Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Inflections and ripples


"A thought is a tremendous mode of excitement. Like a stone being thrown into a pond it disturbs the whole surface of our being. But this image is inadequate. For we should conceive the ripples as effective in the creation of the plunge of the stone into the water. The ripples release the thought, and the thought augments and distorts the ripples. In order to understand the essence of thought we must study its relation to the ripples amid which it emerges." Whitehead, Modes of Thought. p. 36.

Thought is an inflection, just like to point at which the stone displaces the water and the water moves for the stone, a thought is a change of tendency. As the the thought is released it creates more inflections, much like the ripples in the water. As the duration of this thought is continued it, like the ripples, will augment and distort and create new inflections and new thoughts.

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