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The following are quotes:
- “Besides the force of gravitation, there is another very remarkable property displayed in an equal degree by every kind of matter — its perseverance in any condition, whether of rest or motion, in which it may have been placed. This faculty has received the name of ‘inertia’, signifying passiveness, or the inability of any ‘thing’ to change its own state. It is in consequence of this property that a body at rest cannot be set in motion without the application of a certain amount of force to it, and also that when once the body has been set in motion it will never stop of itself, but continue to move straight forwards with a uniform velocity until acted upon by another force, which, if applied contrary to the direction of motion, will retard it, if in the same direction will accelerate it, and if sideways will cause it to move in a curved direction. In the case in which the force is applied contrary in direction, but equal in degree to that which set the body first in motion, it will be entirely deprived of motion whatever time may have elapsed since the first impulse, and to whatever distance the body may have travelled.”
- “The principle of inertia states that no physical corpuscle need be conceived as changing its motion except in the presence of other corpuscles, that there is no need of attributing to it any power of self-determination [pg. 287]. There are probably those who think some power of self-determination must be ascribed to the elementary organic corpuscle, but this seems very doubtful. Placed in a certain field, environed with other organic or inorganic corpuscles, the life-germ moves relatively to them in a certain manner, but there seems no reason to assert, indeed there are facts pointing in the exactly opposite direction, that any change of movement need be postulated were the life-germ entirely removed from this environment. Indeed, the whole notion of self-determination as an attribute of living organisms seems to have arisen from those extremely complex systems of organic corpuscles, where the environment in the form of immediate sense-impressions determines change through a chain of stored sense-impresses peculiar to the individual or self [pg. 124].”
- Joule, James. (1847). “On Matter, Living Force, and Heat”, Lecture at St. Ann’s Church Reading room; in: Manchester Courier newspaper, May 5 and 12; in The Scientific Papers, Volume One (pg. 266). The Physical Society, Great Britain.
- Pearson, Karl. (1892). The Grammar of Science (pgs. 124, 287, ). Adam, 1900.
- Inertia – Wikipedia.