New PDF release: A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity - The

By Edmund T. Whittaker

First-class remedy of Electrodynamics and Relativity thought from a good historic standpoint. Whittaker's perspectives are suppressed simply because he used to be courageous adequate to inform the reality in regards to the authentic contributions of Einstein to the Relativity conception (properly attributed to Poincaré and Lorentz).

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Extra info for A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity - The Classical Theories

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Organic bodies [corps organisés, vivans] and inorganic ones [corps bruts et sans vie]). Between the two, he assumed that there was “a vast hiatus” which prevented the two kinds of bodies from being arranged along a common line of development (Lamarck 1801, 2–5; Lamarck 1815–1822, I, 37–38). Even more significant was the determination with which Lamarck criticized the very idea of the great chain of being (Lamarck 1815–1822, I, 51–52):50 “Nowhere have I spoken of such a chain,” he pointed out in Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres.

No kind of matter and no particle of it could have in itself the property of self-motion, nor that of living, feeling, thinking or formulating ideas. And if, in addition to human beings, we observe bodies that are endowed with all or some of the above-mentioned faculties, then we should consider these faculties as physical phenomena which nature was able to produce as a result of the order and the state of things that nature established in each organization and in each particular system of organs, and not by means of a kind that is supposed to be endowed with such and such faculties (Lamarck 1815–1822, I, 121).

56 In Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve’s novel Volupté (published in 1834), the protagonist remembers with passion Lamarck’s lectures he attended in the Jardin des Plantes: “At that time he was one of the last representatives of that great school of natural philosophers and general observers who had reigned from Thales and Democritus to Buffon” (Sainte-Beuve [1834] 1995, 105). 57 On the term “biology,” cf. McLaughlin (2002) and Corsi (2006). 55 42 G. Giglioni ability to ascend to higher levels of life and responsiveness.

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A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity - The Classical Theories by Edmund T. Whittaker


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