(13) is an ontological claim. It acceptance as true must be based on something more than the truth of claims like (11).
Similarly claims (9) – (11) are claims with functional presuppositions, e.g., that temperature, charge, and mass are properties of bodies. Their normal acceptance as true does not depend on accepting an explicit statement of their presuppositions as ontologically true claims. If we switch to a perspective in which theories are accorded a foundational role, then the situation may seem different. This is starkest in a reductionist context. The ultimate theory is a fundamental theory of everything, or a grand unified theory. String theory is the best present candidate for such a theory. Consider strings as the real entities and all else as aggregates. Mass, temperature, and charge are not properties of strings. So one might be tempred to claim that (9) – (11) are not really true. Before yielding to, or resisting, such temptations we should summarize the linguistic context we have been developing.
LCP stemmed from Aristotle’s Categories and his philosophy of nature. Though it developed as a specialized extension of the conceptual core of Indo-European languages, it has been successfully grafted on to many non Indo-European languages without any significant change in basic structure. After a technical vocabulary is established, physics, unlike philosophy or poetry, easily admits of precise unambiguous translation. Thus LCP must be understood, in the first instance, as a spoken language. As a vehicle of discourse it must have the basic features requisite for unambiguous communication of information. These include a subject-object distinction, a topic to be considered later, and a characterization of physical reality as an interrelated collection of spatio-temporal objects with properties. The properties basic to LCP are quantitative properties that can be represented mathematically.
The long evolution, schematized in Part One, achieved a basic coherence through a dialectical process. Any new quantitative concept introduced is subject to the dual constraints of overall consistency and quantitative representation. Historically, these constraints were met through the co-evolution of physical and mathematical concepts. Descartes, Newton, Pascal, Leibniz, Euler, LaGrange, LaPlace, Gauss, Cauchy, Fourier, Hamilton, and Poincaré contributed to both fields and often supported mathematical considerations by physicalistic reasoning. This led to ideas on the foundations of mathematics, particularly the interpretation of calculus that most mathematicians came to reject in the early nineteenth century.
Through the course of the long development sketched here, the language of physics has been enriched with a very large number of new terms and a much smaller number of new categories. Most of these new terms are proper to specialized branches of physics. There is also a part of the language of physics shared by virtually all branches of physics. The indispensable core concepts from mechanics, thermodynamics, and electrodynamics include ‘mass’, ‘force’, ‘energy’, ‘temperature’, ‘state of a system’, ‘charge’, and ‘field’. These are grafted on to a streamlined ordinary language core. By ‘streamlined’ I mean that core ordinary language concepts get specialized or restricted usage in LCP. Thus, the properties of bodies that count as basic do not include vital, psychologistic, or aesthetic properties. Space and time function as metric, or geometric, concepts. Since this is a language of interpersonal communication the spatio-temporal framework of a user anchors the reference system. Special relativity is, in Einstein’s familiar classification, a principle rather than a constitutive theory, concerned with transformations between