The Nature of Physical Theory: A Study in Theory of Knowledge

By Victor F. Lenzen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY

1. SPACE AND GEOMETRY

THE concept of space is one of the fundamental concepts employed in the description of the physical order. Bodies and phenomena are conceived to have position in space; thus motion is described as change of position in space. In view of the generality of application of the concept of space its analysis will reveal a general character of an important part of reality.

In the study of space we shall analyze the concepts and propositions of geometry, which is characterized as the science of the properties of space. It is more accurate, however, to say that geometry in the first instance is a study of the properties of geometrical figures, that is, of constructions in space. A theory of space is based upon the relations exhibited by geometrical figures. A fundamental principle of classical physics was the proposition that space is Euclidean. The significance of this principle we shall determine from a study of Euclidean geometry.

The definition of physical concepts proceeds by successive approximation. In order to define the concepts of geometry we must initially assume that we can make qualitative estimates of accompanying conditions. Thus we presuppose the concept of body as something which persists in time; we assume that bodies remain at rest during our geometrical investigation, except when they are displaced in an experiment, that the state of hotness, stress, electrification remains constant. On this basis we proceed to define the geometrical properties of bodies, to discover laws, and to introduce the concept of space. One can then define the conditions of geometrical experiments

-50-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Nature of Physical Theory: A Study in Theory of Knowledge
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 308

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.