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An enquiry concerning the principles of natural knowledge [Hardcover]

A. N. Whitehead

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Book Description

29 Oct 2009
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

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Book Description

Originally published in 1919, and first republished in 1925 as this Second Edition, this text ranks among Whitehead's most important works; forming a perspective on scientific observation that incorporated a complex view of experience, rather than prioritising the position of 'pure' sense data. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy of Nature / Philosophy of Science 8 Mar 2008
By Gary L. Herstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an especially important text in the body of Whitehead's work. It is the first volume in a "triptych" of works Whitehead produced (the others being "The Concept of Nature" and "The Principle of Relativity") that both established Whitehead as a major philosopher, and laid the epistemological framework of natural science that would become the stepping off place for Whitehead's mature metaphysics.

One of the important aspects of this book is that it is the first attempt in English to found spatial reasoning upon mereological principles rather than set theory. (Lesniewski published a mereological theory as a general foundation for mathematics in 1916. But this was in Polish and was not introduced to the English speaking world until many years later.) Whitehead's motivations are very much in line with William James' notions of "Radical Empiricism": to whit, the full range of experience is the basis of our theories, but this full range includes many relational structures and not just the "sense data" that the Positivists asserted.

Consequently, this book is quite a bit more technical than "Concept of Nature" (which is relatively technical already). However, it presents a radical new and empirically sound theory of nature, abstract reasoning, and science.

This Cosimo edition is particularly welcome for a couple of reasons. First of all, it retains the pagination of the original Cambridge edition, so cross-referencing the two is extremely simple. Moreover, it includes the notes that Whitehead added in the 1924 second edition. This is especially helpful, as that second edition is rather difficult to find and extremely expensive to acquire.

Consequently, this is a valuable addition to any person's library who has an interest in Whitehead's philosophy, or in the philosophy of science. To this latter, Whitehead brings a nuanced understanding of both empiricism and realism to the table that deserves a much wider audience than it has currently received.
5.0 out of 5 stars Abstraclt 1 July 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An Enquiry Concerning the Principals of Natural Knowledge stretched my ability to think abstractly and challenged me to think more clearly.
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