Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for October 11th, 2014

A different kind of thinking cap

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Herbert Butterfield

We shall find that in both celestial and terrestrial physics—which hold the strategic place in the whole movement—change is brought about, not by new observations or additional evidence in the first instance, but by transpositions that were taking place inside the minds of the scientists themselves. In this connection it is not irrelevant to note that of all forms of mental activity, the most difficult to induce even in the minds of the young, who may be presumed not to have lost their flexibility, is the art of handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework, all of which virtually means putting on a different kind of thinking cap for the moment.

Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science

Written by nevalalee

October 11, 2014 at 9:00 am

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