Download PDF by Sir John Frederick William Herschel: A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy

By Sir John Frederick William Herschel

Astronomer and thinker J. F. W. Herschel's A initial Discourse at the learn of ordinary Philosophy, initially released in 1830, will be considered as the 1st glossy paintings at the philosophy of technology. during this publication, Herschel rigorously units out what he regards because the ideas and techniques of clinical research, either at a theoretical point and on the point of test or statement. He describes nature as being ruled through legislation that are tricky to determine via mere remark and so deduces that theoretical technological know-how calls for analogical reasoning. within the Discourses, written because the first in a chain referred to as cupboard Cyclopaedia, he covers quite a lot of methodological, medical and philosophical matters that come with discussions of up to date astronomy, atomism and chemistry. His writing on mild is seriously stimulated via Newton. Herschel additionally ponders the variations among humans and animals and the connection among non secular religion and clinical enquiry.

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It consisted in sinking the hull of a ship made quite water-tight, with the decks and sides strongly supported by shores, and the only entry secured by a stout trap-door, in such a manner, that by disengaging, from within, the weights employed to sink it, it might rise of itself to the surface. To render the trial more satisfactory, and the result more striking, the projector himself made the first essaj'. It was agreed that he should sink in twenty fathoms water, and rise again without assistance at the expiration of OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

From them alone we gather that there are such things as laws of nature. The very idea of a law includes that of contingency. *s« Si quis mala carmina condidisset, fuste ferifo;" if such a case arise, such a course shall be followed, — if the match be applied to the gunpowder, it will explode. Every law is a provision for cases which may occur, and has relation to an infinite number of cases that never have occurred, and never will. Now, it is this provision, a priori, for contingencies, this contemplation of possible occurrences, and predisposal of what shall happen, that impresses us with the notion of a law and a cause.

III. The subdivision of physical science into distinct branches; and their mutual relations. * We must caution our readers who would assure themselves of it by trial, that it is an experiment of some delicacy, and not to be made without several precautions to ensure success* For these we must refer to our original authority (Fresnel. Mejnoire sur la Diffraction de la Lumiere, p. 1C24 ) ; and the principles on which they depend will of course be detailed in that volume of the Cabinet Cyclopaedia which is devoted to the subject of LIGHT.

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