The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment. The important applications of the science, the theoretical interest of its ideas, and the logical rigour of its methods, all generate the expectation of a speedy introduction to processes of interest. We are told that by its aid the stars are weighed and the billions of molecules in a drop of water are counted. Yet, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, this great science eludes the e_orts of our mental weapons to grasp it 'Tis here, 'tis there, 'tis gone" and what we do see does not suggest the same excuse for illusiveness as sufficed for the ghost, that it is too noble for our gross methods. A show of violence," if ever excusable, may surely be offered" to the trivial results which occupy the pages of some elementary mathematical treatises. The object of the following Chapters is not to teach mathematics, but to enable students from the very beginning of their course to know what the science is about, and why it is necessarily the foundation of exact thought as applied to natural phenomena. All allusion in what follows to detailed deductions in any part of the science will be inserted merely for the purpose of example, and care will be taken to make the general argument comprehensible, even if here and there some technical process or symbol which the reader does not understand is cited for the purpose of illustration. The first acquaintance which most people have with mathematics is through arithmetic. That two and two make four is usually taken as the type of a simple mathematical proposition which everyone will have heard of. Arithmetic, therefore, will be a good subject to consider in order to discover, if possible, the most obvious characteristic of the science. Now, the first noticeable fact about arithmetic is that it applies to everything, to tastes and to sounds, to apples and to angels, to the ideas of the mind and to the bones of the body. The nature of the things is perfectly indifferent, of all things it is true that two and two make four. Thus we write down as the leading characteristic of mathematics that it deals with properties and ideas which are applicable to things just because they are things, and apart from any particular feelings, or emotions, or sensations, in any way connected with them. This is what is meant by calling mathematics an abstract science.
About Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead, (1861  1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy, which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, theology, education, physics, biology, economics, and psychology, among other areas. In his early career Whitehead wrote primarily on mathematics, logic, and physics. His most notable work in these fields is the threevolume Principia Mathematica (191013), which he cowrote with former student Bertrand Russell. Principia Mathematica is considered one of the twentieth century's most important works in mathematical logic, and placed 23rd in a list of the top 100 Englishlanguage nonfiction books of the twentieth century by Modern Library. Beginning in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Whitehead gradually turned his attention from mathematics to philosophy of science, and finally to metaphysics. He developed a comprehensive metaphysical system which radically departed from most of western philosophy. Whitehead argued that reality consists of events rather than matter, and that these events cannot be defined apart from their relations to other events, thus rejecting the theory that reality is fundamentally constructed by bits of matter that exist independently of one another. Today Whitehead's philosophical works  particularly Process and Reality  are regarded as the foundational texts of process philosophy. Whitehead's process philosophy argues that "there is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have consequences for the world around us." For this reason, one of the most promising applications of Whitehead's thought in recent years has been in the area of ecological civilization and environmental ethics pioneered by John B. Cobb, Jr. A Treatise on Universal Algebra: In A Treatise on Universal Algebra (1898) the term "universal algebra" had essentially the same meaning that it has today: the study of algebraic structures themselves, rather than examples ("models") of algebraic structures. Whitehead credits William Rowan Hamilton and Augustus De Morgan as originators of the subject matter, and James Joseph Sylvester with coining the term itself.Details Book
Author  :  Alfred North Whitehead 
Publisher  :  Createspace 
Data Published  :  11 December 2014 
ISBN  :  1505486777 
EAN  :  9781505486773 
Format Book  :  PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT 
Number of Pages  :  220 pages 
Age +  :  15 years 
Language  :  English 
Rating  : 
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