Self-Motion: From Aristotle to Newton (1994)
The 1994 multi-author book Self-Motion: from Aristotle to Newton, edited Mary Gill and James Lennox, which Cubin-born American philosopher Alicia Juarrero cites as being ‘indebted to’, in regards to her emergence dissipative structures based "action theory". [5]
In theories, self-motion or "self-drive" posits that animals and humans, unique among matter of the universe have the property of motion from within; distinct, aloof, or outside the operational definitiveness of the standard laws of motion.

The predominant concept of self-motion, historically, derives from the work of Greek philosopher Aristotle. [5]

Da Vinci
In 1490, Leonardo da Vinci, in his notebooks, moved from simply describing inventions to a more intense search for underlying principles, the laws of motion, in particular. In respect to what Newton would later categorized, in 1687, as the first law of motion, Da Vinci wrote: [11]

“Nothing whatever can be moved by itself, but its motion is effected through another. There is no other force.”


Cavendish's critiques
In 1664, English philosopher Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673), in her Philosophical Letters: or, Modest Relfections upon some Opinions in Natural Philosophy, Maintained by Several Famous and Learned Authors of this Age, critiqued of some of French philosopher Rene Descartes’ 1637 discourses, particularly his metaphysical system of dualism describes two kinds of substance: matter and mind. According to this system, everything that is "matter" is deterministic and natural—and so belongs to natural philosophy—and everything that is "mind" is volitional and non-natural, and falls outside the domain of philosophy of nature.

Cavendish concludes, in her review, in a very long-winded explanation, that animate matter has self-motion, inanimate matter does not, but that all matter of the universe is a commixture of the two, part animate and part inanimate, such that the animate is moving and the inanimate moved. [1] Cavendish, in general, rejected the work of Aristotle and mechanical philosophy and tended to engage in criticism, not only with Descartes, but with Thomas Hobbes and Robert Boyle.

In circa 1674, English chemical-physicist Isaac Newton stated the following in his philosophical query notes: [2]

"God who gave animals self motion beyond our understanding is without doubt able to implant other principles of motion in bodies which we may understand as little. Some would readily grant this may be a spiritual one; yet a mechanical one might be shown."

This assertion by Newton, of course, is the circa 500 BC Bible which, at least for the Christian faiths, holds that the soul must be weighted based on the self-determined "choices" of each individual, choices that, in turn, are presumably to result in self-motion.
The Egyptian clay creation myth, wherein Khnum puts the ka into the clay figuring, and the ba goes into the heart, two of the main five parts (Ѻ) of a person, according to Egyptians, in some way gave birth to the majority of modern self-motion theories derive, in the sense of “motion” originating from the either the ka or ba inside of the heart.

The views of the Bible, in turn, originated from the older Egyptian religion-science Anunian theologies (Ra theologies), which presently dominate the belief systems and thinking mindsets of ¾-ths of the world, according to which the actions resulting from a person’s choices dictate the end reaction existence weight of his or her moral value, which goes by the term “soul” (Ab-ra-ham-ic theologies) or “karma” (B-ra-hma-ic theologies), depending, and is a value said to determine the fate of the person into the afterlife—the original theory model of which is frame-worked in the Egyptian model of the weighing of the soul and the negative confession.

Hence, Newton, embedded in a time dominate religious-centric culture; is forced to relegate the question of human motion to a footnote of undecidedness; but quite readily goes on to explain both chemical motion and planetary motion.

In 1714, German polymath Gottfried Leibniz, in his Monadology, extended Giordano Bruno's 1584 concept of 'monads', in which universe consisted of an indefinite number of indivisible units, but defined such that each indivisible monad is primarily a center of force or action; he, supposedly, updated Bruno's concept of self-motion of matter soul; with the term "force".

In 1729, Jean Meslier, in his Testament (pg. 365), gives some good discussion on matter being moved by itself or by a moving force as an atheistic replacement for the "partisans of the system of creation".

De Quincey | Panpsychism | Self-motion
In 2002, American philosopher Christian De Quincey, in his Radical Nature, embarked on a dead matter vs self-motion polemic, which he repeats in about a half-dozen sections; as follows: [7]

“By ‘mechanical’, I mean matter that is moved about entirely by external forces—for example, the colliding and ricocheting of atoms like so many billiard balls, or even the invisible fields of force pushing and pulling matter through its gyrations. In a purely mechanical universe, all motion of matter is caused from without, there is no possibility of self-motion and therefore no possibility of aim or purpose.”
— Christian de Quincey (2002), Radical Matter (pg. 17)

Here, to correct things, de Quincey should be employing the chemistry set model, instead of the billiard ball model.

“The universe is either already ‘dead’ or it is meaningful. If it is ‘dead’ in this sense of being wholly mechanical, without any intrinsic capacity for self-motion and feeling, then all instances of life and consciousness in the universe are ultimately insignificant evolutionary by-products. If this is true, then the universe would be essentially meaningless, it would be ‘absurd’, just as the existentialists Sartre and Camus said. All meaning would be contingent, created by minds that themselves arose by chance from blind mechanical collisions of atoms in the void.”
— Christian de Quincey (2002), Radical Matter (pgs. 37-38)

“For hundreds of years we lived in a world without a soul, a world made of matter and energy that lacks feeling and self-motion, a world without purpose or deep meaning. This, at least, is the complicated tale told to us by modern philosophy and science. Our culture’s dominate story, our materialist worldview and big bang cosmology, cannot account for the fact that anything like a storyteller, a conscious, feeling, observing, meaning-seeking being, could ever exist.”
— Christian de Quincey (2002), Radical Matter (pg. 79)

From here, de Quincey launches into a discussion of self-motion according to Anaxagoras, and some of the other related thinkers, such as: Giordano Bruno, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Anaximenes, Anaximander, and Thales.

Sekhar | Self-drive theory
In 2011, Indian chemical engineer DMR Sekhar, in defense of his genopsych DNA-centric anti-entropy theory, began to promote a "self drive" theory of human motion, which he says is not a type of perpetual motion because: "a human uses his or her internal biological energy and their "will", but this is not same as a perpetual motion machine, because a human takes in food from external environment to accumulate and or store internal biological energy”.

“I can't stop but laugh at myself when I think that I am not alive or I am not moving myself.”
DMR Sekhar (2011), commentary on Libb Thims' 2009 defunct theory of life and 2004 exchange force motion theory [8]


Difficulties on theory
Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first dominant thinker to object to self-motion theories; Aristotle's thesis, in regards to motion, is that: [4]

"Nothing moves itself."

To elaborate further, in speak plainly, the central issue, problem, or more-correctly biasing adherence to the notion of self-drive or self-motion is that it is rooted and ingrained very-deeply in the notion of self-determined “choice”.

Sekhar, likewise, embedded in a very religious-centric culture in India, 97.4 percent of which is comprised in belief system as follows: Hindu (80.5%), Islam (13.4%), Christianity (2.3%), Buddhism (0.8%), and Jainism (0.4%). Hence, to maintain cultural appropriateness, Sekhar disconnects the "will" from the rest of the universe.

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, a follower of Goethe's chemical philosophy, pointed out in 1816 (see: Goethe timeline) the following correct logic:

“The will, which constitutes the basis of our inner being, is the same will that manifests itself in the lowest, inorganic phenomena.”

Sekhar would like to maintain the some semblance of an idea that "humans" (and other things with DNA) are above this rule, by attributing a special metaphysical property he calls "genopsych", or genes with a psyche or mind, to DNA, and even go so far to cobble together an incongruous thermodynamics-sounding theory to bolster his vacuous argument, all to maintain connection to his culture's morality system.

The whole mess is very incongruous, to say the least, with the modern physical sciences—as was long ago pointed out by both Goethe, in his 1809 “moral symbolsphysical chemistry morality model and previous to him John Stewart and his 1789 "moral motion" theory. Two-hundred years have since passed and the upgrade has still yet to occur?

The notion of self-motion or self-drive, to give a quick synopsis, goes against: (a) the laws of motion, (b) is a violation of the perpetual motion, namely of perpetual motion of the living kind, (c) is in direct opposition to the modern chemical thermodynamic universal rule that the "free energy" of the system is the driving force of whatever processes may occur, and (d) is in opposition to the external forces view of choice, described by Goethe in 1796 as applicable to the choices of organic existence, human and chemcial.

The person who would like to maintain a notion of self motion may often not recognize that one is merely a small particle in a vast universe, as shown below, in scaled form. The notion of self motion was discredited long ago by German-born American Albert Einstein who in 1929 stated clearly that human movement was controlled by "forces" intoned in the distance by an invisible piper:

“Everything [in the universe] is determined … by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust—we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”

The adjacent diagram shows the earth's location, in the structure of the universe, attached to which are human molecules (people), moving about in a curled spin rotative motion in their daily orbitals—just as the earth moves in its yearly orbital about the sun—just as the solar system moves in its 200 million year orbital about the center of the milky way—who all, according to the 1929 views of Einstein are "moved" by forces over which they have no control.

1. (a) Cavendish, Margaret. (1664). Philosophical Letters (pgs. 97-128). London; in Women Philosophers of the Early Modern Period (esp. pgs. 24-26) edited by Margaret Atherdon. Hackett Publishing, 1994.
(b) Margaret Cavendish – Wikipedia.
2. Gleick, James. (2003). Isaac Newton (pgs. 105-06). Vintage Books.
3. (a) Self drive (2011) – Hmolpedia threads.
(b) Sekhar, DMR. (2010). “The Drive and the Direction of Evolution” (cached), Knol .
(c) Defunct theory of life – Hmolpedia threads.
4. Juarrero, Alicia. (1999). Dynamics in Action (pg. 2). MIT Press.
5. Gill, Mary L. Lennox, James G. (1994). Self-Motion: From Aristotle to Newton (abs) (Amz). Princeton University Press.
6. Shlain, Leonard. (2009). Leonardo’s Brain: Understanding da Vinci’s Creative Genius (laws of motion, pgs. 111-13). Lyons Press, 2014.
7. De Quincey, Christian. (2002). Radical Nature: Rediscovering the Soul of Matter (self-motion, 6+ pgs). Invisible Cities Press.
8. Sekhar, DMR. (2011). “Eddington’s Psycho-Syndrome” (Ѻ),

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