By Stein D.
During this engrossing biography, Dorothy Stein strips away the numerous layers of fantasy to bare a narrative way more dramatic and interesting than earlier debts have indicated
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A large number of biological phenomena belong to this category and I think we must also include the processes of artistic and scientific creativity. 8. AN ILLUSION WHICH RESULTS FROM THE PROJECTION OF INITIAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN A DEVELOPED SEQUENCE OF EVENTS This illusion is well known thanks to the chicken-or-egg priority sophism. It continues, however, doggedly to live on in a form which is relevant precisely to experimental reasoning and the genesis of discovery: are 'facts' (or rather the observation of the facts) anterior to the hypotheses or, on the contrary, do hypotheses always precede 'facts'?
FREEING SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES FROM MYTH 27 9. THE MYTH OF THE CLEAR-CUT AND ABSOLUTE ALTERNATION OF THE OBSERVATION OF FACTS AND THE INVENTION OF HYPOTHESES According to a common opinion, quite widespread among scientists, experimental reasoning passes through three stages which Claude Bernard had represented by the following schema: 0 ~ H ~ E (0 = observation;H = hypothesis; E = experiment). Observation gives rise to hypothesis, which is used in the carrying out of an experiment offering in its turn a new observation which confirms or invalidates the first hypothesis.
This is an 'epistemological obstacle', in Bachelard's meaning of the term. One's primary desire is to see knowledge increased, not overturned. Having stressed that the underlYing theoretical framework influences observation and determines certain aspects of the 'facts', I should have specified that not only is one obliged to see in relation to what one knows, but also that one tends to see in keeping with what one knows. In my study of Claude Bernard's toxicological experiments, I pointed out a particular kind of epistemological obstacle which, for a researcher with original and deep-rooted opinions, makes it very difficult, in a later moment, to falsify and forsake what was, earlier, the essence of his own discoveries.
Ada, a life and a legacy by Stein D.
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