A Defence of Free Thinking in Quantum Theory (1953)
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May I begin by congratulating you on having founded this society?1E I think it an excellent idea. There are good reasons today for discussing the philosophy of science afresh. The philosophers, and more lately the physicists, have done a thorough job in debunking science. This was urgently needed; the magical faith in Science (with a capital “S”) needed correction; science had to be brought down to earth, and we had to remind ourselves that it is human and fallible. But the job of debunking science has now been done. I even think it has perhaps been done a little too well. I think it is about time to remind ourselves that of all products of the human mind, science is one of the most precious. I mean science itself, the scientific theories, not their application. It is about time to remind ourselves that these theories are something very marvellous; and that they possess, quite apart from practical usefulness, a great informative value: it is due to science that we know something about this astonishing world we live in. These things have lately not been said often enough; as you will see from my talk, it is now even fashionable to deny them. I hope that your society may provide many opportunities for re-affirming them.
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