Definition:Philosophical Element/Quintessence

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Definition

Quintessence was the fifth element postulated by the Pythagoreans, and was supposed to be the material out of which the heavens were made.

It was postuiated in order to explain how the heavenly bodies were in constant motion, and never came to rest like everything else that could be seen in the universe.


Also known as

Quintessence was originally known as aether, or ether.


Historical Note

The existence of the aether or ether, as a hitherto undetected entity in physics, was posited as late as the $20$th century as a medium through which electromagnetic radiation was able to travel.

Its existence was disproved by the Michelson-Morley Experiment.


Linguistic Note on Quintessence

The word quintessence more or less literarily means fifth spirit, fifth essence.

It is the famous fifth element beloved of science fiction and fantasy entertainment.


Linguistic Note on Aether

The word aether (or ether) was an ancient Greek word meaning blazing.

This derived from their constant emission of light.


Sources