Rebirth of Reason

Quotes: Harriman, David

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A physicist will accept the goal of grasping the nature of the independently existing physical world, only if he accepts that there is such a world, and he perceives it, rather than a shadowy world of subjective appearance. He will search for the causal laws governing nature, only if he accepts the law of causality and rejects the view that things can act apart from or in contradiction to their natures. He will require his theories to ascribe specific, non-contradictory properties to physical entities, only if he accepts the law of identity and the principles of Aristotelian logic. He will demand that his theories derive from observational evidence, only if he accepts the wider principle that abstractions, of any kind, derive from perceived concretes. And he therefore rejects claims based on arbitrary guesses or intuition. He will choose rationally between competing theories and eventually be able to prove his theories, but only if he accepts rational standards of proof and believes himself capable of achieving certainty. And he will hold to the independence of his scientific judgment, but only if he recognizes that truth is the correspondence between ideas and facts and not, for example, a consensus among the scientific community.
David Harriman

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(Added by Ed Thompson on 12/28/2010, 4:11pm)
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