Bergson and Modern Physics: A Reinterpretation and by Milič Čapek (auth.)

By Milič Čapek (auth.)

Milic Capek has dedicated his scholarship to the background and philosophy of contemporary physics. With impeccable care, he has mastered the epistemologi­ cal and medical advancements by way of operating throughout the papers, treatises, correspondence of physicists in view that Kant, and in addition he has placed his studying and significant ability into the comparable philosophical literature. Coming from his unique medical occupation with a philosophy doctorate from the Charles collage in Prague, Capek has ranged past a narrowly outlined philosophy of physics into normal epistemology of the normal sciences and to the complete ancient evolution of those issues. He has ex­ pounded his perspectives on those concerns in a few articles and, systema­ tically, in his ebook The Philosophical impression of up to date PhYSiCS, released in 1961 and reprinted with new appendices in 1969. His specific present for plenty of of his readers and scholars lies within the nice interval from the mid-nineteenth century throughout the foundations of the physics and philosophy of the 20 th, and inside of this brilliant time, Profes­ sor Capek has develop into a imperative expositor and sympathetic critic of the philosophy of Henri Bergson. He joins a distinctive crew of students -physicists and philosophers -who were prompted to a couple in their such a lot profound and innovative inspiration by way of Bergson's metaphysical and mental paintings: Cassirer, Meyerson, de Broglie, Metz, Jankelevitch, Zawirski, and lately, Costa de Beauregard, Watanabe, Blanche, and others.

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Spencer, op. , I, p. 365. M. p. 17. 18 Milne, op. , p. 121. The tiniest quantity of sexual odor detected by the male silkworm moths still contains 200000 molecules. 19 Uexkiill, Theoretical Biology, p. 176. , p. 1. 1 CHAPTER 4 WHY MECHANICAL-PICTORIAL MODELS FAILED It is true that classical science was fully aware of the limitations of human perception; but it firmly believed that by the artificial lowering of the threshold of perception this limitation could be overcome. Objects too far away as well as objects too small still can be perceived when their physical action on our sensory organs, which is too small to be effective, is concentrated by means of specially constructed devices like the telescope, microscope, seismograph, acoustic concave mirror and other means of detection; and also when conditions can be so arranged that the individual physical action, too weak in itself, can be repeated long enough to produce finally a perceptible trace.

286-308. 26 Cf. Note 24. 27 'Science and Hypothesis', in The Foundations of Science (trans!. by G. B. Halsted), The Science Press, Lancaster, 1946, p. 86. S. , p. 81. 29 H. P. Robertson, 'Geometry as a Branch of Physics', in Albert Einstein: Philosopher Scientist, p. 325. , p. 91. ), p. 274. , pp. 420-421. , p. 428. , pp. 78-79. 3S Helmholtz-Schlick, op. , Note 38. 36 H. Poincare, Last Essays (trans!. by John W. 12. , p. 3. , p. 112. 39 Un romantisme utilitaire, I. p. 256. 40 Op. , p. 112. 31 32 CHAPTER 3 BERGSON'S AMENDMENT OF THE CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE The biological orientation of Bergson's epistemology has been already mentioned; so was his own admission of Spencer's influence on his thought.

The increasing difficulties in constructing a satisfactory model of the aether culminated in the negative result of Michelson's experiment which showed that the hypothetical medium does not possess even the most elementary classical kinematic properties; if we continue to insist on using the word 'aether', then, as Einstein observed, we should say that it is "neither at rest nor in motion". 5 It is sufficiently known how first the BERGSON'S BIOLOGICAL THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE 43 special and later the general theory of relativity grew out of Michelson's revolutionary discovery and Einstein's parallel fundamental analysis.

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