By Tian Yu Cao

At the foundation of the publisher's evaluate and people of different readers, I had was hoping that i would have the capacity to stick with the trail of conceptual advancements. precise, as marketed, the mathematical rigor was once now not over the top. still, might be as the writer divided the subject right into a sequence of specific "cuts" at a number of degrees, i discovered myself not able to maintain tune. If a person responded that the matter used to be me, no longer the booklet, i would not argue.

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Or should we take it as representing a continuous reality? If it is only a relation, then how can it be transformed into an entity so that it can propagate independently through space? If it represents a continuous reality, then what is its nature and constitution, and how can we depict the transmission of action through this continuous medium? These questions are interesting, not only because of the intrinsic merits of Boscovich's ideas (replacing extended particles by mathematical points having mechanical properties, and taking force as a quasi-entity existing somehow independently of material particles), but also because of their impact on later philosophers and physicists, such as Kant and Faraday.

Although the term ontology often refers to substance, as in the case of the mechanical world view, in which the basic ontology is particles in motion, this is not necessarily so. The concept of ontology, even in the sense of an ultimately true reality, is wider than that of substance, which in turn is wider than entities and individuals. For example, it can be argued, as the Neoplatonists like Kepler would do, that mathematical relations, as they represent the structure of the universe, are the foundations of reality; even forces, as the causal principle, have to be defined in terms of mathematical relations.

For example, Descartes and his fol- lowers had proposed several effluvia for explaining optical, electric, and magnetic phenomena. As subtle media for transmitting actions or mediating agents for nonmechanical effects, various ethereal substances (such as optical and gravitational ether, electric, magnetic, and caloric fluids, fire and phlogiston, the changes in whose distribution or states would lead to observable changes in ordinary bodies) were supposed to be of a different nature from mechanism: they were rare, invisible, and intangible, capable of penetrating gross bodies and permeating all space.

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