Download A World of Propensities by Karl Popper PDF

By Karl Popper

This e-book includes lectures - given in 1988 and 1989 respectively - which belong to Karl Popper's overdue paintings, so much of that's nonetheless unpublished. the 1st introduces a brand new view of causality, in line with Popper's interpretation of quantum idea, but freed of hassle. it's a new view of the universe - a view that simply merges with the common sense view that our will is loose. the second one lecture supplies a glimpse of human wisdom because it evolves from animal wisdom. either lectures were improved by way of Popper for ebook.

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In an obvious response to Kelvin, Dutton concluded that theoretical physics could only be taken so far. The geologic changes which have taken place may be regarded as experiments conducted by Nature herself on a vast scale, and from her experiments we may by suitable working hypotheses draw provisional conclusions: . . the mean rigidity of the subterranean masses [must] be far less than that of ordinary surface rocks. . Pure physics alone would not have enabled us to reach such a conclusion, for the equations employ constants of unknown value.

In 1886, Fisher had attempted to prove the theory of isostasy by showing how it could account for gravity variations in the Himalayan region. 52 Using the assumption of isostatic compensation, Fisher calculated a predicted value for gravity at each of twenty-one geodetic stations in India and compared these with observed values, and with equivalent predictions made without the assumption of isostatic compensation. The results clearly favored isostasy. The match between predicted and observed values was far better with the assumption of isostasy than without it.

The observed phenomena could be explained by variations in either the thickness or the density of the crust. For Airy, mountains were like icebergs, supported by invisible roots beneath, and the size of the roots was proportional to the height of the mountains. For Pratt, mountains were like dough that was well risen — flatlancls were a leaden loaf—and there was no need for roots below them. 3. Airy's roots of mountains hypothesis. George Biddell Airy reviewed Pratt's calculations and suggested that the missing gravitational effect could be explained if the low-density earth crust floated in a higher density liquid substrate and if mountainous areas were supported by hidden "roots" that compensated for the extra mass above.

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