The Method of Physics [1968g]

  • Robert S. Cohen
  • John J. Stachel
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 21)


Scientific activity is distinguished from those other creative efforts we call art by its tremendous efficiency: it aims at controlling the forces of nature and it achieves this control with steadily increasing assurance both in width and in depth. The feeling of certainty we associate with scientific knowledge does not arise only from its successful application to the satisfaction of practical needs, but finds a more direct justification in its internal coherence and power of prediction: ultimately, of course, these two sources of scientific certainty boil down to the unsophisticated statement: “we believe it is true because it works”. In any case, by providing us with such deep insight into the workings of nature, science has asserted itself as a fundamental — if not the most fundamental-element of human culture. In its very essence universal, the method of rational analysis of the natural phenomena which characterizes the scientific approach must affect all forms of culture developed by human communities.


Atomic Process Sensory Experience Rational Thinking XIXth Century Logical Necessity 
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  1. 1.
    Gerald Moore, The Accompanist Speaks (lecture-recital), Angel Records, New York, No. 35262.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Cohen
  • John J. Stachel

There are no affiliations available

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