Darwin-L Message Log 5:229 (January 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<5:229>From ad201@freenet.carleton.ca  Mon Jan 31 09:48:32 1994

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 1994 10:56:28 -0500
From: ad201@freenet.carleton.ca (Donald Phillipson)
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Scientific quotations

Help is requested in verifying sources for the following quotations,
which have so far defeated my efforts.  Thanks in anticipation.

#1 Joseph Priestley (1786) attrib. by John Dvorak (computer
columnist:)  "In completing one discovery we never fail to get an
imperfect knowledge of the others of which we could have no clear idea
before, so that we cannot solve one doubt without creating several new

#2 Ernest Renan (quoted by a UBC historian, unable to provide the
source when asked):  "To forget: I will venture to say, to get one's
history wrong, are essential factors in the making of a nation."

#3 Machiavelli (attrib. to The Prince by radio broadcaster Lister
Sinclair, 24 Jan. 1992): "The course of world history stands outside
of virtue, blame and justice."

#4 Kant: "Ideas without percepts are empty:  sensations without ideas
are blind."  This should be in the Critique of Pure Reason
(Transcendental Aesthetic):  but I could not find it.

#4 Francis Bacon (1561-1626) attrib. by Alan Mackay in the unpublished
2nd edition of Scientific Quotations: "Never any knowledge was
delivered in the same order it was invented."

#5 Francis H. Crick, Mackay ibid:  "No theory can fit all the facts,
because not all the facts are right."

#6 Karl Popper in Conjectures and Refutations (cited by S. Zuckerman
in From Apes to Warlords, p. 335, giving no page in Popper):  "In the
search for knowledge, we are out to find true theories, or at least
theories which are nearer than others to the truth -- which
correspond better to the facts; whereas in the search for theories that
are merely powerful instruments for certain purposes, we are, in many
cases, quite well served by theories which are known to be false."

#7 J.D. Bernal, J.D. (1939):  "It is one of the hopes of the science
of science that, by careful analysis of past discovery, we shall find
a way of separating the effects of good organization from those of
pure luck, and enabling us to operate on calculated risks rather than
blind chance."  This is quoted by Gleick in his Genius (Feynman
biography, p. 315) citing p. 1 of R.S. Root-Bernstein'a Discovering...
Frontiers of Scientific Knowledge (Harvard, 1989).  So it ought to be
in The Social Function of Science (1939):  but I have not found it.

 |         Donald Phillipson, 4050 Hall's Road, Carlsbad           |
 |      Springs, Ont., Canada K0A 1K0; tel: (613) 822-0734         |
 |  "What I've always liked about science is its independence from |
 |  authority"--Ontario Science Centre (name on file) 10 July 1981 |

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