Victorian Relativity: Radical Thought and Scientific Discovery
University of Chicago Press, 2001 - Всего страниц: 302
One of the articles of faith of twentieth-century intellectual history is that the theory of relativity in physics sprang in its essentials from the unaided genius of Albert Einstein; another is that scientific relativity is unconnected to ethical, cultural, or epistemological relativisms. Victorian Relativity challenges these assumptions, unearthing a forgotten tradition of avant-garde speculation that took as its guiding principle "the negation of the absolute" and set itself under the militant banner of "relativity."
Christopher Herbert shows that the idea of relativity produced revolutionary changes in one field after another in the nineteenth century. Surveying a long line of thinkers including Herbert Spencer, Charles Darwin, Alexander Bain, W. K. Clifford, W. S. Jevons, Karl Pearson, James Frazer, and Einstein himself, Victorian Relativity argues that the early relativity movement was bound closely to motives of political and cultural reform and, in particular, to radical critiques of the ideology of authoritarianism. Recuperating relativity from those who treat it as synonymous with nihilism, Herbert portrays it as the basis of some of our crucial intellectual and ethical traditions.
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The Conspiracy against Truth
chapter 1 Difference Unity Proliferation
chapter 2 Relativity and Authority
chapter 3 The Relativity of Logic
chapter 4 Karl Pearson and the Human Form Divine
chapter 5 Frazer and Einstein
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absolute truth absolutist analysis anthropology argument authoritarian authority Bain Bain’s Balfour century chapter Christian claim Clifford concept contemporary critique CTMP cultural Darwin declares deﬁning deﬁnite discourse doctrine essay ethical evolutionary F. C. S. Schiller fact Feuerbach ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁrst ﬁxed frazer and einstein fundamental Golden Bough Grammar of Science Grote Hamilton human idea ideal identiﬁes ideological imagery imagination inﬂuence insistence interpretation karl pearson law of noncontradiction Lévy-Bruhl Mansel means metaphysical Mill modern moral nature Newman Nietzsche nineteenth nineteenth-century objects phenomena philosophical Poincaré polemical political principle of relativity proliferation Protagoras Protagorean radical rational reality reference relations relativism relativistic relativity movement relativity of knowledge relativity of logic relativity theory religion religious rigorous sacriﬁce says Schiller scientiﬁc scientiﬁc inquiry scientiﬁc reason scientists sense signiﬁcant social special relativity speciﬁc speculation Spencer Stallo symbolic theme theology theoretical things thinking thought universe values violence W. K. Clifford writers
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