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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Anticipation

Anticipation Quotes (11 quotes)

Any one who has studied the history of science knows that almost every great step therein has been made by the “anticipation of Nature,” that is, by the invention of hypotheses, which, though verifiable, often had very little foundation to start with; and, not unfrequently, in spite of a long career of usefulness, turned out to be wholly erroneous in the long run.
In 'The Progress of Science 1837-1887' (1887), Collected Essays (1901), Vol. 1, 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (230)  |  Foundation (75)  |  History Of Science (53)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Progress (317)  |  Study (331)  |  Usefulness (70)  |  Verification (20)

Discoveries that are anticipated are seldom the most valuable. … It’s the scientist free to pilot his vessel across hidden shoals into open seas who gives the best value.
From 'Why Our Scientific Discoveries Need to Surprise Us', in The Globe and Mail (1 Oct 2011).
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Every well established truth is an addition to the sum of human power, and though it may not find an immediate application to the economy of every day life, we may safely commit it to the stream of time, in the confident anticipation that the world will not fail to realize its beneficial results.
In 'Report of the Secretary', Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for 1856 (1857), 20.
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I think that we shall have to get accustomed to the idea that we must not look upon science as a 'body of knowledge,' but rather as a system of hypotheses; that is to say, as a system of guesses or anticipations which in principle cannot be justified, but with which we work as long as they stand up to tests, and of which we are never justified in saying that we know they are 'true' or 'more or less certain' or even 'probable.'
The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959), 317.
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (7)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Guess (36)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Idea (440)  |  Justification (33)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Principle (228)  |  Probability (83)  |  Test (96)  |  Truth (750)

No one can read the history of astronomy without perceiving that Copernicus, Newton, Laplace, are not new men, or a new kind of men, but that Thales, Anaximenes, Hipparchus, Empodocles, Aristorchus, Pythagorus, Oenipodes, had anticipated them.
In The Conduct of Life (1904), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Anaximenes (5)  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (44)  |  Hipparchus (3)  |  History (302)  |  History Of Astronomy (2)  |  Kind (99)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (50)  |  Man (345)  |  New (340)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Perception (53)  |  Thales (7)

Science is not a system of certain, or -established, statements; nor is it a system which steadily advances towards a state of finality... And our guesses are guided by the unscientific, the metaphysical (though biologically explicable) faith in laws, in regularities which we can uncover—discover. Like Bacon, we might describe our own contemporary science—'the method of reasoning which men now ordinarily apply to nature'—as consisting of 'anticipations, rash and premature' and as 'prejudices'.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959), 278.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (36)  |  Application (117)  |  Biology (150)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Faith (131)  |  Finality (2)  |  Guess (36)  |  Guidance (12)  |  Law (418)  |  Metaphysics (30)  |  Method (154)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Premature (17)  |  Rashness (2)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Regularity (24)  |  Science (1699)  |  Statement (56)  |  System (141)  |  Uncover (6)  |  Unscientific (7)  |  Well-Established (2)

The most direct, and in a sense the most important, problem which our conscious knowledge of Nature should enable us to solve is the anticipation of future events.
…...
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There are, and can be, but these two ways of seeking truth; the former, the anticipatory, is the one now in use; the latter is the true but yet untried path.
Cited as Aphorism 19 in book review 'A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy' in The Quarterly Review (Jul 1831), 45, No. 90, 399. This appears to be an abridged version of Aphorism 20 shown on this web page.
Science quotes on:  |  Path (59)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Truth (750)  |  Way (36)

To appreciate a work of art we need bring with us nothing from life, no knowledge of its ideas and affairs, no familiarity with its emotions. Art transports us from the world of man’s activity to a world of ζsthetic exaltation. For a moment we are shut off from human interests; our anticipations and memories are arrested; we are lifted above the stream of life. The pure mathematician rapt in his studies knows a state of mind which I take to be similar, if not identical. He feels an emotion for his speculations which arises from no perceived relation between them and the lives of men, but springs, inhuman or super-human, from the heart of an abstract science. I wonder, sometimes, whether the appreciators of art and of mathematical solutions are not even more closely allied.
In Art (1913), 25.
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When autumn returns with its long anticipated holidays, and preparations are made for a scamper in some distant locality, hammer and notebook will not occupy much room in the portmanteau, and will certainly be found most entertaining company.
In The Story of a Boulder: or, Gleanings from the Note-book of a Field Geologist (1858), viii.
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[The infinitely small] neither have nor can have theory; it is a dangerous instrument in the hands of beginners [ ... ] anticipating, for my part, the judgement of posterity, I would dare predict that this method will be accused one day, and rightly, of having retarded the progress of the mathematical sciences.
Annales des Mathematiques Pures et Appliquées (1814-5), 5, 148.
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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