Laws of Nature
Natural Laws - physical, biological, and moral.
The focus of the lecture is problems of gravitational interaction. The three laws of Kepler are stated and explained. Planetary motion is discussed in general, and how this motion applies to the planets moving around the Sun in particular.
Part 1 - This Land is My Land: The philosopher John Locke believes that individuals have certain rights—to life, liberty, and property—which were given to us as human beings in the “the state of nature,” a time before government and laws were created. According to Locke, our natural rights are governed by the law of nature, known by reason, which says that we can neither give them up nor take them away from anyone else. Part 2 - Consenting Adults: If we all have unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property, how can a government enforce tax laws passed by the representatives of a mere majority? Doesn’t that amount to taking some people’s property without their consent? Locke’s response is that we give our “tacit consent” to obey the tax laws passed by a majority when we choose to live in a society.
This lecture is all about Newton's First (inertia), Second (F=ma) and Third (action=-reaction) Laws. He builds on past discussion of vector forces, moving on to decompose forces in the x and y directions. As the class comes to an end, Professor Lewin ends with a bizarre demo involving two identical strings, one suspending a mass, the other suspending from the mass. Which one breaks when you pull on the lower string, the upper string or the lower string? Professor Lewin pulls a fast one!
Hobbes' most famous metaphor, that of "the state of nature," is explained. It can be understood as the condition of human life in the absence of authority or anyone to impose rules, laws, and order. The concept of the individual is also discussed on Hobbesian terms, according to which the fundamental characteristics of the human beings are the capacity to exercise will and the ability to choose. Hobbes, as a moralist, concludes that the laws of nature, or "precepts of reason," forbid us from doing anything destructive in life.