Daily Quote #44

And, when you come right down to it, there is simply no non-Whiggish way of writing, about science or any subject. It is entirely pointless for an author to indulge in general acknowledgements of his liability to error and ignorance; while he cannot, on obvious logical grounds, point out to us specifically where he errs or is ignorant. He could, of course, conciliate modern nervousness by putting ‘It seems to me that …’ in front of everything he wishes to say. But that is a proceeding equally pointless and vexatious, as well as generating a regress (‘It seems to me that it seems to me that …’) which will prevent him from ever saying anything at all.

David Stove, Cole Porter and Karl Popper: the Jazz Age in the Philosophy of Science (let it be noted in the record that I strongly disapprove of Stove’s low estimation of Jazz, though I have little time for Cole Porter really, so will let him take the bullet)

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