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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Nicholas Rescher Quotes

Nicholas Rescher
(1928 - )

German-American philosopher and educator.

Science Quotes by Nicholas Rescher (4 quotes)

As Herschel ruminated long ago, particles moving in mutual gravitational interaction are, as we human investigators see it forever solving differential equations which, if written out in full, might circle the earth.
— Nicholas Rescher
In Forbidden Knowledge: And Other Essays on the Philosophy of Cognition (2012), 55.John Herschel. Rescher was not quoting, but restating from John Herschel, 'On Atoms', Familiar Lectures on Scientific Subjects (1867, 1872), 458. (Previously published in Fortnightly Review)
Science quotes on:  |  Differential Equation (9)  |  Gravitation (29)  |  Sir John Herschel (23)  |  Particle (91)  |  Solve (45)

Scientific inquiry would thus he conceived of as analogous to terrestrial exploration, whose product—geography—yields results of continually smaller significance which fill in ever more minute gaps in our information. In such a view, later investigations yield findings of ever smaller importance, with each successive accretion making a relatively smaller contribution to what has already come to hand. The advance of science leads, step by diminished step, toward a fixed and final view of things.
— Nicholas Rescher
In The Limits Of Science (1984, Rev. 1999), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Accretion (4)  |  Advance (128)  |  Exploration (105)  |  Fill (41)  |  Findings (4)  |  Gap (20)  |  Geography (25)  |  Importance (186)  |  Information (106)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Investigation (124)  |  Result (267)  |  Significance (64)  |  Small (125)  |  Step (78)

Scientific realism is the doctrine that science describes the real world: that the world actually is as science takes it to be, and that its furnishings are as science envisages them to be It is quite clear that it is not… ”
— Nicholas Rescher
In Priceless Knowledge?: Natural Science in Economic Perspective (1996), 159-160.
Science quotes on:  |  Describe (40)  |  Doctrine (55)  |  Envisage (2)  |  Furnishing (4)  |  Real (102)  |  Realism (7)  |  Science (1741)  |  World (746)

The inherent unpredictability of future scientific developments—the fact that no secure inference can be drawn from one state of science to another—has important implications for the issue of the limits of science. It means that present-day science cannot speak for future science: it is in principle impossible to make any secure inferences from the substance of science at one time about its substance at a significantly different time. The prospect of future scientific revolutions can never be precluded. We cannot say with unblinking confidence what sorts of resources and conceptions the science of the future will or will not use. Given that it is effectively impossible to predict the details of what future science will accomplish, it is no less impossible to predict in detail what future science will not accomplish. We can never confidently put this or that range of issues outside “the limits of science”, because we cannot discern the shape and substance of future science with sufficient clarity to be able to say with any assurance what it can and cannot do. Any attempt to set “limits” to science—any advance specification of what science can and cannot do by way of handling problems and solving questions—is destined to come to grief.
— Nicholas Rescher
The Limits of Science (1984), 102-3.
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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
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

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- 90 -
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