Scientific method and knowledge

Philosophy of Science 10 (2):67-74 (1943)
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Twenty five hundred years ago a Greek named Thales introduced something important into the world. We know little about the details, but there is a persistent tradition going back at least as far as Aristotle that Thales is to be given the credit for being the first person to think in the way that led, without break in continuity, to the development of the scientific method of thought. The conclusions to which Thales came, if we can trust the tradition, are of no value today. The important thing was the way of putting and answering questions. This was carried on by Thales' followers until by the time of Plato and Aristotle the essentials of the scientific method were coming to be recognized even though they were not explicitly and adequately stated in abstraction.



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