The following Essay owes its origin to a conversation with a friend, on the subject of Mr Godwin's essay on avarice and profusion, in his Enquirer. The discussion started the general question of the future improvement of society, and the Author at first sat down with an intention of merely stating his thoughts to his friend, upon paper, in a clearer manner than he thought he could do in conversation. But as the subject opened upon him, some ideas occurred, which he did not recollect to have met with before; and as he conceived that every least light, on a topic so generally interesting, might be received with candour, he determined to put his thoughts in a form for publication.More info →
This book is intended essentially as an "Introduction" and does not aim at giving an exhaustive discussion of the problems with which it deals. It seemed desirable to set forth certain results, hitherto only available to those who have mastered logical symbolism, in a form offering the minimum of difficulty to the beginner. The utmost endeavour has been made to avoid dogmatism on such questions as are still open to serious doubt, and this endeavour has to some extent dominated the choice of topics considered. The beginnings of mathematical logic are less deffinitely known than its later portions, but are of at least
equal philosophical interest. Much of what is set forth in the following chapters is not properly to be called "philosophy" though the matters concerned were included in philosophy so long as no satisfactory science of them existed.
The nature of infinity and continuity, for example, belonged in former days to philosophy, but belongs now to mathematics. Mathematical philosophy, in the strict sense, cannot, perhaps, be held to include such definite scientific results as have been obtained in this region; the philosophy of mathematics will naturally be expected to deal with questions on the frontier of knowledge, as to which comparative certainty is not yet attained.More info →
Einstein's first paper on the restricted 'Theory of Relativity', originally published in the 'Annalen der Physik' in l905. Translated from the original German Papers by Dr. Meghnad Saha
Lord Kelvin writing-in 1893, in his prefaceto the English edition of Hertz's Researches on Electric Waves, says" many workers and many thinkers have helped to build up the nineteenth century school of plenum, one ether for light, heat, electricity, magnetism; and the German and English volumes containing Hertz's electrical papers, given to thMore info →
Either analytic knowledge or synthetic knowledge of nature would be wholly void of meaning were it to be completely wrenched from the other.
Most men of science perhaps, and most philosophers probably, would admit that this is true as an abstract proposition. But what about its truth when brought to the test of particular cases ?More info →
The three fixed lights, or windows, subsequently exchanged for our lesser luminaries, were explained one hundred and fifty years ago to signify " the three Persons, Father, Son, Holy Ghost ; " and were used to find out the meridian, " when the sun leaves the south, and breaks in at the west window of the Lodge." While the " mossy bed," the ancient signs of disgust and recognition, as well as the primitive name of a Master Mason, are equally obscure at the present day; having been swept away, along with the original method of characterising chemical bodies by symbols, as being no longer necessary to the system.More info →
This is illustrated Eccentricities of the Animal Creation ..
CURIOUS creatures of Animal Life have been objects of interest to mankind in all ages and countries; the universality of which may be traced to that feeling which "makes the whole world kin."
It has been remarked with emphatic truth by a popular writer, that "we have in the Bible and in the engraven and pictorial records the earliest evidence of the attention paid to Natural History in general. The 'navy of Tarshish' contributed to the wisdom of him who not only 'spake of the trees from the cedar of Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall,' but 'also of beasts, and of fowls, and of creeping things, and of fishes,' to say nothing of numerous other passages showing the progress that zoological knowledge had already made. The Egyptian records bear testimony to a familiarity not only with the forms of a multitude of wild animals, but with their habits and geographical distribution."
In the greatly awakened interest in the common-school subjects during recent years, geography has received a large share. The establishment of chairs of geography in some of our greatest universities, the giving of college courses in physiography, meteorology, and commerce, and the general extension of geography courses in normal schools, academies, and high schools, may be cited as evidence of this growing appreciation of the importance of the subject.
While physiographic processes and resulting land forms occupy a large place in geographical control, the earth in its simple mathematical aspects should be better understood than it generally is, and mathematical geography deserves a larger place in the literature of the subject than the few pages generally given to it in our physical geographies and elementary astronomies.More info →
THE old saying that small causes give rise to great effects has been confirmed more than once in the history of physics. For, very frequently, inconspicuous differences between theory and experiment (which did not, however, escape the vigilant eye of the investigator) have become starting points of new and important researches.
Out of the well-known Michelson-Morley experiment, which, in spite of the application of the most powerful methods of exact optical measurement, failed to show an influence of the earth's movement on the propagation of light as was predicted by classical theory, there arose the great structure of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. In the same way the trifling difference between the measured and calculated values of black-body radiation gave rise to the Quantum Theory which, formulated by Max Planck, was destined to revolutionise in the course of time almost all departments of physics.
The experience which I have had as a teacher and my acquaintance and sympathy with the requirements of students of Art have led me to the conclusion that hitherto too much stress has been laid on the nomenclature and technical details of Human Anatomy, and too little emphasis placed on the relation of these details to the surface forms. What the student requires is not a minute description of every bone, muscle, and joint, but only such an account as will enable him to appreciate their influence on the modelling of the figure. Names convey little to his mind, forms alone interest him.More info →