Free Online Encyclopedia

Hello,
This is just a short web page to promote the Open Site Encyclopedia - a pretty cool Free Online Encyclopedia as I see things. Now I am of course biased as I am an editor at Open Site (in Physics, Modern Physics, Philosophy, Famous Quotes & Sexuality sections). But from my experience you will find a nice interesting group of people there that take their work as Editors very seriously. I work mainly in the Physics, Philosophy and Metaphysics encyclopedia categories.

Their introduction to the Encyclopedia gives a pretty concise summary of their purpose;

Welcome to Open-Site.org, a free online encyclopedia. Open-Site is edited by volunteer editors and accepts content submissions from the public. Open-Site's content is freely available to the public. Feel free to lend a hand and help out.

As stated above my interest is in the physics, philosophy and metaphysics categories. And historically there have been a number of prominent philosophers who contributed articles to encyclopedias.
In the mid 1700s there were the famous French Encyclopaedists Denis Diderot (1713-1784) et al, and Bertrand Russell wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 edition. Having now spent some time doing the same thing myself I can understand why. It is an interesting challenge to write on a diversity of subjects, and to be able to write simple summaries that provide true accounts of our current human knowledge. And all philosophers believe that knowledge and education are fundamental to an enlightened society, thus I take my work both as a philosopher, and as an encyclopedist, very seriously. I hope that over time I can greatly improve the content at open site, while also improving my own knowledge as a philosopher / scientist. As Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote;

Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. .. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education. (Rousseau, Emile - On Education)

A short article on the French Encyclopedists, which I find very interesting (I have read a bit of Voltaire and Jean Jaques Rousseau - both very beautiful writers with lively minds!).

"Encyclopedists" is the name usually applied to the group of French philosophers and men of letters who collaborated in the production of the famous Encyclopedia, or were in sympathy with its principles. The work was planned by Denis Diderot, and was announced as a Dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts, et des metiers. The intention was to provide a complete alphabetical treatment of the whole field of human knowledge from the standpoint of the "Enlightenment". The contributors included a number of remarkable men. First in importance, acting with Diderot on equal terms, was D'Alembert. A large part of the work was done by the Chevalier de Jaucourt, a man of encyclopedic learning. When he died in 1755, Montesquieu left behind an unfinished article on "Taste." Voltaire wrote some articles, and constantly advised on the development of the plan. Rousseau contributed articles on music, but ultimately quarreled with the editors, whose plan was so different from his. Turgot wrote on economic subjects, and in the latter part of the work Haller, the physiologist, and Conddorcet were engaged.

The first volume appeared in 1751, the second in the following January, and immediately excited the antagonism of the Church and the conservatives. On February 12, 1752, the two volumes were suppressed by the Council, as containing maxims contrary to royal authority and to religion. Further publication was suspended for eighteen months, but from 1753 to 1757 it went on without interruption. After the seventh volume, the forces of conservatism rallied to a fresh attack. The sale of the volumes already printed; as well as the printing of any more, was forbidden. Diderot, however, made his plans to continue privately to prepare the remaining volumes. D'Alembert withdrew, but Diderot toiled on and completed the work (28 volumes, Paris, 1751-72). Andre Franois Lebreton acquired a large interest in the undertaking and all the contributions were set up as they were written, but when Diderot had corrected the last proof, Lebreton and his foreman, without informing his partners, secretly cut out such parts from each articles as he thought too radical or likely to give offence. In this way many of the best articles were mutilated, and to prevent the restoration of the eliminated matter, Lebreton burned the original manuscripts. Subsequently a supplement was published (5 volumes, Amsterdam, Paris, 1776-77), also an index (2 volumes, 1788).

The Encyclopedia was both a repository of information and a polemical arsenal. It was an idea of the editors that if civilization should by entirely destroyed, mankind might turn to their volumes to learn to reconstruct it. No other collection of general information so large and so useful was then in existence. Yet mere learning was not what lay nearest to the hearts of Diderot and his fellows; the prided themselves even more on the firm and bold philosophy of some of the writers. The metaphysics is founded chiefly on Locke, who "may be said to have created metaphysics as Newton created physics," by reducing the science to "what in fact should be the experimental physics of the soul." Beyond this there is little unity of opinion, though the same spirit rules throughout. It includes a prejudice in favour of democracy, as the ideal form of government, and the worship of theoretical equality, but contempt for the populace, "which discern"; the reduction of religion to sentiments of morality and benevolence, and great dislike for its minister, especially the religious orders. By its generous professions of philosophic tolerance, and apparent acquiescence in what for the moment it was too weak to overpower, the philosophic school won a hearing for doctrines which were essentially subversive of the established order of things in both Church and State, and prepared the way for overt revolution. (Source: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Encyclopedists)

Today there is also a small group of philosophers and physicists who believe that we can know Truth and Reality. And I am well aware that Truth and Reality are unfashionable subjects in our time of Postmodernism Relativism (no Absolute Truth or Reality). Nonetheless, there is a growing movement around the world that is dissatisfied with the current state of Physics and Philosophy (and the world that this physics and philosophy has in part created). Most importantly, there is also a growing realisation that matter does not exist as tiny 'particles', and that Space must exist to connect matter.

All the best,
Geoff Haselhurst

 

 




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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

This is the profound new way of thinking that Einstein realised, that we exist as spatially extended structures of the universe - the discrete and separate body an illusion. This simply confirms the intuitions of the ancient philosophers and mystics.

Given the current censorship in physics / philosophy of science journals (based on the standard model of particle physics / big bang cosmology) the internet is the best hope for getting new knowledge known to the world. But that depends on you, the people who care about science and society, realise the importance of truth and reality.

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