§18. Observation

99. I have already remarked that a definition of science in general which shall express a really intelligent conception of it as a living historic entity must regard it as the occupation of that peculiar class of men, the scientific men. The same remark may be extended to definitions of the different branches of science. The men who pursue a given branch herd together. They understand one another; they live in the same world, while those who pursue another branch are for them foreigners.

100. It will be found upon close examination that that which renders the modes of thought of the students of a special branch of science peculiar is that their experience lies in a peculiar region. And the cause of this is that they are trained and equipped to make a peculiar kind of observations. The man who is continually making chemical analyses lives in a different region of nature from other men. The same thing is even more true of men who are constantly using a microscope.

101. It comes to this, that sciences must be classified according to the peculiar means of observation they employ.

102. So too the great landmarks in the history of science are to be placed at the points where new instruments, or other means of observation, are introduced. Astronomy before the telescope and astronomy after the telescope. Prephotographic astronomy and photographic astronomy. Chemistry before the exact analytic balance, and after.

 © textlog.de 2004 • 16.04.2024 06:37:48 •
Seite zuletzt aktualisiert: 14.11.2004 
  Home  Impressum  Copyright