Note 3

That a deficient empirical knowledge (on the side of the philosopher) of (all kinds of different) things themselves, can lead to false philosophical ideas, we can see, for example in BOBIK, (1965) 1970, Aquinas On Being and Essence, p. 193/4, where he attempts to expound the difference between inorganic substances and organic ones : He says that inorganic substances show actions, such that both action partners change qua identity (lose their identity), while this would not be the case in organisms, because there the identity of the organism is conserved, while the identity of the food substances changes. They lose their identity and are absorbed into the identity of the feeding organism, i.e. they become part of the identity of that organism. But this is precisely also the case in the process of crystallization of compounds in a solution : The food materials loose their identity and integrate with the constant identity of the crystalline compound. The growing crystal feeds on the ions (electrically charged atoms or groups of atoms) present in the solution, for example sodium ions and clorine ions, which together form a crystal of common salt (NaCl). The growing process proceeds by apposition (deposition) of the ions onto the crystal surface, resulting in a definite microscopic pattern and macroscopical form. And this crystal conserves its identity, even in the case of injury of the crystal during growth : The crystal recovers itself. In crystallization phenomena in which covalent bonds (See the Essay on The Chemical Bond) are involved (i.e. originate), the loss of identity of the food components is still stronger expressed.
In a more dynamical context we encounter this phenomenon of feeding and the constancy of the feeding entity, in the famous Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction. Also this (chemical) reaction is an inorganic whole.


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