The Foundations of Science

The Foundations of Science

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Excerpt: ...It is evident that such a theory is inadmissible. The sense-organs are designed to tell us of changes which happen in the exterior world. We could not understand why the Creator should have given us organs destined to cry without cease: Remember that space has three dimensions, since the number of these three dimensions is not subject to change. We must, therefore, come back to the theory of Mach-Delage. What the nerves of the canals can tell us is the difference of pressure on the two extremities of the same canal, and thereby: (1) the direction of the vertical with regard to three axes rigidly bound to the head; (2) the three components of the acceleration of translation of the center of gravity of the head; (3) the centrifugal forces developed by the rotation of the head; (4) the acceleration of the motion of rotation of the head. It follows from the experiments of M. Delage that it is this last indication which is much the most important; doubtless Pg 278 because the nerves are less sensible to the difference of pressure itself than to the brusque variations of this difference. The first three indications may thus be neglected. Knowing the acceleration of the motion of rotation of the head at each instant, we deduce from it, by an unconscious integration, the final orientation of the head, referred to a certain initial orientation taken as origin. The circular canals contribute, therefore, to inform us of the movements that we have executed, and that on the same ground as the muscular sensations. When, therefore, above we speak of the series S or of the series Σ, we should say, not that these were series of muscular sensations alone, but that they were series at the same time of muscular sensations and of sensations due to the semicircular canals. Apart from this addition, we should have nothing to change in what precedes. In the series S and Σ, these sensations of the semicircular canals evidently hold a very important place. more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 10mm | 354g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 123672593X
  • 9781236725936