By Sir William Bragg
Constructed from a Nobel Laureate's well known lectures on the Royal establishment of serious Britain, this easy-to-understand ebook explains the character of atoms, steel, gases, diamonds, ice, crystals, drinks, and different facets of technological know-how. It illuminates many themes which are seldom defined, defining themin basic phrases. 138 illustrations. 1925 version.
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Extra info for concerning the nature of things
The Kantian student is forced to say sooner or later that, whatever Kant may have said in this or that place, this is what he really meant—or to dismiss certain elements in Kant's teaching as pre-critical. The only way of understanding Kant is to make up your mind what the main thing he has to say is (and that in the circumstances has in it an element of judgement, involving as it does appreciation of the general tendencies of the work), and to make that the key to the interpretation of the details.
He had to introduce into his writing the element which in his lecturing had been supplied by a textbook. Hence he could not write as he had lectured. Further, and this is the important point, Kant, for all that he says, could not possibly follow the method of Wolff or Baumgarten. For he could not, as he had pointed out long before in the Prize Essay, begin with definitions and deduce his doctrine rigidly from them. e. the mind's reflexion on its ownroperaUoriS—HrarTmowledgeT of a priori concepts is knowledge of our own activities in thinking.
His " revolution" destroyed for ever that anthropocentric view. But Kant, in supposing that, Instead of the mind conforming to objects, objects conform to the mind, is going in precisely the opposite direction and making man's mind the centre of the universe of knowledge. This criticism involves, as we shall see, a misunderstanding of Kant, but it also involves, as Professor Kemp Smith has shown, a misunderstanding of Copernicus. What Copernicus had done was to suggest that certain changes in the apparent positions of the heavenly bodies were to be explained not by changes in these bodies but by changes in the position of the observer brought about by the rotation of the earth.