A Planet Called Earth by George Gamow

By George Gamow

Hardback, ex-library, with ordinary stamps and markings, in strong all around situation.

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When the supply of domestic servants began to fail, the first sufferers were the female members of the middle classes. Even today, in an upper-middle-class household, it may often be found 22 THE DECLINE AND FALL OF SCIENCE that the position of the head of the family is not too drastically different from what it would have been a century ago, whereas his wife (who perhaps a century ago might have been writing novels or spending her time on psychical research) is now a full-time cook/housekeeper.

The connection is a psychological, not a logical, one, and it would be impossible to make it if other psychological factors were not present. For example, a person might think: 'I cannot bear not knowing why the universe is there. If I do not think about it I shall go mad. ' 38 the decline and f a l l of science This may serve to illustrate why old-fashioned philosophy was plainly undesirable, since a study of it might produce analytical habits of thought. * In understanding modern philosophy an illuminating philosopher to consider is George Moore.

In physics modern thought reached its finest development in the quantum theory (which is not a theory) and in which the function of clocks and measuring rods is taken over by mathematical equations. We are exhorted most earnestly and explicitly not to think, but to keep our attention firmly fixed on these equations, as the would-be linguistic philosopher is urged to attend firmly and exclusively to the functions of words in linguistic usage. For example: T h e fact that wave functions are complex functions should not be considered a weak point of the quantum mechanical theory.

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