December 16, 2014



Summa Metaphysica & Calculus

David Birnbaum's Potentialism Theory and Isaac Newton's Calculus

Calculus is the study of (iterative) change, just as geometry is the study of shape. David Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential is, at its core, a study of (iterative) change, as well. See

David Birnbaum's groundbreaking work on Potentialism lays out the foundation for a new cosmological theory. In his three-part treatise Summa Metaphysica (detail below), Birnbaum delineates the universe as driven by an inherent Infinite Quest for Potential. See xMIT1000.

The Conceptual Theorist describes an overarching formula, Q4P → E+: Infinite Quest for Potential (shorthand: Q4P) drives ever-forward and ever-closer towards ultimate Potential, which Birnbaum labels as Extraordinariation (shorthand: E+). See

This is Birnbaum’s proposed fundamental governing principle (SuperLaw) of universal design. Based on both physics and mathematical foundations, Birnbaum's work parlays smoothly with Newtonian calculus on multiple levels.

To Newton, the purpose of the development of calculus was, first and foremost, to add to the tools he had at hand – both to describe planetary motions and to assist him in his other works in physics. Calculus allowed Newton to describe – in great detail – the mathematics of gravitational effects, such as the elliptical orbits of the planets in the solar system he observed.

Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential Theory aka Q4P-Theory) dovetails smoothly, doubling down on calculus so to speak, to further Newton's work; Summa Metaphysica adds the metaphysics necessary to describe the why of calculus, following Newton's own observations of the how of calculus.

In essence, Birnbaum picks up where Newton left off, bringing to bear 21st century science – and Birnbaum’s Potentialism conceptual breakthrough – to Newton's 17th century body of work. Potentialism not only conceptually uses calculus in its own theoretical work, but Potentialism also helps explain why calculus exists and helps to govern the cosmic order.

Of course, there are many other works which have expanded on both Newton's physics and mathematics, most notably Einstein's General Relativity. Then again, Birnbaum’s Potentialism wraps-around Einstein, as well (see

Calculus is generally divided into two branches: Differential Calculus and Integral Calculus. The calculus field holds a special place in the heart of Potentialism because it relates to Birnbaum’s theory via both of its branches:

(a) Differential Calculus handles celestial gravitation, and gravitation is a physical expression of one of Potentialism's most basic dynamics at work and (b) Integral Calculus provides the mathematics for iteration towards an essentially idealized goal.

re: (a) Differential Calculus

Potentialist physical dynamics are expressed in terms of interrelationships, spiral geometric mathematics and complex structures. On a cosmic scale, gravity is the great common relation amongst the universal bodies. While seemingly subtle and referred to as the “weak” fundamental force, gravity stretches across the expanse of galaxies and galactic clusters, drawing together matter and energy into complex formations that could not exist without its force, causing space itself to bend under its power.

On a metaphysical level, this attractive force is expressed in terms of the pull of (Birnbaum’s) Extraordinariation (E+). Unseen, E+ reaches across the expanse of the universe, as the catalyst-for and pull-for the Quest for Infinite Potential. The product of Q4P is embodied as the creative forces of matter and energy that coalesce to give us such things as the sun, with its light and heat, and the great complexity that is the living earth.

“Weak” force is an ironic term for something that can do so much and so universally. To Potentialism, gravity is a real-space echo of the presence of Extraordinariation – the most fundamental pull of universal evolution.

Additionally, integral calculus is a strong proof of Potentialist theory. The most popular competing theory of cosmology currently is Randomness – the supposition that the universe is random, decaying, without meaning or goal. But integral calculus is just one in a long list of tools Potentialists use to disperse such fundamentally blind theories as Randomness. See

re: (b) Integral Calculus

Integral calculus itself gives form to the un-measurable. In a universe where Randomness proponents see only the unknowable, integral calculus gives a basic mathematical tool to assess and understand and mathematically plot the infinitely complex. In counter-Randomness terms, integral calculus shows that what lies beyond the limitations of current science to fully measure, does not mean that it is random; only that it is of a greater complexity than can be absolutely qualified at this point in scientific history. Further, integral calculus shows mathematically that even what cannot be perfectly measured, can be done so with such extraordinary precision that the difference can be meaningless.

Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential Theory aka Q4P-Theory) again parlays this mathematical function further to describe the conceptualization of the Quest for Potential and its drive towards Extraordinariation. On a philosophical and metaphysical level, this is a clear mandate that while such concepts as hyper-complexity and Extraordinariation themselves itself may not be known perfectly, we can find echoes of Extraordinariation’s effect in the physical (and mathematical) universe. As the cosmos drives towards greater and greater super-complexity, we will continue on our path ever-closer towards Extraordinariation and understand it with ever increasing clarity (see

Newton’s Calculus and Birnbaum’s Potentialism echo the same message: “Some things cannot be absolutely known perfectly; however we can iteratively (infinitely) vector-in very close to perfection.”

The Summa / Potentialism Theory series:

Summa Metaphysica I: Religious Man: God and Evil (Ktav, 1988);
Summa Metaphysica II: Spiritual Man: God and Good (New Paradigm Matrix, 2005);
Summa Metaphysica III: Secular Man: The Transcendent Dynamic (New Paradigm Matrix, 2014).

Potentialism Theory: Dovetailing: MIT & NYU

Recent hi-level academic works dovetailing with Birnbaum's Theory include the following:

Programming the Universe (Knopf, 2006) by Professor of Quantum Mechanics Seth Lloyd of MIT;
Mind & Cosmos (Oxford Press, 2012) by Professor of Philosophy & Law Thomas Nagel of NYU;
Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf, 2014) by Professor of Physics Max Tegmark of MIT.


Summa Metaphysica has been the prime focus of a major international academic conference (see; it has been a Course Text at over a dozen colleges globally and the prime focus of well over one hundred feature articles, reviews etc. (see

Over 50,000 volumes of the various Summa books are in circulation; the complete 3-volume work is available gratis on the book’s site in flip-book form, as well as in softcover and electronic form via conventional channels.

Paradigm Challenge

Via his revolutionary Potentialism Theory (de facto Theory of Everything) David Birnbaum has instigated a global paradigm challenge (see Birnbaum himself is either the author or the editor-in-chief of several noteworthy series (see

Historical notes:

Both Sir Isaac Newton (England, 1642-1726) and Gottfried Wilhelm Liebniz (Holy Roman Empire, 1646-1716) are credited with independently inventing/discerning/delineating calculus; however Newton has a slight historical edge in the matter.

With regards to Leibniz, note that he, like Birnbaum, dealt extensively with the philosophical issue of theodicy: If there is an all-powerful and all-merciful God, why is there gross evil. Birnbaum is in consonance with Leibniz on one of the building blocks of Leibniz regarding theodicy, to the effect that our universe was/is the best possible universe as regards these matters (good and evil); Birnbaum, of course, deploys his hypothesized Infinite Quest for Potential as centerpiece in lancing theodicy; Leibniz was not attuned to Birnbaum’s later 20th century ‘insight.’ See





Cosmology, Metaphysics & Philosophy: See sample testimonial on Summa Metaphysica, David Birnbaum's philosophy treatise:


“a highly original and imaginative synthesis… Written with lucidity and deep conviction this book will prove highly stimulating to the layman and the scholar.”

- Joseph Schultz, Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

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