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Alfred North WHITEHEAD (Whitehead Alfred North)

( English mathematician and philosopher)

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Biography Alfred North WHITEHEAD (Whitehead Alfred North)
photo Alfred North WHITEHEAD (Whitehead Alfred North)
Born in Ramsgate (Kent) February 15, 1861 in the family, whose members have traditionally become teachers or priests. His father was the Hon Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. Doing in 1880 at Trinity College, Cambridge University, . Whitehead has devoted himself to studies in mathematics, . but in the 'Club of the Apostles', . of which he was from 1884, . specific topics were often problems of philosophy, . References, . stories, . politics and religion,
. In 1885 Whitehead became a member of the Board of Trinity College and professor of mathematics. With its treatise on universal algebra, he was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1903. As a result, the ten-year cooperation Whitehead with his former pupil B. Russell appeared monumental collaborative effort Beginning Mathematics (Principia Mathematica, in 3 vols., 1910-1913).
In 1910, Whitehead moved from Cambridge to London where he became deeply interested in the problems of education, especially mathematics and science. In 1911 he became a member of University College, London University. Bound in 1914 mainly to the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London (where he was Professor of Applied Mathematics, . and then dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences), . Whitehead took an active part in the activities of many other educational institutions of England,
. His views on education issues set out in articles and speeches, . subsequently grouped into collections for education and other essays (The Aims of Education and Other Essays, . 1929) and Essays on Science and Philosophy (Essays in Science and Philosophy, . 1947),

During his stay in London, Whitehead has developed and published a theory of the philosophical foundations of physics. In 1924 he was offered the post of professor of philosophy at Harvard University, Whitehead's work in this capacity has been extremely successful, and he left Harvard only in 1937 (the remaining members of the University Council). In 1925-1932 developed a metaphysical system, known as 'organic philosophy'. Publication of an ambitious trilogy - Science and the Modern World (Science and the Modern World, . 1925), Process and reality: an essay cosmology (Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology, . 1929); Adventures of Ideas (Adventures of Ideas, . 1933) - made him the most eminent metaphysician of his time,
. Whitehead was elected to the British Academy in 1931 and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1945. Whitehead died in Cambridge (ea. Massachusetts), December 30, 1947

. A treatise on universal algebra (A Treatise on Universal Algebra, 1898), pioneering work in the area, now called abstract algebra, an unfinished attempt to combine 'the different systems of symbolism associated with the usual algebra'
. The only released in the first volume is a detailed analysis of calculating the length of H. Grassmann (Ausdehnungslehre, . 1844) and the algebra of logic Dzh.Bulya, . which attracted the attention of Whitehead's boldness in the dissemination of algebraic methods for the numerical limits of traditional systems,
. Whitehead gave a new formulation of the calculus of Grassmann and used it to combine different areas of geometry, so the theorem of projective geometry were presented as a consequence of the definitions contained in the calculus of. Have been proposed and some of the additions to the overall structure of mathematics, but the main result should be considered an attempt of unification, comparative heterodoxy which has limited its influence on mathematics

. The first part of an ambitious Principia Mathematica is the development of formal logic with deduction of a few axioms, everything else is done carefully, only one deduction from the logic of the basic concepts and principles, . first arithmetic of cardinal numbers, . and then the other mathematical disciplines; the definitions due to their breadth was planned and many new disciplines,
. Throughout the work, an accurate and detailed symbolism, partly borrowed from Dzh.Peano. Principia remains a fundamental difficulty for the foundations of mathematics, . despite the fact that the first part of, . written mostly by Russell, . associated with difficulties, . still defiant experts in this area, . the fourth volume (of geometry), . which was supposed to write Whitehead, . never saw the light,

Whitehead applied the symbolic apparatus of Principia to mathematical physics already in 1905 in an article on mathematical concepts of the material world (On Mathematical Concepts of the Material World). Empirical basis of this science focus of several of his books: Study of the principles of natural science (An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, . 1919); concept of nature (The Concept of Nature, . 1920); principle of relativity and its applications to physics (The Principle of Relativity, . with Applications to Physical Science, . 1922),

Whitehead invented the first logical technique - 'method of extensive abstraction' - to determine the ideal entities, such as points and moments of time, as the complex intersections of classes of observed phenomena. The concepts of movement, timing systems, the events of space-time and congruence also been reformulated on the basis of a few relationships, which, according to Whitehead, are manifested in every observations of nature. Assuming, . that Einstein's interpretation of these concepts do not take into account these relations, . He suggested that different from Einstein's special and general theory otnositelnosti, . of which displays the results of an identical Einstein, . or slightly differs from them,
. This work has not been recognized as incompatible with the philosophy adopted by physicists operatsionalisticheskoy

. Convinced, . that the Newtonian concept of natural fact - this "high abstraction" from our particular perception of nature, . should not be earthed by reduction of its concepts to the physical operations and conventions, . but give way to a broader concept of cosmology, . Whitehead has developed a so-called,
. process metaphysics. She had to replace not only the Newtonian understanding of nature, but also the dualism - inert matter, and perceiving, evaluating the mind - which was thus imposed on modern thinking. Whitehead proposed a new concept of 'experience', generalized to such an extent that it eliminated all of the properties (such as consciousness, thought and sensory perception), which could be attributed to only the higher animals. New cosmology was based on the hypothesis that the final reality is only the events experience.

Whitehead sharply criticized the widespread belief, coming from D. Hume, that the experience is a series of discrete sense impressions and ideas. Event experience is more organic unity of feeling; it - the process of 'fusion' past experiences and external qualities and energies, which are assimilated (in the language of Whitehead - 'seize') its own internal unity. Media experience as a physical being unconsciously perceives the world around us as something that reason, the impact on him, as a mental being, he meets the new (again, not necessarily consciously) integrating reaction, . so partly samoporozhdayuschiysya process, . individual aesthetic achievement,
. There is no unchanging substance, which would lay the basis for this process of becoming, and there are processes, deprived of intrinsic value, ie. structure of feeling. Semi things, . including personality, . consist of a sequence of atoms involved in this process, . and various kinds of things in the world can be understood as a variety of opposites, . repetitions, . divisions and alliances among that, . that 'grasped' experience,
. Atoms of the process is not given any time limits, . but the examples, . which leads Whitehead, . can conclude the existence of time-varying three orders: the physical energy quanta, . duration, . provided in the 'animal' experience, . and eternity of the divine experience,

. With the concept of 'seizure' Whitehead avoided the paradox: how personal experience can provide knowledge about the general world? Understanding the experience as an active process of integrating overcame the antithesis of the causes and purposes, . as well as all other dualistic antithesis of modern philosophy,
. These concepts are probably the most valuable contribution to the metaphysics of Whitehead.

His ideas can be seen as a strong Platonic and theological reasons, not taken by some admirers of his philosophy. Some nature-experience the event, thought, Whitehead, is the result of selective appropriation of the pure forms or features, which he called 'eternal objects'. (Examples include redness and roundness.) These items, though not exist by themselves, in other respects similar to 'forms', or 'ideas' of Plato. New phenomena are explained as forms of seizure, which, although it can not be found in the external physical world, eternally present in God, waiting for its implementation. There is another side to the existence of God - He receives and converts in his conscious experience of any final event vremennugo world. Whitehead believed that the existence of evil should be followed by denial of the omnipotence of God. God - not 'heavenly despot', a source of true ideals and new opportunities. God is with all existing, but does not precede it. God needed the world to the same extent that he needs the world. This is just one example of the persistent denial of Whitehead to that independent, self-sufficient reality can be found anywhere. His metaphysics - is pluralism, according to which a single atom process is inherent to another atom, and God is immanent in all existing. Although Whitehead continues to argue in the Platonic-Christian tradition, assuming the existence of two worlds, temporal and eternal in his philosophy are in close contact with each other

. In the center of Whitehead's epistemology - the thesis, . that sense data originally obtained from the external world as pulses of sensation-qualities, . which strengthens the human body and converts into specific sensory qualities (eg, . color, . sounds, . smells), . sorted in a certain way in the outer space, higher animals have learned to interpret them as symbols of processes, . occurring in the world around,
. Whitehead's philosophy is based on the most part from a sense the antithesis of volatile, . surface elements, . clearly visible to the human experience, . and continuing, . grounds is felt vaguely, . which is essential, . but which is difficult to describe,
. According to Whitehead, positivist philosophers achieve clarity, ignoring the most basic

. Organic Philosophy, . Despite its newness, . is not a radical break with the previous idea, . but grandiose building, . in which some metaphysical ideas of Plato, . as well as more contemporary notions of 'experience' and 'process' sophisticated manner connected in an overarching cosmological system,
. One of implications of this cosmology is the idea of the Greeks on the coincidence of morality and beauty: the benefit is a kind of harmony.

Although Whitehead's philosophy in some moments is comparable with the views of Henri Bergson, William James, and S. Alexander, it is impossible to put on a par with those of other thinkers. Whitehead did not belong to any school, was not he and the students. One reason for this is undoubtedly an extraordinary breadth of his thinking. Mathematician, highly sensitive to the qualitative aspects of experience, he developed a cosmology, within which the thinking man could once again enjoy, like Wordsworth, their organic connection with nature. His metaphysics was also reflected in Whitehead's wise thoughts on the meaning of human history (the book Adventures of Ideas).

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