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 well-liked 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 ordinary wisdom ranks between Whitehead's most crucial works; forming a viewpoint on medical statement that included a posh view of expertise, instead of prioritising the location of 'pure' feel facts. along significant other volumes the idea that of Nature (1920) and the primary of Relativity (1922), it created a framework for Whitehead's later metaphysical speculations. this is often a big e-book that might be of worth to an individual with an curiosity within the courting among technology and philosophy.

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UZa. ~·Xa. '. '. ) be the electric force at (xa.. Ya. , N a) be the magnetic force at the same point and time . ) Its velocity; and let (Pi. , ta). Finally let c be the velocity of light in vacuo. Then Lorentz's form of Maxwell's equations is diva. •.... (I) diva. ) = 0, .. . ) = ~ {o~a. )} , (3) I (] curIa. (Fa, Ga.. ) = - Ccta. (La.. ), ...... ' .. , Ra) = (Fa, Ga.. ). (La.. Ma.. )]. (5) It will be noted that each of the vector equations (3). (4). (5) stands for three ordinary equations, so that there are eleven equations in the five formulae.

Such an ether has certainly a very shadowy existence; and yet we cannot assume that it moves, merely for the sake of giving it something to do. 6'3 The ultimate facts contemplated in l\1axwell's equations are the occurrences of Pc. ' tal But this is merely to say that the tlltimate facts contemplated by Max''''ell's equations are certain events which are occurring throughout all space. The material called ether is merely the outcome of a metaphysical craving. of nature is the continuity of events; and the doctrine of transmission should be construed as a doctrine of the coextensiveness of events with space and time and of their reciprocal interaction.

Such a vector is the electric force which may have a distmct magnItude and direction at each point of space, but expresses at all points one definite physical fact. Such a vector will be a function of its position, that is to say, of the coordinates of the point (Xa, Ya, za) of whtch it is that characteristic vector. Let (Xa, Yet, Za) be any such vector. e. they are functions of Xa , Yet, ZIt, tIt. \Ye shall assume that our physical quantities are differentiable, except possibly at exceptional points.

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