TSW: "... mechanists went so far as to promise a complete description of the world."
BW: LaPlace did make an error in positing "An intellect which at any given moment knew all of the forces that animate nature ...", which is omniscience, which is impossible for man or God. But, it isn't relevant whether anyone *knows* the cause of all things, or anything in particular, in order to defend the proposition that all things are caused. Perhaps he was pandering to religious ideas about "A Universal Consciousness" (Deity) directing all things, or committing them to an intentional supernatural design.
BW: It's also true that Descartes resorted to "substance dualism" to explain (or discard) human thought and free will as some kind of "mental substance", distinct from material, "corporeal substance." It's not a bad guess, but it's purely a convenient post-hoc exception to determinism.
TSW: "... Engrossed in their static models, mechanists tended to overemphasize things rather than processes."
BW: I don't see anything "static" about determinism or mechanism. Both of them admit, or even require, process motions in nature or in thought. Granted, the *impression* that mystics got from mechanists was of a perpetual-motion clockwork, which they found unsavory and a frivolous account of consciousness, purpose, and creativity.
BW: I'll grant that scientific inquiry DID get bogged down in mathematical models by mechanism. However, I don't think either of them were static, rigid, nor even finite. I also think the term "evolution" needs an adjective, since Lamarckian evolution is quite distinct from Darwinian evolution.
TSW: "So it was that fainthearted scientists of the late nineteenth century moved to disown matter and adopt pure motion instead."
BW: Actually, the majority of the fainthearted resorted to distinct "majesteria", conceding issues of morality and free will to the mystical domain, while retaining an empirical domain for everything else.
TSW: "Perhaps the greatest advocate of the switch was Wilhelm Ostwald, a physical chemist, who believed: "The ultimate goal of science is now presented as the task of establishing a worldview consisting purely of energy concepts, without the use of the concept of matter."
BW: First time I've ever heard the name, but Monism is barely a footnote to his declining years. Maybe you just like the nonsensical statement that some *thing* can be "universal pure energy". Kind of like the transcendental God of Hinduism. Pass the Bong.
TSW: "Today, indeterministic scientists attack inseparability, not so much by denying the concept of matter, or the concept of motion, but by denying the universality of the inseparability of the two."
BW: This is slightly at odds with your initial description of the "inseparability" being between materialism and causality.
TSW: "... philosophers could assume with the atomists that, although the atom itself was always in motion, whatever was inside the atom was not."
BW: Not quite correct. Atomism simply contended that atoms were indivisible. For millennia, that was an "unmitigated truth" ... until it was mitigated by the experiments of Rutherford and Fermi. That doesn't mean that there are no particles of indivisible matter, only that atoms aren't it. Technically, Quarks aren't it either. Aside from the electron, the various "flavors" are not particles, but rather sets of attributes. So far, there is no theory to explain why those attributes express in sets. Of course, I haven't yet written the Unimid Theory (UT) that explains why that is so, based on the characteristics of fundamental and identical particles of matter.
TSW: "If an atom had no vibratory motion, it would exhibit no temperature."
BW: I mainly agree with your distaste for the characterization of "absolute zero", but not your conclusion. As you say, heat is an effect (emission of radiation) of vibratory motion between the external electron shells of adjacent atoms. It may be true that the electrons can't be stopped, but their motion could become synchronized in such a way as to preclude further emissions of heat. Of course, "could" is a theoretical proposition, but the Bose-Einstein condensate suggests that it's possible (even though I disagree with the quantum mechanical explanation).
Note that even if the external shells of atoms could be synchronized or fused, the internal electron shells and even the nucleus would still have motion ... even if they wouldn't generate heat. So "absolute zero", if and when it is achieved, would not indicate the absence of motion.
TSW: "... matter could not exist at that temperature. That is, it could not exist without being in motion."
BW: I don't agree that the absence of heat, or even the absence of motion, would cause the material of the electrons, protons, and neutrons to simply "disappear". That proposition strikes me as "mystical thinking", the inverse of creating something from nothing. If you don't like something from nothing, how can you like nothing from something?
Next: Inseparability Part 3 of 5