Saturday, April 14, 2012
On touching and feeling
I have another difficulty with Aristotle's argument against the continuum that he sets out here. He distinguishes between two things are continuous, i.e. such that their extremities are one, i.e. are identical, and two things which are contiguous or in contact, i.e. such that their extremities are together. What is this notion of together? It's a bit like touching, which is at once natural and philosophically difficult. I put my hand on the desk. I have no glove, and so I touch the desk. There is nothing between my hand and it. How so?
The surface of my hand is clearly not 'one' with the surface of the desk. I can feel them as quite separate. Well, sort of. When I do it (for I am typing right now), it's rather like the touchingness were a single sensation. So perhaps they are one. But logic says they cannot be one. They must be separate. But how can they be separate, when they are in continuous space, and when there is nothing in between? Impossible.