An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge by Alfred North Whitehead

By Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) used to be a popular English mathematician and thinker who co-authored the hugely influential Principia Mathematica with Bertrand Russell. initially released in 1919, and primary republished in 1925 as this moment version, An Enquiry in regards to the rules of usual wisdom ranks between Whitehead's most crucial works; forming a viewpoint on clinical remark that integrated a posh view of expertise, instead of prioritising the location of 'pure' feel facts. along spouse volumes the concept that of Nature (1920) and the primary of Relativity (1922), it created a framework for Whitehead's later metaphysical speculations. this can be a huge booklet that would be of price to a person with an curiosity within the courting among technology and philosophy.

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Z'II Z"I j I I 0 .. otJ • ~ O~ (x... xS> . }' At the time t let the event-particle which ~instantaneously happens at-ute point Ojz in the space of a happen at OfJ in the space of fl, and let the event-particle which happens at 0/ in the space of fl happen at Ojz' in the space of a. ~ 0/ XfJ' be in the directlOn reversed of the motion of a in the fl-space. mstant t on 0/XfJ: • Also we choose O/Ys' and O/Z,/ so that the event-particles whIch happen at time t on OfJ'YfJ' and O/Z/ respectively happen on straight lines in the a-space which are parallel to OCLYCL and OCLZCL~ Let VefJ be the velocIty of f3 in a-space and 48 1.

The objection is removed that fresh properties haye to be ascribed to the ether by each of the distinct lines of thought which postulate it. xwell's worl, except so "far that we know the stresses in the ether which ·would produce it. 5'2 The assumption of the existence of an ether at once raises the question as to its laws of motion. Thus in addition to the hierarchy of macroscopic and microscopic equations, there are the equations of motion for ether in otherwise empty space. The a priori reasons for believing that Ne,"'1:on's laws of motion apply to the ether are very weak, r>eing in fact nothing more than the inductive extension of laws to cases widely dissimilar from those for which they have been verified.

But rotating relatively to what? For on the relational theory it would seem to be the mutual relations of the earth's parts which constitute space. and yet the dynamical theory of the bulge does not refer to any body other than the earth, and so is not affected by the catastrophe of annihilation. It has been asserted that after all the fixed stars are essential, and that it is the rotation relatively to them which produces the bulge. But surely this ascnption of the centrifugal force on the earth's surface to the influence of Sirius is the last refuge of a theory in distress.

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