[hist-analytic] Eddington's Two Tables

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Wed Jan 28 16:38:10 EST 2009


Eddington, and his outreaching his knowledge of the wavicle. 
 
     -- Dinner's ready!
     (Eddington): _Where_?
 
               -- and this is _Paul_ Eddington!
 
In a message dated 1/28/2009 12:29:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes:
For now consider this interesting quotation from  
Eddington:

"The knowledge we can acquire is knowledge of a structure  
or pattern contained in actions...But whatever is derived 
in the actual  (highly difficult) study of the atom is knowledge 
of the same type, i.e.,  knowledge of structure of a set of 
unknown operators."
("The Theory of  Groups" in _The World of Mathematics_ vol. I
V. ed. James Newman. Simon and  Schuster, 1956).

I want to propose something a bit radical: heretofore,  
Russell's metaphysics has been pursued by way of his logic 
and, mainly  his logic; but his logic as it relates to, say, 
proof theory, is not what  moves him the most. What moved 
him were the ideas of people like Veblen,  Hausdorff and 
Eddington. A new look at the way Russell studies is  
conducted must include a close look at Eddington. This is 
my  intention.

----

This is _very_ good. I think, and would further  generalise:

"A new look at the way [insert your favourite philosopher  here] studies
is conducted must include a close look at Eddington."

--  This reminds me of some jocular exchange with Dan Frederick. "You cannot 
blame  Rawls here". He replied, as I recall, "Yes, I can; I blame him for 
anything".  Ditto, mutatis mutandis, Eddington. 

In one article that I've only seen  cited in the 'literature' _once_ -- by 
Warner in a footnote to his edition of  _Aspects of reason_ -- (and this is 
Grice, "Actions and Events", Pacific  Philosophical Quarterly, 1988), Grice does 
refer to the classical "Eddington's  two tables", I think he has it.

Let's see if the Eddington quote provided  by S. Bayne relates:

"The knowledge we can acquire is knowledge of a  structure 
or pattern contained in actions...But whatever is derived 
in  the actual (highly difficult) study of the atom is knowledge 
of the same  type, i.e., knowledge of structure of a set of 
unknown  operators."


("The Theory of Groups" in _The World of Mathematics_  vol. I
V. ed. James Newman. Simon and Schuster, 1956).


We should  check if the date here can be earlier?

analysis, running bit by  bit:

>the knowledge we can acquire 

is there a supposition  here, perhaps, or is he leaving room for some 
_knowledge_ which we do NOT  acquire, because, as Chomsky would have it, we _already_ 
possess? I for one  tremble at the abuse of words like 'acquisition' by 
professionals in so-called  'language teaching methodology'!

(R. B. Jones said, "English I know well"  -- and M. Davies has I think 
discussed this, 'is knowledge of a language',  "knowledge" at _all_!)

>is knowledge of a structure 
>or pattern  contained in actions ...

Considering what follows, what he has in mind is  "knowledge of an atom". And 
the actions, I would assume, are those undertaken by  lab physicists in 
'isolating' the atom -- Heisenberg's 'observational' vs.  'theoretical' paradoxes?) 

Eddington continues:

>But whatever  is derived 
>in the actual (highly difficult) study of the atom is  knowledge 
>of the same type, 

--- question: same as _what_? It  seems the previous scenario is hardly 
described to allow us now to compare it to  something else. Unless I'm misled by S. 
B.'s use of  "..."!

Eddington:

>[the same type of knowledge]
>i.e.,  knowledge of structure of a set of 
>unknown operators."

Oh, my  God. So it transpires that we know we don't know! I mean, Eddington 
is reducing  'knowledge' _of a certain type_ to ... er, operations with the  
_unknown_!

And to Platonically erupt it, he has them as "sets"!
 
As I'll not always will have access to the OED, I'll spend some time in it.  
Searching Eddington I retrieve 113 cites. Let's see if they shed light on 
these  things. 
 
As physicians go, he seems to have been, shall we say, lexically creative. 

Must say my favourites are under 'least', 'man' and his unique  'wavicle'!
 
For 'least'
 
"The law of gravitation, the laws of mechanics, and the laws of the  
electromagnetic field have all been summed up in a single Principle of Least  Action. 
For the most part this unification was accomplished before the advent of  the 
relativity theory, and it is only the addition of gravitation to the scheme  
which is novel."
 
For 'man':
 
"We must describe the amount of humanity in it [sc. Great Britain] as 400  
million man-years." 
 
For 'wavicle':
 
"We can scarcely describe such an entity as a wave or as a particle;  perhaps 
as a compromise we had better call it a ‘wavicle.’"
 
The first _use_ rather than mention of this Eddingtonism comes from "The  New 
Scientist", 1976:
 
"To think that a particle or wavicle or whatever, is small for us,  therefore 
it is small for the Universe, is to be biased or homo-centred." (Aug.  26) 

--- 
 
Speaking of wavicles, I'm sure Grice found this of interest as he gave  those 
lectures on "As if" -- Nancy Cartwright has recollected them. Below the  
complete checklist of Eddington hits. Alas, it includes one on _Paul_ Eddington,  
and another on one Eddington author of a book on boating (under 'saddle'). 
 
Must rush -- sorry couldn't edit. And good night!
 
Cheers,
 
J. L.
 
----
 
absolute 1914 Stellar Movements --  affine      1923 Math. Theory of 
Relativit --  aleph      1920 Space, Time & Gravitation --  angular: Prof. Eddington 
.. made an estimate of th -- atomicity  1920  Space, Time & Gravitation -- beta 
1922 Theory of Relativity 19 T --  cepheid    1927 Stars & Atoms 93 In 1924  
--  classical   1928 Nature Physical World ix -- connectivity    1928 Nature 
Phys. World xii. 2 -- conventionalism    the  physicist Eddington. -- 
correspondence     1928 Nat.  Physical World ix. 1 -- cosmic      1927  Stars  & Atoms 
67 This -- curvature     1920 Space Time &  Gravit. x. 1 -- doppler  1927 
Stars & Atoms 75 Owing to -- drift  1906 Monthly Notices R. Ast  eigenvalue     
1939  Philos. Phys. Sci. 162 In  -- Einstein     1927 Stars  & Atoms 52 The Eins 
 -- electric charge 1927 Stars & Atoms 99 The  elec  19  electromagnetic, 
adj.     1920 Space,  Time & Gravitation  20  eötvös     1920 Space  Time & 
Gravit. vii.  21  equivalence 1918 Rep. Relativity Theory  Gr  22  ether     1935 
New Pathways in Sci.  ii.   23  event 1920 Space Time & Gravit. iii.  24   
evolution, n.     1933 Expanding Universe i. 8 P   25  expanding, ppl. a.      of 
Sir Arthur   Eddington's presidential address to  26  field,  n.     1928 
Nature Physical World vii  27  fine  structure     1935 New Pathways in Sci. xi.   
 28  FitzGerald     1920 Space, Time & Gravit.  i   29  flat 1922 Theory of 
Relativity 26 T  30  frame  1928 Nature Physical World iii  31  furnace 1922 
Encycl. Brit. XXX.  298  32  galactic, a.     1914 Stellar Movements  viii. 1  
33  Galilean, a.2 (and n.2)     1918 Rep.  Relativity Theory Gr  34  gauge, 
gage, n.     1920  Space, Time & Gravit. xi.  35  gravitational,  a.     1918 
Rep. Relativity Theory Gr  36   idempotent, a. and n.      truth is that   
Eddington, in spite of all that he   37   indeterminacy     1928 Nature Physical 
World x.    38  inertial, a.     1918 Rep. Relativity Theory  Gr  interstellar, 
a.     1926 Internal Constitution  of   40  interval, n.     1918 Rep.  
Relativity Theory Gr  41  ionization2     1926  Internal Constitution of  
least 1920 Space, Time &  Gravitation  light, n.     1920 Space, Time &  
Gravitation  44  linkage     1928 Nature Physical  World xiv 
loop, v.1     1922 Theory of Relativity 3  Th  main, adj.2     ested by Prof. 
 Eddington),  for which the luminosit  47  Malmquist, n.     st  correction ( 
Eddington, 1914; Malmquist, 1921) h  man 1928 Nature Physical  World ix.  49  
mappable, adj.     1920 Space, Time  & Gravitation  50  mass, n.2     1926 
Internal  Constitution of  mathematical, adj. and n.      1920 Space, Time & 
Gravitation  52  mesh, n. (and  adj.)     1920 Space, Time & Gravitation  53   
momentum, n.     1928 Nature Physical World xi.   54  motus peculiaris, n.     
1914 Stellar Movements  & Struc  55  moving cluster, n.     1914  Stellar 
Movements & Struc  natural, adj. and  adv.     1920 Space, Time & Gravitation  57   
nebulium, n.     1928 Stars & Atoms 55 A terres   Newton 1920 Space, Time & 
Gravitation  59  non-,  prefix     1920 Space, Time & Gravitation  60   
non-physical, adj.     1920 Space, Time &  Gravitation  non-technical, adj.     1920 
Space, Time  & Gravitation  62  non-uniform 1920 Space, Time &  Gravitation  
63  nowness 1928 Nature Physical World iii   nubilate, adj.     seudo-science,  
Eddington,  McTaggart: their measure  O 1926 Internal Constit. of Star  66   
observational, adj.     1939 Philos. Physical Sci. iii   67  observationally 
1930 Rotation of Galaxy 13 The  observer,  n.     1920 Space, Time & 
Gravitation  69   one-way, adj. and n.     1928 Nature Physical World  295  open, adj.   
  1933 Expanding Universe ii.  61  71  optically 1933 Expanding Universe iii. 
1  72  orbit,  n.     1914 Stellar Movements & Struc  pageant, n.  and adj.   
  1929 Nature of Physical  World  parallax 1914 Stellar Movements & Struc  75 
  periodically, adv.     1933 Expanding Universe i.  10   -- plummy     Paul  
Eddington .. plays  the analyst with  77  point, n.1     1918 Rep.  
Relativity Theory Gr  78  pointer, n.     1928  Nature Physical World xii  79  
polytrope, n. and  adj.     1926 Internal Constitution of   80   polytropic, adj. (and 
n.)     1926 Internal Constitution  of   81  populate, v.2     1933 Expanding 
 Universe iii. 1  82      pre-,  prefix     1920 Space, Time & Gravitation   
83 primordial 1946 A.  Eddington Expanding Universe ii. 51   84  projection, 
n.     1933 Expanding Universe ii.  85  85  proper motion, n.     1929 Nature 
of  Physical World   proton 1933 Expanding Universe i. 8 P  87   quantum, n. 
and adj.     1927 Stars & Atoms 68 The  prop  88  R, n.     1933 Expanding 
Universe iii.  1  89  radial 1933 Expanding Universe i. 9 I  90  radiative,  adj.   
  1916 Monthly Notices Royal   91   radius, n.     1920 Space, Time & 
Gravitation   92  red shift 1923 Math. Theory Relativity v  93  reinterpret,  v.     
1920 Space, Time & Gravit. ix.  94   relativist, n. (and a.)     1922 Theory 
of Relativity 16  T  95  Riemann-Christoffel     1918 Rep.  Relativity Theory 
of  96  Riemannian 1920 Space, Time &  Gravitation  rigidify, v.     1920 
Space, Time &  Gravitation  98  road, n.     1918 Rep. Relativity  Theory Gr  99  
saddle 1943 W. J.  Eddington Gloss. Shipbuilding  & Out  100  Schwarzschild     
 been known  to  Eddington, certainly by the early 1  101  sense 1920 Space,  
Time & Gravit. ii.  shadowgraph, n.     1928 Nature  of Physical World   103  
sight, n.1     1920  Space, Time & Gravitation  104  slithy 1928 Nature of 
Physical  World   spinar     d the thermal (  Eddington-limited) component.  106 
 spiral 1914 Stellar Movements  & Struc  star, n.1     1920 Space, Time &  
Gravitation  108  test, n.1     1920 Space, Time  & Gravitation  109  thingless, 
adj.     1935  New Pathways in Sci. ii.   time, n.     1922  Theory of 
Relativity 18 I  111  verificationist   He  [sc.  Eddington] is as empirically 
'verif  112   wavicle     1928 Nature Physical World x.   world,  n.     1920 
Space, Time & Gravit. ix.  


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