An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge

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University Press, 1919 - Knowledge, Theory of - 200 pages
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Page 198 - Whitehead, who wrote: *"A rhythm involves a pattern, and to that extent is always self-identical. But no rhythm can be a mere pattern; for the rhythmic quality depends equally upon the differences involved in each exhibition of the pattern. The essence of rhythm is the fusion of sameness and novelty; so that the whole never loses the essential unity of the pattern, while the parts exhibit the contrast arising from the novelty of their detail. "The Principles of Natural Knowledge. Cambridge 1925,...
Page 2 - The ultimate fact embracing all nature is (in this traditional point of view) a distribution of material throughout all space at a durationless instant of time, and another such ultimate fact will be another distribution of the same material throughout the same space at another durationless instant of time.
Page 3 - ... -4. In biology the concept of an organism cannot be expressed in terms of a material distribution at an instant. The essence of an organism is that it is one thing which functions and is spread through space. Now functioning takes time. Thus a biological organism is a unity with a spatio-temporal extension which is of the essence of its being. This biological conception is obviously incompatible with the traditional ideas. This argument does not in any way depend on the assumption that biological...
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Page 5 - An investigation into the foundations of geometry has to explain space as a complex of relations between things. It has to describe what a point is, and has to show how the geometric relations between points issue from the ultimate relations between the ultimate things which are the immediate objects of knowledge.
Page 14 - The conception of knowledge as passive contemplation is too inadequate to meet the facts. Nature is ever originating its own development, and the sense of action is the direct knowledge of the percipient event as having its very being in the formation of its natural relations. Knowledge issues from this reciprocal insistence between this event and the rest of nature, namely relations are perceived in the making and because of the making.
Page 13 - ... and is an awareness of the natural relations of one element in nature (namely, the percipient event) to the rest nature. Also what is known is not barely the things but the relations of things, and not the relations in the abstract but specifically those things as related. Thus Alciphron's vision of the planet is his perception of his relatedness (ie the relatedness of his percipient event) to some other elements of nature which as thus related he calls the planet.
Page 56 - These judgments of constancy are based on an immediate comparison of circumstances at different times and at different places. Such judgments are not infallible and are capable of being tested under certain circumstances. For example it may be judged that two footrules would coincide if they were brought together ; and this experiment can be made, and the judgment tested. The rejection of an immediate judgment of constancy is no paradox. There are differences between any distinct sets of circumstances,...
Page 198 - A rhythm involves a pattern and to that extent is always self-identical. But no rhythm can be a mere pattern; for the rhythmic quality depends equally upon the differences involved in each exhibition of the pattern. The essence of rhythm is the fusion of sameness and novelty ; so that the whole never loses the essential unity of the pattern, while the parts exhibit the contrast arising from the novelty of their detail. A mere recurrence kills rhythm as surely as does a mere confusion of differences....

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