19 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Outline of the Natural Sciences Pt. I

The heavens are enriched for the man of science with new stars, and he applies his knowledge to determine and foretel with accuracy their positions and movements. Natural philosophy, gradually delivered from the vague explanations of Descartes, in the same manner as it before was disembarrassed from the absurdities of the schools, is now nothing more than the art of interrogating nature by experiment, for the parpose of afterwards deducing more general facts by computation. The weight of the...
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From Condorcet's Ninth Epoch. A survey of the world of science and a call for the need for the different sciences to find points where they touch in order to strengthen.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Sulfur Gains Weight When Burned

About eight days ago I discovered that sulfur in burning, far from losing weight, on the contrary, gains it; it is the same with phosphorus; this increase of weight arises from a prodigious quantity of air that is fixed during combustion and combines with the vapors. This discovery, which I have established by experiments, that I regard as decisive, has led me to think that what is observed in the combustion of sulfur and phosphorus may well take place in the case of all substances that gain ...
Folksonomies: chemistry experimentation
Folksonomies: chemistry experimentation
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Quoting Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Consciousness of the Fallibility of Our Senses is a Resul...

A consciousness of the fallacy of our senses is one of the most important consequences of the study of nature. This study teaches us that no object is seen by us in its true place, owing to aberration; that the colours of substances are solely the effects of the action of matter upon light; and that light itself, as well as heat and sound, are not real beings, but modes of action communicated to our perceptions by the nerves. The human frame may therefore be regarded as an elastic system, the...
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When you understand the underlying reality of what we see in the world around us, you understand that our perceptions deceive us. Sounds vaguely post-modern.

14 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 The False Dichotomy of Mind and Body

The arguments for the two substances [mind and body] have, we believe, entirely lost their validity; they are no longer compatible with ascertained science and clear thinking. The one substance, with two sets of properties, two sides, the physical and the mental—a double-faced unity—would appear to comply with all the exigencies of the case.
Folksonomies: philosophy mind body
Folksonomies: philosophy mind body
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It is silly to have two substances, where there is actually one substance with two properties.

08 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Placenta and Toxicity

“During most of pregnancy, the placenta separating mother and fetus is only one cell thick,” Koren tells me. “But it has an array of mechanisms to help it do its job of protecting the fetus.” These subcellular tools, he explains, include tiny pumps that expel toxins before they can do any damage, immune agents that guard the placenta’s perimeter, and placental enzymes that chemically break down intruding molecules. This armamentarium does an impressive job of blocking bacteria from...
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The placenta uses chemical and electrical criteria for filtering out molecules, meaning small fat-soluble molecules, even harmful ones, will pass through.

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Spinoza's Reasoning was Childish

There's a tendency to pomposity in all this, to make it all deep and profound. My son is taking a course in philosophy, and last night we were looking at something by Spinoza--and there was teh most childish reasoning! There were all these Attributes, and Substances, all this meaningless chewing around, and we started to laugh. Now, how could we do that? Here's this great Dutch phiosopher, and we're laughing at him. It's because there was no excuse for it! In that same period there was Newton...
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Feynman talks about reading the great Dutch philosopher with his son.