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The subject of this book is the structure of space-time on length-scales from 10-13cm, the radius of an elementary particle, up to 1028cm, the radius of the universe.... we base our treatment on Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. This theory leads to two remarkable predictions about the universe: first, that the final fate of massive stars is to collapse behind an event horizon to form a 'black hole' which will contain a singularity; and secondly, that there is a singularity in our past which constitutes, in some sense, a beginning to the universe.
The dualistic philosophy reigned supreme in Europe, dominating the development of Western science. But with the advent of atomic physics, findings based on demonstrable experiment were seen to negate the dualistic theory, and the trend of thought since then has been back to the monistic conception of the ancient Taoists.
It is well said, then, that it is by doing just acts that the just man is produced, and by doing temperate acts the temperate man; without doing these no one would have even a prospect of becoming good. But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do.
Having acknowledged the measure of the good to be pleasure, i. e., beauty, the European upper classes went back in their comprehension of art to the gross conception of the primitive Greeks which Plato had already condemned. And with this understanding of life, a theory of art was formulated.
Those who are in love with practice without knowledge are like the sailor who gets into a ship without rudder or compass and who never can be certain whether he is going. Practice must always be founded on sound theory, and to this Perspective is the guide and the gateway; and without this nothing can be done well in the matter of drawing.
We commonly say that the rich man can speak the truth, can afford honesty, can afford independence of opinion and action;--and that is the theory of nobility. But it is the rich man in a true sense, that is to say, not the man of large income and large expenditure, but solely the man whose outlay is less than his income and is steadily kept so.
How is Marxist-Leninist theory to be linked with the practice of the Chinese revolution? To use a common expression, it is by "shooting the arrow at the target". As the arrow is to the target, so is Marxism-Leninism to the Chinese revolution. Some comrades, however, are "shooting without a target", shooting at random, and such people are liable to harm the revolution.
The Western approach to reality is mostly through theory, and theory begins by denying reality — to talk about reality, to go around reality, to catch anything that attracts our sense-intellect and abstract it away from reality itself. Thus philosophy begins by saying that the outside world is not a basic fact, that its existence can be doubted and that every proposition in which the reality of the outside world is affirmed is not an evident proposition but one that needs to be divided, dissected and analyzed. It is to stand consciously aside and try to square a circle.
If what we regard as real depends on our theory, how can we make reality the basis of our philosophy?...But we cannot distinguish what is real about the universe without a theory...it makes no sense to ask if it corresponds to reality, because we do not know what reality is independent of a theory.