The Grammar of Science

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A major statement of the language, method, and concepts of the physical sciences, this 1892 volume traces not only the history of experimental investigation, but also the efforts of philosophic minds to state and organize their findings intelligently. "The field of science is unlimited," notes the author; "its material is endless, every group of natural phenomena, every phase of social life, every stage of past or present development is material for science. The unity of all science consists alone in its method, ...
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The grammar of science

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Overview

A major statement of the language, method, and concepts of the physical sciences, this 1892 volume traces not only the history of experimental investigation, but also the efforts of philosophic minds to state and organize their findings intelligently. "The field of science is unlimited," notes the author; "its material is endless, every group of natural phenomena, every phase of social life, every stage of past or present development is material for science. The unity of all science consists alone in its method, not in its material. The man who classifies facts of any kind whatever, who sees their mutual relations and describes their consequences, is applying the scientific method and is a man of science." Author Karl Pearson, the founder of modern statistics, came to this field from his passionate early studies of philosophy and cultural history as well as ether physics and graphical geometry. The Grammar of Science, his most widely read book and a classic in the philosophy of science, evolved from his lectures as professor of geometry. Pearson, who possessed a remarkable ability to captivate both students and casual listeners, was among the most influential university teachers of his era. With this work, he introduced the concept of a general methodology underlying all science, and thus made one of the great contributions to modern thought.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486495811
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 6/23/2004
  • Series: Phoenix Edition Series
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction iii
Prefaces ix
Chapter I. Introductory
1. The Need of the Present 1
2. Science and Citizenship 6
3. The First Claim of Modern Science 8
4. Essentials of Good Science 9
5. The Scope of Science 12
6. Science and Metaphysics 14
7. The Ignorance of Science 19
8. The Wide Domain of Science 24
9. The Second Claim of Science 25
10. The Third Claim of Science 29
11. Science and the Imagination 30
12. The Method of Science Illustrated 32
13. Science and the Aesthetic Judgment 34
14. The Fourth Claim of Science 36
Chapter II. The Facts of Science
1. The Reality of Things 39
2. Sense-Impressions and Consciousness 42
3. The Brain as a Central Telephone Exchange 44
4. The Nature of Thought 46
5. Other-Consciousness as an Eject 48
6. Attitude of Science towards Ejects 51
7. The Scientific Validity of a Conception 53
8. The Scientific Validity of an Inference 55
9. The Limits to Other-Consciousness 57
10. The Canons of Legitimate Inference 59
11. The External Universe 60
12. Outside and Inside Myself 63
13. Sensations as the Ultimate Source of the Materials of Knowledge 66
14. Shadow and Reality 69
15. Individuality 71
16. The Futility of "Things-in-Themselves" 72
17. The Term Knowledge is Meaningless if applied to Unthinkable Things 74
Chapter III. The Scientific Law
1. Resume and Foreword 77
2. Of the Word Law and its Meanings 79
3. Natural Law relative to Man 82
4. Man as the Maker of Natural Law 85
5. The Two Senses of the Words "Natural Law" 87
6. Confusion between the Two Senses of Natural Law 88
7. The Reason behind Nature 90
8. True Relation of Civil and Natural Law 93
9. Physical and Metaphysical Supersensuousness 95
10. Progress in the Formulating of Natural Law 96
11. The Universality of Scientific Law 100
12. The Routine of Perceptions is possibly a Product of the Perceptive Faculty 101
13. The Mind as a Sorting-Machine 106
14. Science, Natural Theology, and Metaphysics 107
15. Conclusions 109
Chapter IV. Cause and Effect--Probability
1. Mechanism 113
2. Force as a Cause 116
3. Will as a Cause 118
4. Secondary Causes involve no Enforcement 120
5. Is Will a First Cause? 122
6. Will as a Secondary Cause 123
7. First Causes have no Existence for Science 127
8. Cause and Effect as the Routine of Experience 128
9. Width of the Term Cause 131
10. The Universe of Sense-Impressions as a Universe of Motions 132
11. Necessity belongs to the World of Conceptions, not to that of Perceptions 134
12. Routine in Perception is a necessary Condition of Knowledge 136
13. Probable and Provable 139
14. Probability as to Breaches in the Routine of Perceptions 142
15. The Basis of Laplace's Theory lies in an Experience as to Ignorance 143
16. Nature of Laplace's Investigation 147
17. The Permanency of Routine for the Future 148
Chapter V. Contingency and Correlation--the Insufficiency of Causation
1. The Routine of Perceptions is Relative rather than Absolute 152
2. The Ultimate Elements of the Inorganic as of the Organic Universe may be Individual and not Same 155
3. The Category of Association, as replacing Causation 156
4. Symbolic Measure of the Intensity of Association or Contingency 160
5. The Universe as governed by Causation and as governed by Contingency 165
6. Classification of A and B by Measurement. Mathematical Function 167
7. On the Multiplicity of "Causes" 171
8. The Universe as a Complex of Contingent, not Causally Linked Phenomena 173
9. The Measure of Correlation and its Relation to Contingency 174
Chapter VI. Space and Time
1. Space as a Mode of Perception 179
2. The Infinite Bigness of Space 184
3. The Infinite Divisibility of Space 186
4. The Space of Memory and Thought 189
5. Conceptions and Perceptions 191
6. Sameness and Continuity 194
7. Conceptual Space. Geometrical Boundaries 197
8. Surfaces as Boundaries 199
9. Conceptual Discontinuity of Bodies. The Atom 201
10. Conceptual Continuity. Ether 205
11. On the General Nature of Scientific Conceptions 206
12. Time as a Mode of Perception 208
13. Conceptual Time and its Measurement 213
14. Concluding Remarks on Space and Time 217
Chapter VII. The Geometry of Motion
1. Motion as the Mixed Mode of Perception 220
2. Conceptual Analysis of a Case of Perceptual Motion. Point-Motion 222
3. Rigid Bodies as Geometrical Ideals 225
4. On Change of Aspect, or Rotation 227
5. On Change of Form, or Strain 229
6. Factors of Conceptual Motion 232
7. Point-Motion. Relative Character of Position and Motion 233
8. Position. The Map of the Path 236
9. The Time-Chart 239
10. Steepness and Slope 242
11. Speed as a Slope. Velocity 244
12. The Velocity Diagram or Hodograph. Acceleration 246
13. Acceleration as a Spurt and a Shunt 249
14. Curvature 251
15. The Relation between Curvature and Normal Acceleration 255
16. Fundamental Propositions in the Geometry of Motion 258
17. The Relativity of Motion. Its Synthesis from Simple Components 260
Chapter VIII. Matter
1. "All things move"--but only in Conception 266
2. The Three Problems 269
3. How the Physicists define Matter 271
4. Does Matter occupy Space? 275
5. The "Common-sense" View of Matter as Impenetrable and Hard 279
6. Individuality does not denote Sameness in Substratum 281
7. Hardness not Characteristic of Matter 285
8. Matter as non-Matter in Motion 286
9. The Ether as "Perfect Fluid" and "Perfect Jelly" 289
10. The Vortex-Ring Atom and the Ether-Squirt Atom 292
11. A Material Loophole into the Supersensuous 294
12. The Difficulties of a Perceptual Ether 297
13. Why do Bodies move? 299
Chapter IX. The Laws of Motion
1. Corpuscles and their Structure 305
2. The Limits to Mechanism 309
3. The First Law of Motion 311
4. The Second Law of Motion, or the Principle of Inertia 313
5. The Third Law of Motion. Mutual Acceleration is determined by Relative Position 317
6. Velocity as an Epitome of Past History. Mechanism and Materialism 322
7. The Fourth Law of Motion 326
8. The Scientific Conception of Mass 329
9. The Fifth Law of Motion. The Definition of Force 330
10. Equality of Masses tested by Weighing 333
11. How far does the Mechanism of the Fourth and Fifth Laws of Motion extend? 337
12. Density as the Basis of the Kinetic Scale 339
13. The Influence of Aspect on the Corpuscular Dance 343
14. The Hypothesis of Modified Action and the Synthesis of Motion 344
15. Criticism of the Newtonian Laws of Motion 348
Chapter X. Modern Physical Ideas
1. The Present Crisis in Physical Science and its Sources 355
2. The Origin of the Atomic View of Electricity 358
3. On the Electro-magnetic Constitution of the Atom 361
4. Electro-magnetic Mass 364
5. A Mechanical Ether Irrational 367
6. On Current Definitions of Electric Charge and Intensity at a Point 370
7. The Possibility of a Logical Definition of the Fundamental Quantities of the Electron Theory 371
8. On Fluid or Space Distribution of Electricity 374
9. On Motion Relative to the Ether in Relation to Experience 377
10. Theory of Relativity 379
11. Electro-magnetic Inertia according to the Theory of Relativity 383
12. The Present Value of Newtonian Dynamics 385
Appendix
Note I On the Principle of Inertia and "Absolute Rotation" 389
Note II On Newton's Third Law of Motion 392
Note III William of Occam's Razor 392
Note IV A. R. Wallace on Matter 393
Note V On the Reversibility of Natural Processes 394
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