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Transitional Eras in Thought (1904)


Transitional Eras in Thought (1904)

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    Available in PDF Format | Transitional Eras in Thought (1904).pdf | Unknown
    Andrew Campbell Armstrong
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III SCIENCE AND DOUBT According to a conviction which is cherished alike by scientific thinkers and by the popular mind, natural science is superior to the vicissitudes which beset the progress of other, less favored forms of thought. The subjects of scientific inquiry are such that it is possible to reach precise conclusions concerning them. The methods of scientific investigation, and the care with which they are exercised, guarantee the procedure of science against disturbing errors. The continuity of scientific progress proves that the demands which may be legitimately made upon the leaders of science have been met in the past, and that they are constantly being met, to a degree which leaves no room for transitions in opinion like those which are common to thought in its historical, political, or social, its philosophical and theological developments. When this estimate is taken in a literal sense, it is easy to see that it is an exaggeration. There is no need to appeal to the enemies of science in order to show that it is overdrawn: for those scientific investigators who have most deeply penetrated into the principles which lie at the basis of their favorite pursuit have in many instances been the most ready to recognize the fallibility of their conclusions, while now and again from out the ranks of science itself a reminder has come of the waste and wreckage of hypothesis and theory which are involved in the progress of inquiry.1 Thinkers of a shallower sort, and little acquainted with either the history or the logical foundations of the knowledge which they vaunt, forget that this progress implies not only the well-considered advance into fields of inquiry where the facts have hitherto baffled less instructed or less fortunate searchers after truth, but ...  
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