286 V. MATHEMATICS A
A LANGUAGEThe notion of a function involves the notion of a variable. The functional notion has been extended to the propositional function and, finally, to the doctrinal function and system-function. The term transformation is closely related to that of function and relation. This notion is based on our capacity to associate, or relate, any two or more 'mental' entities. We can, for instance, associate
a with b or b with a. We say that we have transformed a into b, or vice versa.An excellent example of transformation, given by Keyser, is an ordinary dictionary, which would be genuinely mathematical if it were more precise. In a dictionary, every word is transformed into its verbal meaning, and vice versa. A telephone directory is another example. Quite obviously, the term 'transformation' has far-reaching implications. If
a is transformed into b, this implies that there is a relation between a and b which is being established, by the fact of transformation. Once a relation is established, we have a propositional function of two or more variables which define an extensional set of all elements connected by this relation.^{5} ;We see that these three terms are inseparably united and are three aspects of one psycho-logical process. If we have a transformation, we have a function and a relation; if we have a function, we have a relation and a transformation; if we have a relation, we have a transformation and a function. Transformation, as we see, is a psycho-logical term of action. A relation has a psycho-logically mixed character. A propositional function is a static statement, on record, with blanks for the values of the variables. In it the form is invariant, but it may take an indefinite number of values. The
extensional manifold of the values for the variable is static, given once for all in a given context. It is extensional and, therefore, may be empirical and experimental.Let us take as an example, for instance, the transformation of a set of integers 1, 2, 3,. Let us suppose that the given law of transformation is given by the function The result would be the manifold of
even integers 2, 4, 6,. We see that integers are transformed into integers; therefore, the characteristic of being an integer is preserved; in other words, this characteristic is an invariant under the given transformation
y = 2x, but the values of the integers are not preserved.The theory of invariance is an important branch of mathematics, made famous of late through the work of Einstein. Einstein fulfilled the dearest dream of Riemann and attained the methodological and scientific ideal, that a 'law of nature' should be formulated in such a manner as to be invariant under groups of transformations. Such a semantic ideal, once stated, cannot be denied; it expresses exactly a necessity of |
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