(b) The formula may only be approximative.
The following are instances of the application of approximative formulae to the calculation of the volumes of solids.
It is much to be deplored that Leonardo does not give the least intimation how he found his approximative value, outrunning by this result more than three centuries.
The general formulae applicable to these cases are largely approximative.
Such a formula is approximative, in that it is known that the result of its application will only be approximately correct; it differs from an approximative formula of the kind mentioned in (i) (b) above, in that it is adopted of necessity, not by choice.
Finally, it is on the whole in keeping with Mill's presuppositions to admit even in the case of the method of difference that in practice it is approximative and instructive, while the theoretical formula, to which it aims at approaching asymptotically as limit, if exact, is in some sense sterile.
We divine the system of the whole from the part we know, but the process of reconstruction must remain approximative.
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