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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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SEMANTICS OF THE DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS 589
axis and our curve concave downwards, hence for these conditions the first derivative [Dxy]x-xo = 0, and the second derivative For a minimum the first derivative must again be zero and the second derivative positive, whence the concave side of the curve is turned upwards. It should be noticed that the problems of maxima and minima play an extremely important structural psycho-logical and semantic role in our lives. All theories, somehow, are built 6n some minimum or maximum principle involving evaluations which are fundamental factors of all semantic reactions. In daily life we apply these structural and semantic notions continually. In science this tendency, made its appearance quite early. The problem of maxima and minima was treated seriously as far back as the second century B.C. In the eighteenth century Maupertuis formulated a 'supreme law of nature', that in all natural processes the 'action' (energy multiplied by 'time') must be a minimum. Euler and Lagrange gave an exact basis and form to this principle; and finally Hamilton, in 1834, established this principle structurally as a variational principle, known as the hamiltonian principle, which appears to be of extreme generality and usefulness. It facilitates the derivation of the fundamental equations of mechanics, electrodynamics and electron theory. It has also survived, in a generalized form, the einsteinian revolution, for it contains nothing whatever which would connect it with a definite co-ordinate system; it involves only pure numbers and so is invariant to all transformations. It is structurally one of the most important invariants ascribed to nature, being independent of the systems of reference of the observers.
It is very desirable that this problem should be investigated further from the structural psycho-logical semantic and neurological point of view, as the very foundations of human psycho-logics are fundamentally connected with such a principle, which itself is an invariant in human psycho-logics.
Its importance is still increasing, and the hamiltonian principle plays a most remarkable role in all the newest advances of science. Any reader need only look attentively at his daily life to realize that there too this principle plays a predominant role.