234 IV. STRUCTURAL FACTORS IN
A LANGUAGESthey have contempt for the mathematicians who deal with non-sense or feel hopeless about their own capacities - both undesirable semantic results.
The truth is that 'curvature of emptiness' has no meanings, no matter
who might say it, but curvature of fulness is entirely different. Let the reader look at the cloud of smoke from his cigarette or cigar, and he will at once understand what 'curvature of fulness' means. Of course, he will realize, as well as the mathematicians do, that the problem may be difficult, but, at least, it has sense and represents a problem. It is not non-sense.Similar remarks apply to higher dimensions in 'space'. Higher dimensions in 'emptiness' is also non-sense; and the layman is right in refusing to accept it. But higher dimensions in fulness is entirely a different problem. A look at the cloud of smoke from our cigarette will again make it completely plain to everybody that to give an account of fulness, we may need an enormous number of data or, as we say roughly, of dimensions. This applies, also, to the new four-dimensional world of Minkowski. It is a fulness made up of world lines, a network of events or intervals., and it is not non-sense.
Lately, there has appeared an excellent book by Bertrand Russell, published by the International Library of Psychology, Philosophy and Scientific Method; and yet the title is
The Analysis of Matter, without any quotation marks.This book is really an unusually fine and fundamental work which has no defects which could be implied by the title. This title simply disregards the issues explained here; it should be
The Analysis of 'Matter'.It is with some pleasure that one sees such an authority as Edding-ton, in his
The Mathematical Theory of Relativity, on p. 158, making the statement: 'In using the word "space" it is difficult to repress irrelevant ideas; therefore let us abandon the word and state explicitly that we are considering a network of intervals'.For the reasons already given, I do not use the terms 'matter', 'space', or 'time' without quotation marks; and, wherever possible, shall use, instead, the terms 'materials', 'plenum', 'fulness', 'spread', and 'time/, (say seconds). Indeed, these semantic problems are so serious that they should be brought to the attention of International Mathematical and Physical Congresses, so that a new and structurally correct terminology could be established. It is not desirable that science should structurally mislead the layman and disturb his s.r. It is easier for trained specialists to change their terminology than to re-educate seman-tically the rest of the race. I would suggest that terms 'matter', 'sub- |
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