By." One could retrace the mountain roads of the traditional problem of universals at this point; but that is unnecessary. We don't need to explain where forms come from and how they organize matter (as if there were inner mechanisms by which forms work). We can settle for the notion that by forms matter is organized into unified active dispositions that characterize one sort of thing as against another, from dinosaurs right down to cells, proteins, molecules, atoms, electrons, neutrons, protons, mesons, and perhaps quarks and further. We can allow that matter may, for all we know, be "forms all the way down," a recursive structuring, and, unless we are primarily investigating the origination of the whole universe, we can leave all the questions about universals behind with the simple observations that universals (as the conceptions by which we apprehend first level general forms above individuating differences) exist as such only in thought, that they are the abstractive presence of the particularized forms of things and not causes of them (as Plato had it). Forms are particular in things and not separable (except in the case of humans, perhaps). Any organizing principle of material components can be repeated in suitable other components, whether naturally or synthetically, but the repetition yields at most a plurality of the same sort, not repetition of the actual thing, as can happen with an abstract particular; e.g., the very thing, Mozart's Symphony No. 40 can be repeated; this book can be repeated, even in different type, and in different media. Individuals cannot in that sense be repeated and neither can forms.
Now some people have said this sort of a theory spills over on the one side into conceptualism because it seems to suggest that the regularity of things is somehow accounted for by our concepts, or on the other side into nominalism, because it says in fact that there isn't any generality in things, there is only multiplicity in equiform names for things. But this sort of theory is neither nominalist not conceptualist. For one thing, it requires what other philosophers call abstract ideas; it requires that we abstract the things we perceive just as if each were a chain of pitches in which we hear a tune. For that you don't need to name the tune, you don't need to be able to reproduce the tune, sing it or anything of that kind; it simply presents itself with that kind of generality, coincident with the particular sounds, by which one can say, in addition to hearing the sounds, we hear the song, usually learning how to do that for all sorts of things, by comparison. It doesn't make any sense at all to say that the similarity between renditions of "A Mighty Fortress" is accounted for by our conception of something like a formula for "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," that could be a kind of tone-neutral score. We can abstract and recognize the tune because it is in each playing, not the other way around.
Nominalism will do no better at explaining how there can be abstraction in which a physical object perceptually present is coincident with the conception and judgment (say, as to what tune it is). That cannot be explained as the mere application of one label to many objects. In fact, a nominalist cannot explain what applying "the same name to many things" is, in a way that accords with our linguistic practice, except for the cases where we really do that: count things the same because we call them the same: e.g., accidents.
The general shape of this account is moderate realism: we have real forms (software, scripts, dynamic natures) to explain (a) the similarity of distinct things, (b) the internal organization of matter into unities whose diverse regularities of behavior are observable, (c) the intelligibility, by conception, of material things, and (d) what the basic components of judgments are and how conception can build upon conception into very abstract thought, even highly formal thinking like advanced mathematics.
When in the normal course of making sounds, say whistling or humming for example, we produce sounds that satisfy some formula, and then repeat the melody with another set of sounds, their sameness is not to be explained extrinsically either by a causal or a similarity relation to an archetype or even to what we abstract from one of them, or even less by our happening to call them "I did it my way." For the organization that makes a melody is internal to the sounds and coincident with them and as particular as they are. The organization is repeated with each suitable succession of sounds. It is real and intrinsic to the material world.
There is a tension between saying the repeated singing repeats the organizing form numerically but otherwise without any difference in it, but only in the particular sounds that embody it, and saying that the organizing form understood, through abstraction, is numerically the same as the form in the singing. For that would seem to imply that A = B, yet A = C and B = C. The answer is that numerical identity is a merely logical relation of particulars to themselves, and numerical difference is a logical (mind dependent) relation dependent on real differences. So the form (tune) in two cases of singing can be numerically different because its embodiment in sounds is different. But the form in each embodiment can be completely the same as the form conceived because by conception it acquires another manner of being but not a difference of content. The form, particular in the tune is also abstract in the thinker.
4. Realism again.
The object of science is a stable comprehension of things, ever more particular and also more encompassing. Not mere information, or conjecture, or confirmed hypotheses, but a genuine grasp of the "WHY" of what things do, that we can display in successful prediction and technology (or other doing and making). Ideally we'd attain cosmic comprehension, becoming streetwise in the universe if we could; not to make a map of nature, but no more to need a map than I need a map of my hand.
In science, item by item truth lets us know "how it goes," what to expect from things and why; from that we grasp their natures. But the lying laws of physics that do not predict the observed values, and the imaginable, competing sciences may be useful parts of what we want, not because "Yin" and "Yang" are just as good as "positive charge" and "negative charge" for physics, but because enough truth is what triggers comprehension, at a threshold that varies with our prior knowledge, our scope, our emotional refinement and our intelligence. For the most part, we know only the causally consequent natures of things, and have barely a glimmer as yet of the basic cosmic physics. The people who think the end of science is in sight, have not even seen the beginning yet or appreciated the "great problem" to explain life and perception, not to mention intelligence. That does not mean our knowledge is trivial, or "only of effects," as if we knew that acidity turns pink litmus paper light blue, but not why. Our knowing why is knowledge of the real nature of acids. Realism that acknowledges our ignorance is not like Locke's agnosticism about the natures of things. We have that knowledge at mid-dimensions to an amazing degree; and we know enough to see that the micro-micro-components of matter have none of the "primary" qualities, of size, shape, hardness, and the like, that were thought definitive of matter from the 17th to 19th centuries. Even the notions of extension, of "occupying places" and "intelligible extension" have given way to ideas like "mathematizable propensities to detectable effects." How, indeed, can one photon, through a slit, be in two places on a screen in defiance of the light constant? How, indeed, can the place of an electron be indeterminate apart from observation? We have current anomalies and mysteries, but they all suppose extensive certainties about the natures of things.
5. Consequent natures.
Consequent natures, say, milk, meat, sunlight, and oak, and most basic chemical and atomic natures, are just as real as the most basic ones we do not know. They are not mere shadows, mere deceptions made by us, the way Paul Churchland [1979, pp. 25-36] seems to think music is related to frequencies. Because they have causal tendencies of their own, mid-size things have conditional routines, things they will do under triggering circumstances and sustaining conditions, in virtue of what they are, but which do not amount to what they are; e.g., hydrogen's turning into a black rockhard solid at earth-center pressures, and boiling at a few degrees above absolute zero; meat's being freezable once and edible, but not re-freezable and edible; water's expanding when frozen while metals contract.
Whether the consequent behavioral tendencies of things are resultant, emergent, or constructed, they are all real -- all caused by the materialized forms of things. The pink glare of a polka-dot wall, from a certain distance is just as real as the polka-dots at a lesser distance, though the pink results from the polka-dots and not vice versa. So too, my dog looks small off in the distance (not, "looks like a small dog" or "as if he got small" or the like, just "looks small," relatively, as do automobiles and houses from an airplane, and people on a vast staircase like the Philadelphia Museum of Art). Those are consequent visual appearances, the way things should look, given our optical abilities, and are within our general comprehension of vision, optics and light.
The poisonous gas from heating ammonia may be a mere resultant, yet it has real tendencies, e.g., to replace the oxygen in certain blood cells. It does things, consequential though they may be, yet neither accidental, nor incidental, just latent, and not the same as what-it-is, but explained by what-it-is along with some other general regularities.
We already have profound comprehension, highly systematized (though improvable), of whole areas of the world, like parts of chemistry (e.g., paint chemistry, molecular biology), the physical theory of frequencies and harmonics, and optics, cell biology, metallurgy (metal bonding), geology (core dating and tectonic plate theory), and various technologies, ranging from general surgery to how to destroy all humans and make wastes that will outlast the English language. The fact that with nearly perfect understanding of optics, we can make a near-sighted space-telescope (Hubble II) and then correct it by virtually making glasses for it, is testimony not to subjectivity and relativity, but to objectivity and truth about the natures of things.
Philosophers have drawn irrealist conclusions from the made up, arbitrary elements of science, just as they draw relativist conclusions from sensory illusions. But the optical illusions indicate conditions of verticality, not the untrustworthiness, of perception. The reason perceptions distinguishing "inner" and "outer" corners are reliable is that there is a systematic difference optically that is indicated by the "two arrows" illusion. So too, making homemade simplicities, inventions, conventions and arbitrary units and measures (e.g., foot, inch, joule, watt, coulomb), we probe metals, gasses, and light, to "figure out what it will do and why," making up experimental conditions [Hacking, 1983, pp. 224-229] to reach a comprehension that we can explicate in true, though idealized and restricted descriptions, not a telephone directory of mere items. Ian Hacking [1983, p. 163] uses the example of an arbitrary object, the "duty" of an engine, a measure of work done for energy consumed, a measure "fully grounded" in the natures of the things (though how was unknown), by which to compare efficiency. Hacking's story [1983, pp. 176-178] of Herschel's discovery of radiant heat indicates that a false encompassing theory -- a corpuscular theory of light -- need not block the comprehension that is scientific understanding.
The "reality" aspect of this "realism" is that there are real natures with active dispositions (as real as the flowing and heating of molten lava, the searing of skin by hot iron). The notion of real dispositions, active tendencies, many of them conditional, that are mathematically describable and traceable to a stable structure (form), is at bottom in the realism I advocate, and at bottom again in the account of impossibility.
There is no getting around it: either we explain something's doing something on account of what it is (so that in order to be, it has to do that, at least conditionally or latently, like an electron) or we have no scientific starting point as to why anything that exists temporally, does anything. Among the things whose doings are explained by what they are, there are two sorts: those whose doings are what they are (without any latencies), like force fields, and those things whose doings are on account of what they are but not the same as what they are because, in other circumstances, they would behave differently.
The overall picture is exactly the opposite of Descartes'. For him everything in the physical world does what it does because it moves on tracks of universal laws which are as much products of God's immutable nature as the initial deposit of motion is a product of God's will. On my view, whatever the role of God may be, what things do is on account of what they are, and all matter converts, in principle, to energy, and all matter is structured energy, where the mass, not the structure, converts, via the light constant, into energy.
6. The status of the laws.
Philosophers just assume that if we find "the laws" we'll have the explanations. That is not true. Laws of nature are thought-dependent; they are creations of human understanding. Unless we explain what things do, eventually, on account of what they are, their doings will either require an outside explainer, like a deity to move particles that have no "insides" to move them, like a director to command the actors' every move on the stage, or there will be no explanation at all, just the appearance of one in the talk of "laws." There is another option: structure (materialized) explains behavior. Yet structure has to be materially realized or understood, otherwise it does not exist. There are many structures that exist only as things understood and have no materialization (formal structures); but there are also uncountable materialized structures that we have not conceptualized or at least not at the level by which we would have a scientifically articulate grasp of "what" they are, yet; and there are libraries of structures, consequent, resultant, emergent and fairly fundamental, too, that we have conceptually and systematically articulated.
We cannot end up explaining nature from abstract entities, the laws, supposed to exist apart from matter and independently of it and of thought [see Chapter 3, Section 5]. We cannot explain what things do from nothing, as we might explain falling water, "because nothing was there." Nor will it do to say "there was nothing to stop it," because it is not true that "everything does just anything, unless something else stops it." Not at all. What things do is a display, relatively to a physical environment, of what they are. As Averroes/Avicenna said [cf. Aquinas, De Ente et Essentia], "the nature of a thing is the what-it-is displayed in what it does" ("nature is essence exhibited in operation"). Why things do not do something else, to use Aquinas' example, why shapes do not cause colors, or, to use a Hacking example [1983, p. 175], why the air does not distort the shapes of words I read (the way water does), always ends with a story of what does what and why on account of its structure or material it does it. And "components," like quarks, are thought of as unities which in formalizable combinations (e.g., two "up" quarks and a "down" quark are a proton), contrastively, provide the structures (formally) for diverse particles: protons, neutrons, electrons, etc. Of course, why they do that will either turn out to be a conceptual inclusion, or a case of another generality, or another fact in need of an explanation. Looked at one way, "mass is resistance to acceleration" and "as velocity increases mass increases so that as velocity approaches C, mass approaches infinity." Looked at another way, one wants to know why? Why is the velocity of light finite when light has no mass? And in particular, why is its velocity 186,000 mps+ and constant everywhere (if it is)? If there is to be a genuine answer, it will have to issue from a comprehension of what light is, etc.
7. Real natures: Basic, consequent, resultant and emergent.
First let me recall that nature is not the same as form. A real nature, say of iron, involves both the elemental form and the material components, in this case iron atoms each of which is organized by an intrinsic form and made of interchangeable protons, neutrons, electrons and sub-nuclear parts. So to use old terminology, a real nature is formed matter as principle of the operations of a thing. Thus, we will explain why a pile of iron ore will become fluid only above 2400 degrees Fahrenheit by a general account of molecular bonding and of the changes caused by raising the average kinetic energy of the atoms high enough, and we will similarly explain why it can be moulded, cooled, and why it has its characteristic strength and weaknesses.
Now what sorts of real natures are there? Candidates seem to be: basic, consequent, resultant and emergent, because such distinctions seems to be clear enough. Whether there are any basic real natures, as I said, I do not know, though I doubt it in one sense: that there are any physical behaviors involving components that do not involve forms for the components; that is, there seems to be no bottom layer in that sense. Structured material seems to be recursive. However, in another sense, there do seem to be physical realities that are what they do, that are not made out-of anything, and do the same thing no matter what, that is, have no latencies toward other behavior; examples seem to be electro-magnetic fields and light. Whether the examples turn out to be apt or not is incidental. There may even turn out to be no natures basic in that sense at all, though I doubt that. For physical causation, productive causation as distinct from formal causation (the constant causation of existence and what-kind), seems to be, at bottom, the resultant of basic natures: thus light, on account of what it is, propagates and is subject to gravity (though, how can it be subject to gravity if it has no mass?), and gravity (supposing it to be a universal force field for now, or even to be "clumps" of mass (where [e=mc2]) determines space by determining the relative paths of motions of things. Now this is all imaginary: to illustrate that if there are enough sorts of things that are what they do, related systematically to one another, that nothing further is required for physical causation -- the universal regularities are resultant from the basic natures.
Consequent natures are best illustrated by the human synthesis of resultant natures: into paints, metals, buildings, etc. But it happens as well in nature untouched by humans: rivers in certain kinds of soils bend snakewise in direct proportion to depth and volume. And, of course, humans can now make synthetic rubies, sapphires, diamonds, etc., because we understand the natural materials (aluminum oxide, say) and understand both the crystal structures and how to simulate the natural production.
Emergent natures involve emergent forms. I have mentioned such things several times, speculating as to what that feature might consist in and how it may be part of our explanation of life and of sensation, analogously to the way, with seed crystals in a proper bath, a whole crystal structure will form, following its own script, as it were. The fact that a hydrofoil skims the water is a resultant of all the shapes, materials and forces involved; similarly, the fact that a superconductor can be made to "float" is a resultant of the electromagnetic properties when the atoms all line up the right way. But the fact that an animal can see cannot be explained that way: so we have to consider that there are real active abilities latent within the basic structures of nature that are not predictable or reducible or even deducible from the true description of the universal physical forces and basic natures.
Although I have argued, mostly by illustration, that there are real explanatory structures, forms, throughout the physical world that are the basis of the intelligibility of the world and the basis of our concepts, I want to reiterate that both the notion "form" and the reality, forms, are respectively linguistically and really analogous. The common umbrella notion of "the intrinsic principle of constant causation of characteristic observable behavior and readiness to behave" is captured by the discourse sector: melodies as explanations of songs, buttresses as explanations of the counterthrust by which walls are stabilized, software that makes a computer into a wordprocessor, electro-magnetic fields -- all fit the general notion but in detail are both very much alike and very different. That's why I used the metaphor "scripts": material things, no matter what they do, follow scripts; intrinsic scripts are forms; they are what we understand prescientifically (and sometimes with elegant expectations, as hunters know what their game will do and south-sea islanders know the curls and slopes of the waves) and come to understand articulately and mathematically as science progresses. Sometimes we can reduce what were previously thought to be a plurality of forms to one, sometimes not. Whether it is the way butter melts, or an overheated spoon curls and shrivels, or a spring pulls, or a molecule assembles, or a crystal forms, or an atom splits, it is as if matter is following one or another script; and since there are no outside scripts, no archetypes, there must be an intrinsic structure, like a program or software, that is the constant cause of both behavior and existence. So what was unneeded for the ghostly solid geometry of matter three centuries ago is indispensable to explain material change and causation now. It is, as well, the foundation of the presence of particular things, substances and events, abstractly to human understanding.