« ForrigeFortsæt »
depredations, and rather wishes for a legerdemain philosophy, which seeks jail, that he may enjoy its wretched to account for the simple phenomena of comforts, than dreads the punishment matter and motion, by introducing into which the laws may inflict. He ba- nature such fanciful agents, as INNATE lances the hope of escaping, against ATTRACTION,
PROJECTILE the possibility of conviction, and ha- FORCE, INHERENT REPULSION, MATzards all for the booty he attempts to TER OF HEAT, &c. &c. acquire.
I have the honour to be, The fourth topic introduced, is the
Sir, multiplication of oaths; which, he
Your obedient servant, argues, are administered on such tri
RICHARD PHILLIPS. fling occasions, as tend to destroy their Bridge-street, July 24, 1819. dignity, and to deprive them of solemnity, by which alone they become a In defence of the principles of the prebond of civil society. In favour of tended orthodox philosophy, five apwhat he asserts, he adverts to the peals have been made to credulity, Excise and Customs, and adduces which merit special exposure before I some specific instances, which unhap- conclude my personal concern in this pily prove, that, in these departments, great controversy. oaths are generally viewed by multi- The first, is an attempt to evade tudes who take them with acknow the question, by alleging, that attracledged indifference. The late income tion and gravitation are mere names of and property taxes he considers as
the effects, and that by them it is not having proved highly injurious to pub- pretended to define any cause. To lic morals, on account of the oaths this it may be replied, that to give with which they were associated, and names to effects is not the business and as having given laxity to the ties of object of genuine philosophy; and that moral obligation.
it is the bounden duty of legitimate In his last topic, he adverts to tax- philosophers, to adopt an explanation ation itself; and argues, that in the of the proximate cause of an effect, in same proportion as imposts are multi- preference to any term which may plied and heavy, they have a natural merely describe the effect; and, theretendency to generate a disposition to fore, it is not a sufficient reason for evade their application. To accom- refusing to inquire into the cause, that plish this, no subterfuge is left untried; a mere name of the effect has been geand, with many, no duplicity is thought nerally recognized. That would be a too criminal to be practised. Even despicable philosophy, which contentamong those whose names and cha- ed itself merely with giving learned racters have been celebrated for loy- names to phenomena; and any old alty, he contends, that no small num- woman, who says that a body falls to ber
may be found, who have discover the earth on account of its weight, ed the art of detaching turpitude from would exhibit as profound a discrimia violation of law. This pernicious nation as any self-called philosopher, principle, he argues, when once un- who might assert that it falls owing to happily adopted, opens an easy pas- its gravitation, or owing to the preponsage to the vices which distinguish the derating attraction of the earth. present age. It separates law from
The Newtonians profess to consider, justice, and reducing obedience to the by the word attraction, merely the name former as a matter of expediency, of the law or phenomenon. But when leaves the latter wholly unguarded. we apply their name or law to the se
veral phenomena, and ask them why the planets do not fall to the sun, as well as a stone to the earth, they then
abandon the name, as a law, and tell SIR,
us that the tendency towards the sun is Having observed in your spirited counteracted by a force, which they Miscellany some strictures, by a Mr. call projectile or centrifugal. Yet, as EXLEY, on my Essays on the proximate this counteraction is a force, surely Causes of material Phenomena, I send that which is counteracted must also some observations which I have drawn be a force; and therefore, in spite of up in reply to all such reasoners as Mr. all equivocation, the name is by themExley, and to all advocates of that selves converted into a force or ten
EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL
565 New Physical Philosophy-Phillips's Reply to Exley. 560 dency to the centre, governed by a sarily moves towards the centre of the certain law. Here then we are at terrestrial masses, because it is the issue: I admit this law, as a result of patient of the orbicular and rotatory certain local mechanical forces, and motions of the mass, and because the which, being local, and not essentially common force, which revolves the universal, does not require the hypo- heterogeneous mass, necessarily prothesis of a counteracting projectile or duces equal momenta in every part; centrifugal force. But they assert, that and equal momenta can only result the law is a result of forces inherent from every part revolving at distances in matter, and universal as matter; from the centre, which are inversely as and then, to counteract this universal their densities: and I have also found, force, which would unite all bodies in that it is highly probable that the plaone mass, they are obliged to feign the nets move round the sun, because havexistence of a centrifugal or projectile ing no innate tendency to move in any force, which, however, is not sup- direction, and having atmospheres ported by any experiment like that of which gradually fine off, and vanish a falling stone, but is created by them into the medium of space, they are selves, for the sole purpose of recon- susceptible of being moved by the ciling another hypothesis of their own exceedingly slight forces created by to the phenomena!
the medium of space in curvilinear This confusion arises from consider- orbits, corresponding with the circular ing the phenomena of the terrestrial motions of the sun round the centre of mass, and those of the sun and planets, the planetary system; the force of the as similar, and as results of the same impulse being measured by the relauniversal cause. A stone falls to the tive bulks of the masses concerned, earth, but a planet does not fall to the and by the law of divergency, or reci
Nevertheless, the Newtonians procal square of the distance; and the assert, that the planets have a tenden- areas of the medium of space, moved cy to fall to the sun, though they do not by the action and re-action of the same fall! They assert that of which they forces, or described by the radiushave no proof in any fact; and then, vector, must always be necessarily upon this assertion, they found a sys- equal. tem of physics! A stone falls to the The assertion, therefore, that physicarth; and, from this fact, they de- cal philosophy is perfect, without conduce the monstrous conclusion, that sidering the true mechanical cause of the planets also have a tendency to fall the action and re-action of distant unto tħe sun; though it is notorious they connected bodies on one another, is a do not fall, and never evince any dis- mere pretence to cover inadvertency, position to fall! But, the analogy prejudice, or pride. between the force which impels a The second assertion of the defendstone to the earth, and that which re- ers of the pretended orthodox princitains the planets in their orbits, is, in ples of philosophy, is, that they accord truth, confirmed by no fact: it is, with geometry, and are confirmed by therefore, evident, that the analogy is the researches of the most profound gratuitous, and highly probable that it mathematicians; and therefore ought is utterly false.
not to be disturbed. In considering It does not follow, because a stone the assumptions of this piece of arrant moves towards the centre of the earth, sophistry, I appeal to every one who and the planets move in orbits round has applied geometry to the Keplerian the sun, that therefore the proximate law, whether that science takes, or causes of motions so dissimilar, and aflects to take, any cognizance whatin such contrary directions, are the ever of the source of that law? It is same. I should rather infer, that the the same thing to geometry, whether proximate causes are altogether differ- it is assumed as analogous to emanaent; and, instead of saying that they tions, on the whimsical hypothesis of were the same, and then inventing a new emanating gravific particles; whether force to explain the dillerence, I should it was a false analogy deduced from rather search for appropriate and ex- Galileo's law of falling bodies; wheisting motions of nature, calculated ther it was an astrological harmony hy themselves to produce the peculiar of Kepler's; or whether it was ascribmotions. And having made this search, ed to attraction by Hooke; the
geomeI have discovered, that a stonc neces- I trician acts merely on the abstract law,
and it serves as the foundation of all | vanced the monstrous position, that his deductions, whatever may have space is a vacuuma! And all this was been, or whatever may be, supposed done, to identify his theory with the to be its source. Geometrical analy- | law of the solar connection with the sis, and að its wonders, prove nothing, planetary motions, with which law therefore, exclusively, in regard to the alone his geometrical analysis had any pretended powers ascribed to gravi- relation. The eccentricity of the platation or attraction; while they prove netary orbits, on which Newton rested exactly as much in regard to the the- his detailed proofs, arises from causes ory of TRANSFERRED MOTION, of which within, or upon, the planets themtheory, the law above stated is a direct selves; such as the unequal disposition and necessary deduction. Substitute of the oscillating fluids at the polar the rational and palpable powers of extremities, which, by varying the transferred motion, in place of the oc- planet's impetus as the line of operacult hocus-pocus of attraction or gravi- tion varies, increases or diminishes tation, in geometrical disquisitions on the local effect of the solar impulse on physics, and the very same mathema- the medium of space which moves the tical inferences will follow; but they planet. Newton, as a geometrician, will be attended with more metaphy- argues as though the planets were insical reason, and less logical improba- fluenced in every increment of motion bility.
by some relation to their subsequent The sacred name of Geometry is motions, and that the forces exist for commonly abused, when men attempt the sake of elliptical orbits: but this to represent hypotheses by relations of is fanciful; for the impulse or moving quantity, and then draw inferences, power in the sun, in the same plane, in regard to the hypothesis, from the being absolute and invariable, the ornecessary geometrical relations of the bicular variations arise from causes quantities. In this way, every absur- (as the action of fluids,) existing withdity in metaphysics and theology has in, or upon, the planet, and being been attempted to be demonstrated. therefore liable to change, the force Kepler availed himself of the same and the resistance are always exactly tools, when he proved the influences equal to the motion produced, which of the sextile, quartile, and trine as- motions determine the form of the pects of the planets on the occurren- orbit. ces of human life; and a still more It has, thirdly, been triumphantly whimsical misapplication, was New- urged, that my theory of motion will ton's attempt to connect the motions not account for the phenomena of of the moon with the quantity ex- comets. To this I reply, that it bepressed by the versed sine of the first hoves the followers of Newton to prove second of the quadrant! In general, that the system which they embrace in these cases, the thing to be proved accounts for any phenomena, except is assumed as known, and then geo- by the easy mode of applying names. metrical quantities are clothed with it, They ought to exhibit some more phiand the comparison of the quantities losophical cause than their ever-varyis considered as a mathematical inves- ing and accommodating projectile tigation of that which never existed, force, to explain every variety of pheexcept in the mind of the inquirer. nomena, before they are warranted in It is precisely thus with Newton, in calling on others to explain nature in a his harmonious accommodation of his better way than by their own arbitrary centripetal and centrifugal forces; the nomenclature. I admit the difficulty truth being, that he had no previous of explaining every thing; but the proof of the co-existence of such Newtonian physics do not explain forces; but he found a law, which law any thing. În comets, we have pheindicated some kind of connection be- nomena different from planets; and, tween the sun and the planets; and, on slight consideration, it will appear having ascribed the fall of a stone to that the operative causes are also difattraction, instead of local motion, he ferent. Thus, comets do not move in then ascribed the obscure connection the plane of the planets, nor in the of the sun and planets to attraction plane of the sun's circular motion round also; but, as the planets do not fall to the centre of his planetary system. the sun, he then invented his centrifu- Hence the different phenomena. Difgal force; and, to give it effect, ad- / ferent directions of Motion necessa
New Physical Philosophy-Phillips's Reply to Exley. 570 rily produce different results, and the The fifth appeal to vulgar faith, made whole is still the simple effect of cor- by advocates of the universal nonsense responding motions. The maxima of about universal gravitation, is to the the forces of the sun's impulse lie in exactness of astronomical calculations. the plane in which he moves, and the “ There,” say they, “ that eclipse, or forces diminish in a law of the angle occultation, takes place, as foretold, extending on each side the plane. A to a second of time; and what better comet moving then within the vortex proof can we have of the truth of the of the solar system, but not in the Newtonian philosophy ? planetary plane, becomes the patient thing, therefore, be more futile and of the varying forces of the medium presumptuous than any attempts to of space, and hence its eccentric orbit. overturn it.” Regularly-inducted NewIts motions may, therefore, be some- tonians will, however, be ashamed what assimilated to a spiral, till it that their system should be upheld by reaches the sun, and the plane of the such an argument as this; but it has sun's action, when also the melting been printed in various forms, and exand liquefaction of the mass combines hibited as unanswerable, since this to create a re-action or centrifugal theory of transferred motion was pubforce within the body, and hence the lished. One need, however, in reply, expansion of the orbit, and the retreat merely observe, to persons not conof the comet into space, where the versant with the history of the science, causes and effects being in due time that astronomical calculations are not reversed, the comet again returns to founded on any theory, but on longwards the sun.
continued observations, which enabled As a fourth species of conclusive all the eastern nations to foretel astroarguments, the Newtonians quote the nomical phenomena with nearly modern calculation about the fall of the moon exactness, at least two thousand years in its orbit; in which the vanishing ago, and qualified the early printers to quantity of the versed sine of the first publish ephemerides at Bologna in the second in the quadrant is recognized as middle of the sixteenth century. The the measure of the equable power of only modern improvement, is the docNature, which carries the moon through trine of mutual disturbances; but the the quadrant. The result aceorded principle of reciprocal motion, or of with the assumed theory, and accords necessary action and re-action upon alike with that of motion; but nothing and through the medium of space, excould be more preposterous than to plains the rationale of mutual disturassimilate the relations of the lines and bances with far greater precision, than quantities in the trigonometrical canon, the doctrine of alleged mutual attracwith the equable power which carries tion, operating somehow through a the moon through its orbit. The vers- vacuum ! ed sine of the first, or the last second, Such are the arguments by which the could have no possible connection or new theory has been opposed. But, of relation with the phenomenon; but, if the liberality or good manners of these it had, and if the forces acted in the soi-disant philosophers, it ought to be manner indicated by Newton, all the recorded, that for promulgating a theplanetary motions would then be acce- ory which confers probability and melerated motions. The circumstance, chanical precision on the causes of that the motions are not accelerated, natural phenomena, the author, (inproves, however, that no such con- stead of being formally answered by tinued innate force as that of gravity some of the thousand professors who is concerned in producing them ; but, live by teaching the errors of past on the other hand, it shews that the ages,) has merely seen such arguments motions are generated by the sun's im- as the preceding, exhibited in lanpulse on the medium of space, within guage the most arrogant and dogmatiwhich the planets swim, and are im- cal, intermingled with much insolent pelled like ships in an impelling cur- and personal abuse. Truth is, howrent of the ocean; and their variable ever, all powerful, and the disciples of periods are necessary results of their this system are already become very several re-actions, which again are numerous; while sceptics, in regard measured by their variable distances, to the assumed principles of attraction bulks, densities, and constituent ar- and gravitation, are to be found in rangements of fixed and fluid parts. every philosophical circle. Perhaps,
when the world at large has become illuminated on this subject, it may be expected that the light will penetrate into the cloisters of Universities, be reflected to the rising generation from the Chairs of the public schools, and be tolerated in those learned Societies, which unhappily constitute the citadels of popular and authoritative errors.
Ń. B. The Author of these papers would feel himself obliged to any practical mathematician, who has leisure and curiosity, to determine the space through which, by equable motion, a ball of silver ought to fall, in a second of time, in air, at the earth's surface, in consequence of the orbicular motion of the earth, and of the inclination which every body acquires of falling to such a circuit of rotation, as that its momentum, created by a common force, should be equal to that of all other parts of the mass. The orbicular motion, the earth's diameter and rate of rotation, and the specific gravities of the silver and air, are supposed to be given, to determine the effect on the silver when raised to the rotatory region of air. One of the reciprocals of this proposition would be, to determine, from the actual known fall in a second, the velocity of the earth in its orbit; and, consequently, the important problem of the distance of the earth from the su The solutions of these problems shall be printed in the Monthly Magazine ; and, as they will place the truth of the new system beyond the possibility of further dispute, we shall with them conclude our publications on this subject.
TOWER OF ST. NICHOLAS' CHURCH, MR. EDITOR, REFLECTING, a few days ago, on the impropriety and dangerous tendency This elegant structure presents itself of theatrical amusements, the follow- as an object of interesting contemplaing Query presented itself to my mind, tion, whether viewed as a beautiful which, if you think worthy of a place specimen of architecture, or considerin your novel and interesting publica- ed as a memorial of the melancholy tion, is much at your service.
catastrophe which occasioned its erec
ADIEL. tion. On the latter account, it may Do not those Actors and Actresses perhaps lay claim to something more who take the name of God within their than local attention; as such tremenlips, either in invocation, adoration, dous visitations as these, that suddenly astonishment, or any other manner, burst the ties of kindred, and break during the time they are personifying the hopes and blast the consolations the character of others, most fully and of those whose humble path through completely break the third command-life needs no such withering events to ment, by taking the name of God mark it with deeper sorrow,
must in vain ?”. And do not those persons touch, with strength, the chords of who publicly attend such places, par- sympathy in every feeling mind. take of their sin by countenancing, ap- It may be looked upon, too, as an proving, and even applauding, the per- enduring caution to other parts of the formance ?
kingdom, where, like the old tower of