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By Edmund T. Whittaker

The aim of this quantity is to explain the revolution in physics which came about within the first zone of the 20 th century, and which integrated the discoveries of precise Relativity, the older Quantum thought, common Relativity, Matrix Mechanics and Wave Mechanics.

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Extra info for A history of theories of ether and electricity. The classical theories

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22 The signs were not always obvious, hence the need for esoteric wisdom or magic, as revealed in the cabala. This was the same text of magic arts that Bruno used some 50 years later. Both Paracelsus and Bruno prudently stressed that these arcane powers came from God, they were not part of the black arts or geomancy. Paracelsus wrote: If we would know the inner nature of man by his outer nature; if we would understand his inner heaven by his outward aspect; if we would know the inner nature of trees, herbs, roots, stones by their outward aspect, we must pursue our exploration of nature or the foundation of the cabala.

This is particularly seen in his exposition of the functions of spirits. As Dampier says: Galen’s system of medicine, in opposition to the mechanistic views of the atomists and their followers, was founded on the idea of spirits of different kinds pervading all parts of the body. . It was for dogmas deduced with great dialectic subtlety from these views, and Primitive Beliefs, Classical Theories, Early Practices 19 the authority with which he expounded them, rather than for his really great observations and experiments, or his practical skill in his profession, that Galen became famous, and influenced medicine for fifteen hundred years.

We must further observe that while our inferences from experience are frequently fallacious, deduction, or the pure illation of one thing from another, though it may be passed over . . 1 Descartes held that conclusions reached through correct ratiocination must be indubitable and that these alone could be rated as true (scientific) knowledge: But one conclusion now emerges out of these considerations . . 2 More importantly Descartes made clear that he thought neither he nor any other human being could claim to know God’s wishes so that it was senseless to seek explanations in terms of those wishes.

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