Science And The Modern World, by Alfred North Whitehead | Literature Discussion W/ Cornish Translation

It has been a while since I read dense philosophy, so the comprehension I have is a bit shaky.



This book explores the philosophical background behind the concept of science.

An-lyver-ma hwilas yn-mes an-gilva garysek-furneth a-dhelergh an tybyans a godhonieth.

It is written in chronological form, from the 18th century onwards to Whitehead’s own time.

Yw skrifys yn aray termyn, a ha 18th century war yew dhe om termyn an Penngwynn.

Alfred North Whitehead (1816-1947)

Elfankussul Kledh Pedngwydn (1816-1947)

He was an English philosopher originally from Ramsgate. His father was a clergyman who became Honorary Canon of Canterbury. He attended Cambridge University in 1880 and became a Fellow until 1910. He would eventually teach Philosophy as a Professor in Harvard University.

Hi a beu karor-furneth Sowsnek yn-mammfurv anodho Ramsgate. Y das beu klorek peu beu Honorary Canon anodho Canterbury. Attendas Pennskol Cambridge yn 1880 ha beu Fellow ernag 1910. Yn-darvosow dyskas Karys-Furneth avello Professor yn Pennskol Harvard.

He would write many books with a broad range of foci, including mathematics, natural science, metaphysics, education, religion, and history.

Lies lyveryow hi a skrifasa ganso efander anodho fogow, ow komprehenda awgrym, godhonieth nasek, metaphysikow, adhyskans, kryjyans, ha hwedhel-tus.

Historical Context

Kettesten Hwedheltusek

There is a lot of historical context that Whitehead provides in this book, primarily when it comes to materialism and science. This fact is especially relevant in the first 3/4 of the book when he discusses the speculation in ancient Greece about what substratums the universe is made of.

Yma meur a kettesten hwedheltusek Penngwynn prov yn an-lyver-ma, y’n kensa le p’eur don dhedha materialism ha godhonieth. An-feth-ma yw a vri yn arbennek y’n kensa 3/4 a’n lyver pandra dadh an resnans yn Grece goth a-dro a pandra substratumow an ollvys yw gwrys.

Whitehead mostly focuses on scientists from the 17th-18th centuries. Great minds such as Newton and Huyghens performed experiments based on their observations.

Penngwynn fogell dre vras warnedha godhonydhyon anedha’n 17th-18th centuries. Brysyow veur avella Newton hag Huyghens gwruthylsons abrovow based warnedha aga aspiansow.

By the time of the 19th century, physics and philosophy started diverging into separate fields. It started happening with Pasteur, who specialized in cell theory. The philosophers of the past would be looked upon as being superstitious. Another reason for the shift has to do with the specialization of metallurgy.

Ganso’n termyn a’n 19th century, physics ha karys-furneth dallethsons ow divergsons ynna en testennow diblans. Dalleth hwarvos ganso Pasteur, peu specialized yn tybieth vagh. An karorow-furneth seulabrys biens mirys yn-kerghyn avel hegol. An specialization an metallurgy yw acheson aral dhodho’n shift.



Whitehead was definitely in strong favor of materialist philosophy, which is an important component of science. The dichotomy between the material and the abstract (or what Whitehead called eternal) play out in this book. He mainly argues that causes can have multiple effects, mainly with the spatio-temporal form. He tends to agree mostly with Hume and Berkeley.

Penngwynn beu yn defri yn skudhyans krev anodho karys-furneth materialist, mayth yw component bysi anodho godhonieth. An dichotomy yntredha’n material ha’n abstract (po pandra Penngwynn galwas eternal) gwarons yn-mes yn an-lyver-ma. Dre vras arg ymown lies effethyow gansa skilys, dre vras ganso form spatio-temporal. Truedh agria dre vras gansa Hume ha Berkeley.

Whitehead credits St. Benedict as an important figure who introduced fact-based rationality to Western thought. Although, the Catholic Church did a lot to censor those who strayed from doctrinal teachings. Among them include Galileo and Bruno. Rationalism was the major philosophy, which dictated that God was the source of all effects, who is beyond comprehension. However, the movement of rationalism continued to play a role until materialism became a major part of Western thought.

Penngwynn kres Sen Benedikt avello figur bysi peu komendas rationality fact-based dhodho brys a’n Howlsedhes. Kyn, an Eglos Catholic meur a sensor an re na peu strayas anodho dyskasow dhyskasek. A’s yn-musk komprehend Galileo ha Bruno. Rationalism beu an karys-furneth brassa, may dyghtas an-Yahovah-ma beu an pennfenten anodho keniver effeythyow, peu yw dresto comprehension. Byttegyns, an gwayans anodho rationalism pesas gwari rann bys yn materialism beu darn brassa ha brys Howlsedhes.

While God is considered the source of all effects, the ancient Greeks held that mathematics were the main foci, since they believed that everything was predestined. Of course, mathematics is another theme in this book, primarily with Hume, Newton, Leibniz, and the other intellectuals from the 17th and 18th centuries. Whitehead particularly emphasizes the importance they had in making the connections between abstractions within the abstract realm in order to solve real-world problems. As expected in dense philosophy, Whitehead offers examples in order to explain abstract math, such as 3 apples.

Ha Yahovah yw prederas an pennfenten anodho keniver effeythyow, an Greekyow goth synssons awgrym beu an fogow jif, a-ban kryssons keniver tra beu predestined. Heb dout, awgrym yw thema aral yn an-lyver-ma, y’n kensa le gansa Hume, Newton, leibniz, ha’n skiansekyon aral anodho’n 17th-18th centuries. Penngwynn emfasizes dres oll an vri gensi yn ow gulons an junyansow yntredha abstractions a-berth an realm abstract assoyllens kudynnow vys-wir. Avello desevas yn karys-furneth doos, Penngwynn prof ensamplys displega awgrym abstract, avella Tri avalow.

Of course, abstractions amalgamate together within a system of things, which eventually produces mathematics. This also results in what he called prehensions, which are conceptualized through a composite of many things. It also produces reason, by forming postulates which is influenced by the premise, influenced by the conditions–of course, that is how I interpreted it.

Heb dout, ferghyansow kesunons a-berth kevreyth a traklow, mayth yn termyn askor awgrym. Sew yn peu galwas prehensions, mayth yns conceptualized dredho composite a lies traklow. Askor acheson keffrys, ganso ow form postulates mayth yw awedhys ganso’n premise ganso’n plitys–heb dout, yw’y fatla ev styrys.

Of course, those abstractions are expressed through the senses and the aesthetics. He mainly talks about how prehensions are interacted with through sensation and cognition. He noted how Newton, Huyghens, and other intellectuals tested their theories physically through what he would call “periodicities.”

Heb dout, an-ferghansow-na yns gorsons yn geryow dredho an sensys ha’n aesthetics. Kews dre vras a-dro fatla prehensions yns ganso interaction dredha sensation ha cognition. Attendys fatla Newton, Huyghens, ha skiansekyon aral previsons aga dybiethow yn fisegel dredha pandra galwa periodicities.”

Whitehead also frequently mentions English literature, specifically Wordsworth, Milton, and Shelley. The reason for this focus is because these writers dealt with nature in their poetry, and writing gives form through the clash between the aesthetic and the concrete specifically of nature.

Penngwynn meneg keffrys yn fenowgh lien Sowsnek, yn komparek Wordsworth, Milton, ha Shelley. An acheson dhodho an-fog-ma yw dre reson an-skriferyon-ma bargynnsons gensi natur ynna en aga bardhonieth, ha skrifa re form dredho’n klash yntredha’n aesthetic ha’n concrete yn komparek anedhi natur.



Whitehead spoke favorably of specialization, noting how advances had been made through professionalization. Of course, this is in complete opposition to the other writers I have discussed on this and previous blogs, which is that it is generalization that provides a way to make innovations. One of them being Scott Young, who wrote Ultralearning. Of course, Whitehead speaks about professionalization as it applies to using one subject in its application. However, it is important to note that he wrote multiple books on multiple subjects. This book itself deals with philosophy, science, English literature, and history.

Penngwynn kowsys favorably a specialization, ow attend fatla avonsyansow re gulsons dredho professionalization. Heb dout, yw yn kowl erbynoryon dhedha’n skriferow aval re dadhlasons warnedha ma ha lyverow-wyow gens, mayth yw generalization redrra fordh gulla innovations. Onan ow yw Scott Young, peu skrifas Ultralearning. Heb dout, Penngwynn kows a-dro professionalization avello gor war usa testen onan ynno an application. Byttegyns, yw bysi attendya skrifas lies lyverow warnedhans lies testennow. An-lyver-ma bargynn gansa karys-furnieth, godhonieth, lien Sowsnek, ha hwedheltus.

As far as the system of things that Whitehead argues, I can definitely see this in Eugene Odum’s textbook, in which ecology is played out in an interdisciplinary way. Everything within the environment is influenced by the soil, weather, water, rain, botany, fauna, and human activity.

Ow tochya’n kevreyth a traklow Penngwynn dadh, my’y gallaf gwelef yn defri yn textbook an Eugene Odum, yn mayth ekologieth yw gwarys yn-mes ynno fordh interdisciplinary. Keniver-tra a-berth an kerghynnedh yw awedhys gansa’n gweres, awel, dowr, glaw, losonieth, bestes, ha gwrians den.

Coming back to Whitehead’s claim about metallurgy separating philosophy from science, it is important to note Buckminster Fuller argued how metallurgy was improvised based on specific metals being imported and exported in what he called cartels throughout the world during the beginnings of the global trade.

Ow tochya chalenj an Penngwynn a-dro metallurgy ow diberth karys-furnieth anedhi godhonieth, yw bysi attendya Buckminster Fuller dadhla fatla metallurgy beu dismygwarys based warnedhans alkenyow gomparek ynperthsons hag eksperthsons ynna en pandra galwas cartels dredho yn-mes an bys dresta’n dallathvosyow ha’n kenwerth bysek.

Writing Style

Gis Skrifedh

There are a lot of terms to be expected in philosophy, but also the nuanced differences that make a lot of difference. For example, cognition means the taking into account the prehension, while sensation involves actively interacting with it. As mentioned before, the word prehension gets used, which is the object of sensation and cognition.

Ymowns meur a termys bens desevys yn karys-furnieth, bes an dihevelepterow nuanced keffrys gwrussons meur a dihevelepter. Dhodho ensampel, cognition styr an kemerys ynno akont an prehension, hedre sensation mysk interacting gansa yn fewek. Avello kampol seulabrys, an ger prehension yw usys, mayth yw an object a sensation ha cognition.

Real-World Application

Omrians Vys-Wir

Inspiration To Ken Yeang

Awen Dhodho Ken Yeang

The influence of Whitehead is quite evident upon Ken Yeang, specifically from the natural science subject. This was seen with Yeang’s architectural philosophy that everything in nature is connected. As such, Whitehead argues that the prehension is an amalgamation of many things within a system of things.

An awedhyans a Penngwynn yw playn nebes warnodho Ken Yeang, yn komparek anodho’n testen godhonieth naturek. Beu gwelys gansa karys-furnieth pennsernethel an Yeang mayth yw keniver-tra yn natur yw junys. Ow tochya, Penngwynn dadh an prehension yw kesunyans a lies traklow a-berth kevreyth a traklow.

In the case of architecture, that system of things is the environment itself.

Yn an kas a pennserneth, an-kevreyth-ma a traklow yw an kerghynnedh.

Inspiration To Myself

Awen Dhybm Ow Honan

The book definitely made me feel as though I was going back in time to all of the philosophy courses I took; yet, Alfred North Whitehead was never an assigned reading. This would give me the idea that everything operates within a system, but not as much.

An lyver a’m gula yn devri klewef avellov beuv seulabrys dhedha keniver a’n klassyow karys-furnieth kemeris; hwath, Elfankussel Kledh Penngwynn na beu redyans charj. Yw rosa vy an tybyans keniver-tra ober a-berth kevreyth, bes na kekemmys.

However, I was genuinely surprised that English literature is given its fair share. Finally, a scientific-minded person is giving the liberal arts a break. The medium of poetry can provide a simulacrum between the abstract and the material.

Byttegyns, marth beuv genef yn gwir lien Sowsnek yw kemerys kevren ewn. Wortiwedh, den skiens-hy-vrys ryne an arts-hel torr. An medium a bardhonieth gyll prov simulacrum yntredha an tybel ha’n material.



Rediscovery Recommendation

There is value in this book by the famous Whitehead, though it is not one to be read only once. You would have to read it multiple times and take copious amounts of notes in order to truly understand it.

Yma bri ynno an-lyver-ma ganso Penngwynn a-vri, kyn nag yw onan be redys unweyth unn. Ty’y re redes lies presyow ha skrifes lies mynsow a notennow komprehenons-eev.

Recommend This To…

Komendysen Ma Dhe…

  • …Any philosophy student. This book might be important to anyone who is studying the history of philosophy, however only through the perspective of someone from a century ago.
  • Neb skolheyk karys-furnieth. Bri gyll yw ganso an-lyver-ma dhodho nebonan peu studha an hwedheltus a karys-furnieth, byttegyns unn dredhi an gwel semusur a nebonan dhodho nans yw kansbledhen

Sources (Pednfentydnyow)

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