Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for December 20th, 2014

The penumbra of discovery

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John Tyndall

Side by side with the mathematical method we have the method of experiment. Here, from a starting point furnished by his own researches or those of others, the investigator proceeds by combining intuition and verification. He ponders the knowledge he possesses and tries to push it further, he guesses and checks his guess, he conjectures or confirms or explodes his conjecture. These guesses and conjectures are by no means leaps in the dark; for knowledge once gained casts a faint light beyond its own immediate boundaries. There is no discovery so limited as not to illuminate something beyond itself. The force of intellectual penetration into this penumbral region which surrounds actual knowledge is not dependent on method, but is proportional to the genius of the investigator.

John Tyndall

Written by nevalalee

December 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

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