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By Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) was once 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 about the rules of usual wisdom ranks between Whitehead's most vital works; forming a standpoint on medical commentary that included a fancy view of expertise, instead of prioritising the placement of 'pure' experience facts. 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 major booklet that would be of worth to somebody with an curiosity within the courting among technological know-how and philosophy.

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9. ejl1otioll through the Ether. 9'I The existence of the material· ether should discriminate between the consentient sets of the Ne'wtonian group. th definite velocities. It becomes a problem to discover phenomena dependent on such velocities. Can any phenomena be detected which are unequivocally due to a quasi-absolute motion of the earth through the ether ? g. the earth and a planet, or a star. For such phenomena are evidently primarily due to the relative velocity of the two bodies to each other, and the velocities relatively to the ether only arise as a hypothetical intermediate explanatory analysis.

Now a vector involves direction; and direction is not/concemed with what is merely at that point. It is impossible to define direction without reference to the rest of ~ace; namely, it involves some relation to the whole of space. ,Yet uZa curlet and divet ; and they also involve the temporal differential operator It:. ' and not merely properties at (xcu y"" Zet' tet). For a differential coefficient is a limit, and the limit of a function at a given value of its argument expresses a property of the aggregate of the values of the function corresponding to the aggregate of the values of the argument in the neighbourhood of the given value.

8·4 The fact that the relational theory of space involves that each consentient set has its own space with its own peculiar points is ignored in the traditional presentation of physical science. The reason is that the absolute theory of space is not really abandoned, and the relative motion, which is all that can be observed, is treated as the differential effect of two absolute motions. 8·S In the enunciation of Newton's Laws of Motion, the velocities and accelerations of particles must be supposed to refer to the space of some given consentient .

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