APPARENT

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APPARENT, among mathematicians and astronomers, denotes things as they appear to the eye, in distinction from what they really are. Thus they speak of apparent motion, magnitude, distance, height, &c. So important is this difference between reality and appearance, particularly in regard to the heavenly bodies, that we find all early astronomers, who were ignorant of this fact, running continually into errors; and a great advancement JII science was required, before mankind were able to establish systems opposed to apnearances. Every one knows that a body may appear to move while it is, in fact, at rest, and the motion is in the spec tator, or the place on which he stands, as is the case with the sun, in relation to the inhabitants of this earth.The phrase apparent heir, or heir apparent, signifies one whose right of inheritance is indefeasible, provided he survives his ancestors ; as the eldest son or his issue, who must, by the course of the common law, be heirs to the father. Heirs presumptive are such who, if the ancestor should die immediately, would, in the present state of things, be his heirs.