Science and the Modern World: Lowell Lectures, 1925

Macmillan, 1925 - 296 páginas
Alfred North Whitehead's SCIENCE AND THE MODERN WORLD, originally published in 1925, redefines the concept of modern science. Presaging by more than half a century most of today's cutting-edge thought on the cultural ramifications of science and technology, Whitehead demands that readers understand and celebrate the contemporary, historical, and cultural context of scientific discovery. Taking readers through the history of modern science, Whitehead shows how cultural history has affected science over the ages in relation to such major intellectual themes as romanticism, relativity, quantum theory, religion, and movements for social progress.

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Página 113 - AWAKE, my St John ! leave all meaner things To low ambition, and the pride of kings. Let us (since life can little more supply Than just to look about us and to die) Expatiate free o'er all this scene of Man ; A mighty maze ! but not without a plan ; A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot ; Or garden, tempting with forbidden fruit.
Página 117 - Ye Presences of Nature in the sky And on the earth ! Ye Visions of the hills ! And Souls of lonely places ! can I think A vulgar hope was yours when ye employed Such ministry, when ye, through many a year Haunting me thus among my boyish sports, On caves and trees, upon the woods and hills...
Página 103 - Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul Of the wide world dreaming on things to come, Can yet the lease of my true love control, Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.
Página 136 - In order to understand our epoch, we can neglect all details of change, such as railways, telegraphs, radios, spinning machines, synthetic dyes. We must concentrate on the method in itself: That is the real novelty which has broken up the foundations of the old civilization.
Página 276 - The dangers arising from this aspect of professionalism are great, particularly in our democratic societies. The directive force of reason is weakened. The leading intellects lack balance. They see this set of circumstances, or that set; but not both sets together. The task of coordination is left to those who lack either the force or the character to succeed in some definite career.
Página 120 - THE everlasting universe of things Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves, Now dark, now glittering — now reflecting gloom — Now lending splendour, where from secret springs The source of human thought its tribute brings Of waters, — with a sound but half its own...
Página 128 - In a certain sense, everything is everywhere at all times. For every location involves an aspect of itself in every other location. Thus every spatio-temporal standpoint mirrors the world.
Página 15 - The whole atmosphere of tense interest was exactly that of the Greek drama : we were the chorus commenting on the decree of destiny as disclosed in the development of a supreme incident. There was dramatic quality in the very staging: — the traditional ceremonial, and in the background the picture of Newton to remind us that the greatest of scientific generalisations was now, after more than two centuries, to receive its first modification.
Página 46 - Nothing is more impressive than the fact that as mathematics withdrew increasingly into the upper regions of ever greater extremes of abstract thought, it returned back to earth with a corresponding growth of importance for the analysis of concrete fact.
Página 114 - STRONG Son of God, immortal Love, Whom we, that have not seen thy face, By faith, and faith alone, embrace, Believing where we cannot prove; Thine are these orbs of light and shade; Thou madest Life in man and brute ; Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot Is on the skull which thou hast made. Thou wilt not leave us in the dust: Thou madest man, he knows not why, He thinks he was not made to die; And thou hast made him: thou art just.

Acerca del autor (1925)

Alfred North Whitehead, who began his career as a mathematician, ranks as the foremost philosopher in the twentieth century to construct a speculative system of philosophical cosmology. After his graduation from Cambridge University, he lectured there until 1910 on mathematics. Like Bertrand Russell (see also Vol. 5), his most brilliant pupil, Whitehead viewed philosophy at the start from the standpoint of mathematics, and, with Russell, he wrote Principia Mathematica (1910--13). This work established the derivation of mathematics from logical foundations and has transformed the philosophical discipline of logic. From his work on mathematics and its logical foundations, Whitehead proceeded to what has been regarded as the second phase of his career. In 1910 he left Cambridge for the University of London, where he lectured until he was appointed professor of applied mathematics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology. During his period in London, Whitehead produced works on the epistemological and metaphysical principles of science. The major works of this period are An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge (1919), The Concept of Nature (1920), and The Principles of Relativity (1922). In 1924, at age 63, Whitehead retired from his position at the Imperial College and accepted an appointment as professor of philosophy at Harvard University, where he began his most creative period in speculative philosophy. In Science and the Modern World (1925) he explored the history of the development of science, examining its foundations in categories of philosophical import, and remarked that with the revolutions in biology and physics in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a revision of these categories was in order. Whitehead unveiled his proposals for a new list of categories supporting a comprehensive philosophical cosmology in Process and Reality (1929), a work hailed as the greatest expression of process philosophy and theology. Adventures of Ideas (1933) is an essay in the philosophy of culture; it centers on what Whitehead considered the key ideas that have shaped Western culture.

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