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Babbage, Charles - The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise



Type of spiritual experience


Once Babbage had conceived of the universe as a vast spiritual system of interrelated functions, he began to see that our knowledge of the systems of the universe was indeed pretty meagre.

In the section on learnt function I have added a bit about heuristical models and how much we still - even today - rely on them.  In Babbage's day heuristcal models were very much in evidence, the difference being that Babbage and many like him had come to recognise just how very crude they were as a means of understanding the world.


A description of the experience

from The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A fragment - Charles Babbage

....therefore the probability of any law with which we have become acquainted by observation being part of a much more extensive law and of its having, to use mathematical language, singular points or discontinous functions contained within it, is very large

The source of the experience

Babbage, Charles

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image