A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy by Sir John Frederick William Herschel

By Sir John Frederick William Herschel

Astronomer and thinker J. F. W. Herschel's A initial Discourse at the examine of ordinary Philosophy, initially released in 1830, should be considered as the 1st sleek paintings at the philosophy of technology. during this publication, Herschel conscientiously units out what he regards because the ideas and strategies of medical research, either at a theoretical point and on the point of scan or statement. He describes nature as being ruled by means of legislation that are tricky to figure by way of mere remark and so deduces that theoretical technology calls for analogical reasoning. within the Discourses, written because the first in a chain known as cupboard Cyclopaedia, he covers a variety of methodological, medical and philosophical matters that come with discussions of up to date astronomy, atomism and chemistry. His writing on gentle is seriously motivated via Newton. Herschel additionally ponders the variations among humans and animals and the connection among spiritual religion and clinical enquiry.

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He sailed from San Bias on the west coast of Mexico, and after a voyage of 8000 miles, occupying 89 days, arrived off Rio de Janeiro, having, in this interval, passed through the Pacific Ocean, rounded Cape Horn, and crossed the South Atlantic, without making any land, or even seeing a single sail, with the exception of an American whaler off Cape Horn. Arrived within a week's sail of Rio, he set seriously about determining, by lunar observations, the precise line of the ship's course and its situation in it at a determinate moment, and having ascertained this within from five to ten miles, ran the rest of the way by those more ready and compendious methods, known to navigators, which can be safely employed for short trips between one known point and another, but which cannot be trusted in long voyages, where the moon is the only sure guide.

In securing us from important mistakes in attempting what is, in itself possible, by means either inadequate, or actually opposed, to the end in view. III. In enabling us to accomplish our ends in the easiest, shortest, most economical, and most effectual manner. IV. In inducing us to attempt, and enabling us to accomplish, objects which, but for such knowledge, we should never Iiave thought of undertaking. OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. ) Ex. 1. ) I. It is not many years since an attempt was made to establish a colliery at Bexhill, in Sussex.

But it has lately been demonstrated by an eminent French philosopher and mathematician, M. Fresnel, that, granting certain principles or postulates, all the phenomena of double refraction, including perhaps the greatest variety of facts that have ever yet been arranged under one general head, may be satisfactorily explained and deduced from them by strict mathematical calculation ; and that, when applied to the cases first mentioned, these principles give a satisfactory account of the want of the extraordinary image ; that when applied to such cases as those of rock-crystal or Iceland spar, they also give a correct account of both the images, and agree in their conclusions with the rules before ascertained for them: but so far from coinciding with that part of the previous statement, which would make these conclusions extend to all crystallised substances, M.

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