Signs of the Times

[From "The Decline and Fall of 'Matter,' "by R. F. Alfred Hoernle in The New Republic]

Is matter being deserted and abandoned by its sworn defenders? What a paradox is this; yet so it is. We know, as has been wittily said, too much about matter to be materialists any longer. And thus we are ready to acclaim a professor's books on the Principles of Natural Knowledge and the Concept of Nature as the most brilliant contributions of our day to the philosophy of nature, without being disturbed by the fact that a professor of applied mathematics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London (England), should side with the bishop against matter. . . . The "ether of material" of the old theory gives way in his theory to an ether of events, which expresses his fundamental thesis of the passage of nature: "Something is going on everywhere and always. Thus time and space are to him no longer relations between material entities, but relations between events."

September 24, 1921

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