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 favorite 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 about the rules of traditional wisdom ranks between Whitehead's most crucial works; forming a point of view on clinical commentary that integrated a posh view of expertise, instead of prioritising the placement of 'pure' feel information. along significant other volumes the concept that of Nature (1920) and the main of Relativity (1922), it created a framework for Whitehead's later metaphysical speculations. this can be a big booklet that might be of price to someone with an curiosity within the dating among technological know-how and philosophy.

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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. It is however a sound scientific procedure to investigate whether the assumed properties of ether are explicable on the assumption that it is behaving like ordinary matter, if only to obtain suggestions by contrast for the formulation of the laws which do express its physical changes.

This definition of simultaneitv in the local time-order at PI is independent of any ~ssumption of absolute rest for P l , provided that the electromagnetic formulae for relativity are adopted. e. which belongs to the same consentient set. u·S The reason 'why the velocity of light has been adopted as the standard velocity in the definition of sImultaneity is because the negative results of the experiments to determine the earth's motion require that this velocity, which is die' c' of :\IaxwelI's equations, should have thls property.

We need not stop to enquire whether the short verbal expression of the law logically expresses these three properties. This is a minor point of exposition dependent on the context in which this formul~tion of the law is foand. r" ° .. APPENDIX II TO CHAPTER II MAXWELL'S EQt;ATIOXS It w11l be cenvement to state these equations in the slightly modified form whIch is due to Lorentz. xis system a, as m sub article 6·r. It wIll be necessary to explain a few small points of nomenclature and notation.

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