Quotes Tagged "convictions"
On the whole, scientific methods are at least as important results of investigation as any other results, for the scientific spirit is based upon a knowledge of method, and if the methods were lost, all the results of science could not prevent the renewed prevalence of superstition and absurdity. Clever people may learn as much as they like of the results of science, but one still notices in their conversation, and especially in the hypotheses they make, that they lack the scientific spirit; they have not the instinctive distrust of the devious courses of thinking which, in consequence of long training, has taken root in the soul of every scientific man. It is enough for them to find any kind of hypothesis on a subject, they are then all on fire for it, and imagine the matter is thereby settled. To have an opinion is with them equivalent to immediately becoming fanatical for it, and finally taking it to heart as a conviction. In the case of an unexplained matter they become heated for the first idea that comes into their head which has any resemblance to an explanation—a course from which the worst results constantly follow, especially in the field of politics. On that account everybody should nowadays have become thoroughly acquainted with at least one science, for then surely he knows what is meant by method, and how necessary is the extremest carefulness.