Liable Quotes (4 quotes)
In experimental philosophy, propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions.
Induction. The mental operation by which from a number of individual instances, we arrive at a general law. The process, according to Hamilton, is only logically valid when all the instances included in the law are enumerated. This being seldom, if ever, possible, the conclusion of an Induction is usually liable to more or less uncertainty, and Induction is therefore incapable of giving us necessary (general) truths.
Much as I venerate the name of Newton, I am not therefore obliged to believe that he was infallible. I see with regret that he was liable to err, and that his authority has, perhaps, sometimes even retarded the progress of science.
The theory of numbers is particularly liable to the accusation that some of its problems are the wrong sort of questions to ask. I do not myself think the danger is serious; either a reasonable amount of concentration leads to new ideas or methods of obvious interest, or else one just leaves the problem alone. Perfect numbers certainly never did any good, but then they never did any particular harm.