The Concept of Nature

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Cosimo, Inc., 2007 - Science - 212 pages
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Hailed as "one of the most valuable books on the relation of philosophy and science," Alfred North Whitehead's The Concept of Nature, first published in 1920, was an important contribution to the development of philosophic naturalism. Examining the fundamental problems of substance, space, and time, Whitehead assesses the impact of Einstein's theories as well as the then-recent findings of modern physics on the concept of nature. For students and teachers of natural philosophy, this is essential reading. English mathematician and philosopher ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD (1861-1947) contributed significantly to 20th-century logic and metaphysics. With Bertrand Russell he cowrote the landmark Principia Mathematica, and also authored An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, The Function of Reason, and Process and Reality.
 

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Contents

I
1
II
26
III
49
IV
74
V
99
VI
120
VII
143
VIII
164
IX
185
X
197
XII
199
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Page 3 - Nature is that which we observe in perception through the senses. In this sense-perception we are aware of something which is not thought and which is self-contained for thought.
Page 5 - homogeneously' about nature when we are thinking about it without thinking about thought or about sense-awareness, and we are thinking 'heterogeneously...

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About the author (2007)

Alfred North Whitehead, (1861 - 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy, which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, theology, education, physics, biology, economics, and psychology, among other areas. In his early career Whitehead wrote primarily on mathematics, logic, and physics. His most notable work in these fields is the three-volume Principia Mathematica (1910-13), which he co-wrote with former student Bertrand Russell. Principia Mathematica is considered one of the twentieth century's most important works in mathematical logic, and placed 23rd in a list of the top 100 English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century by Modern Library. Beginning in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Whitehead gradually turned his attention from mathematics to philosophy of science, and finally to metaphysics. He developed a comprehensive metaphysical system which radically departed from most of western philosophy. Whitehead argued that reality consists of events rather than matter, and that these events cannot be defined apart from their relations to other events, thus rejecting the theory that reality is fundamentally constructed by bits of matter that exist independently of one another. Today Whitehead's philosophical works - particularly Process and Reality - are regarded as the foundational texts of process philosophy. Whitehead's process philosophy argues that "there is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have consequences for the world around us." For this reason, one of the most promising applications of Whitehead's thought in recent years has been in the area of ecological civilization and environmental ethics pioneered by John B. Cobb, Jr. A Treatise on Universal Algebra: In A Treatise on Universal Algebra (1898) the term "universal algebra" had essentially the same meaning that it has today: the study of algebraic structures themselves, rather than examples ("models") of algebraic structures. Whitehead credits William Rowan Hamilton and Augustus De Morgan as originators of the subject matter, and James Joseph Sylvester with coining the term itself.

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