Alfred North Whitehead


About

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) - was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy.

He corresponded with Thompson intermittently between 1906 and 1945.

<i>Alfred North Whitehead</i>
Alfred North Whitehead
3D coordinates
3D coordinates

D'Arcy's philosophical consideration of the Three Dimensional space

It is interesting to consider different ways Thompson thought about the world. His letter to Whitehead (ms20371) [in 1918] shows a more philosophical side of his thinking.

In the letter D'Arcy debated the definitions (and understanding) of Space and Dimensions. He questioned the three dimensional understanding of reality (i.e. if we were effected only by molecular forces, but not by gravity, we would know nothing about a vertical dimension).

D'Arcy said in the letter that he had considered the same question with Joseph Larmor and had asked him the question raised by Peter Guthrie Tait: given a symmetrical individual in symmetrical space, how on earth could you ever teach him what right and left meant. Larmor had answered this question of Thompson's : If you fix a body in space by two points, it will always come back, at length, by rotation, to the same position as before. However, D'Arcy was not satisfied with this answer. He had read about an elliptical space where this does not follow.

However, the archive does not contain Whitehead's answer to this letter, and it is not clear if there ever was one.

Back to the Transformations

Eric Harold Neville

John Marshall

Alfred North Whitehead

Introduction

   

Overview & D'Arcy's Life

   

On Growth and Form

   

Heilmann & Shufeldt

   

Maths of Transformations

   

Correspondence

   

D'Arcy and Mathematics

   

Coordinate Transformations

   

Logarithmic Spirals

   

Forms of Cells

   

Forms and Mechanical Efficiency

   

Shrinkage

   

Wartime and D'Arcy

   

The Leg as a Pendulum

   

Recreational Maths

   

Fibonacci Sequence

   

Cell-Aggregates

   

All Correspondence Links

Claxton Fidler

   

Eric Harold Neville

   

John Marshall

   

Alfred North Whitehead

   

Charles Robert Darling

   

Peter Guthrie Tait

   

William Peddie

   

Geoffrey Thomas Bennett

   

Dorothy Wrinch

   


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School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland

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