A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy by Sir John Frederick William Herschel

By Sir John Frederick William Herschel

Astronomer and thinker J. F. W. Herschel's A initial Discourse at the examine of typical Philosophy, initially released in 1830, may be considered as the 1st glossy paintings at the philosophy of technological know-how. during this publication, Herschel conscientiously units out what he regards because the ideas and strategies of medical research, either at a theoretical point and on the point of test or commentary. He describes nature as being ruled via legislation that are tough to figure by means of mere commentary and so deduces that theoretical technological know-how calls for analogical reasoning. within the Discourses, written because the first in a sequence known as cupboard Cyclopaedia, he covers quite a lot of methodological, clinical and philosophical topics that come with discussions of latest astronomy, atomism and chemistry. His writing on mild is seriously stimulated through Newton. Herschel additionally ponders the diversities among people and animals and the connection among non secular religion and clinical enquiry.

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III. In the granite quarries near Seringapatam the most enormous blocks are separated from the solid rock by the following neat and simple process. The workman having ibund a portion of the rock sufficiently extensive, and situated near the edge of the part already quarried, lays bare the upper surface, and marks on it a line in the direction of the intended separation, along which a groove is cut with a chisel about a couple of inches in depth. Above this groove a narrow line of fire is then kindled, and maintained till the rock below is thoroughly heated, immediately on which a line of men and women, each provided with a pot full of cold water, suddenly sweep off the ashes, and pour the water into the heated groove, when the rock at once splits with a clean fracture.

I*. p. 312. OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 49 slowness, and in such cases it is often of the highest practical importance to accelerate them. The bleaching pf linen, for instance, performed in the natural way by exposure to sun, rain, and wind, requires many weeks or even months for its completion ; whereas, by the simple immersion of the cloth in a liquid, chemically prepared, the same effect is produced in a few hours. The whole circle of the arts, indeed, is nothing but one continued comment upon this head of our subject- The instances above given are selected, not on account of their superior importance, but for the simplicity and directness of application of the principles on which they depend, to the objects intended to be attained.

Square blocks of six feet in the side, and upwards of eighty feet in length, are sometimes detached by this method, or by another equally simple and efficacious, but not 48 DISCOURSE ON THE STUDY easily explained without entering into particulars of mineralogical detail. ) Ex. 5. ) III. Hardly less simple and efficacious is the process used in some parts of France, where mill-stones are made. When a mass of stone sufficiently large is found, it is cut into a cylinder several feet high, and the question then arises how to subdivide this into horizontal pieces so as to make as many mill-stones.

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