By Edmund T. Whittaker
First-class therapy of Electrodynamics and Relativity conception from a decent historic viewpoint. Whittaker's perspectives are suppressed simply because he used to be courageous sufficient to inform the reality concerning 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 Modern Theories
It is a commonplace of thought that some forms of human experience seem to have progressed in a more obvious and palpable way than others. It might be difficult to say how Michael Angelo could be considered an improvement on Pheidias, or Dante on Homer, but it can hardly be questioned that Newton and Pasteur and Einstein did really know a great deal more about the natural univers e than Aristotle or Chan g Heng. This must tell us something about the differences between art and religion on one side and science on the other, though no one seems able to explain quite what, but in any case within the field of natural knowledge we cannot but recognise an evolutionary development, a real progress, over the ages.
3 and 4, pt. I. xxxviii AUTHOR'S NOTE West. a Moreover Chinese culture alone, as we shall see, perhaps, provided that materialist conception of the elixir of life which, passing to Europe through the Arabs, led to the macrobiotic optimism of Roger Bacon and the iatro-chemical revolution of Paracelsus, hardly less important in the origins of modern science than the work of Galileo and Newton. Whatever the ideological inhibiting factors in the Chinese thought-world may turn out to have been, the certainty always remains that the specific social and economic features of traditional China were connected with them.
2. AUTHOR'S NOTE xliii The only danger in the conception of human continuity and solidarity, as I have outlined it, is that it is very easy to take modern science as the last word, and to judge everything in the past solely in the light of it. This has been justly castigated by Joseph Agassi, who in his lively monograph on the historiography of science (I) satirises the mere 're-arranging of up-to-date science textbooks in chronological order', and the awarding of black and white marks to the scientific men of the past in accordance with the extent to which their discoveries still form part of the corpus of modern knowledge.
A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity - The Modern Theories by Edmund T. Whittaker