"Mix salt and sand, and it shall puzzle the wisest of men, with his mere natural appliances, to separate all the grains of sand from all the grains of salt; but a shower of rain will effect the same object in ten minutes."
"Anyone who is practically acquainted with scientific work is aware that those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely get as far as fact; and anyone who has studied the history of science knows that almost every great step therein has been made by the "anticipation of Nature."
"The present war having so long cut off all communication with Great-Britain, we are not able to make a fair estimate of the stateof science in that country. The spirit in which she wages war is the only sample before our eyes, and that does not seem the legitimate offspring either of science or of civilization."
"The conflict between science and religion is in reality a misunderstanding of both. Scientific materialism has merely introduced anew hypostasis, and that is an intellectual sin. It has given another name to the supreme principle of reality and has assumed that this created a new thing and destroyed an old thing. Whether you call the principle of existence "God," "matter," "energy," or anything else you like, you have created nothing; you have merely changed a symbol. The materialist is a metaphysician malgré lui. Faith, on the other hand, tries to retain a primitive mental condition on merely sentimental grounds. It is unwilling to give up the primitive, childlike relationship to mind-created and hypostatized figures; it wants to go on enjoying the security and confidence of a world still presided over by powerful, responsible, and kindly parents."
"As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice--there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall therefore have to examine not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists."
"The great scientific achievements are research programmes which can be evaluated in terms of progressive and degenerative problemshifts; and scientific revolutions consist of one research programme superceding (overtaking in progress) another. This methodology offers a new rational reconstruction of science."
"Life is a thin narrowness of taken-for-granted, a plank over a canyon in a fog. There is something under our feet, the taken-for-granted. A table is a table, food is food, we are we--because we don't question these things. And science is the enemy because it is the questioner. Faith saves our souls alive by giving us a universe of the taken-for-granted."
"Philosophical questions are not by their nature insoluble. They are, indeed, radically different from scientific questions, because they concern the implications and other interrelations of ideas, not the order of physical events; their answers are interpretations instead of factual reports, and their function is to increase not our knowledge of nature, but our understanding of what we know."
"If a sound justification for most scientific activity is going to be found, it will eventually come perhaps from a recognition that man's sense of curiosity about the world and himself is every bit as compelling as his need for clothing and food.... Making sense of the world and one's place in that world has roots deep within the human psyche.... We can drop the dangerous pretense that science is legitimate only in so far as it contributes to our material well-being or to our store of perennial truths. Viewed in this light, the repudiation of theoretical scientific inquiry is tantamount to a denial of what may be our most characteristically human trait."
"The rationale for accepting or rejecting any theory is thus fundamentally based on the idea of problem-solving progress. If one research tradition has solved more important problems than its rivals, then accepting that tradition is rational precisely to the degree that we are aiming to "progress," i.e., to maximize the scope f solved problems. In other words, the choice of one tradition over its rivals is a progressive (and thus a rational) choice precisely to the extent that the chosen tradition is a better problem solver than its rivals."
"It is impossible to dissociate language from science or science from language, because every natural science always involves threethings: the sequence of phenomena on which the science is based; the abstract concepts which call these phenomena to mind; and the words in which the concepts are expressed. To call forth a concept, a word is needed; to portray a phenomenon, a concept is needed. All three mirror one and the same reality."