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Jacob Bronowski

Geburtstag: 18. Januar 1908
Todesdatum: 22. August 1974

Jacob Bronowski war ein britischer Mathematiker und Biologe polnischer Abstammung. Er ist besonders als Autor und Präsentator der BBC-Dokumentation Der Aufstieg des Menschen bekannt geworden.

Zitate Jacob Bronowski

„This social axiom is that
We OUGHT to act in such a way that what IS true can be verified to be so.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 3: "The Sense of Human Dignity", §3 (p. 58)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: There is a social injunction implied in the positivist and analyst methods. This social axiom is that
We OUGHT to act in such a way that what IS true can be verified to be so.

„No fact in the world is instant, infinitesimal and ultimate, a single mark. There are, I hold, no atomic facts.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 3: "The Sense of Human Dignity", §1 (p. 52)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: No fact in the world is instant, infinitesimal and ultimate, a single mark. There are, I hold, no atomic facts. In the language of science, every fact is a field — a crisscross of implications, those that lead to it and those that lead from it. … We condense the laws around concepts. Science takes its coherence, its intellectual and imaginative strength together, from the concepts at which its laws cross, like knots in a mesh.

„The question of how man ought to behave is a social question, which always involves several people; and if he accepts no evidence and no judgment except his own, he has no tools with which to frame an answer.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 3: "The Sense of Human Dignity", §3 (p. 56) <!-- I find this cited in several places but not actually quoted in full anywhere. -->
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: Positivists and analysts alike believe that the words is and ought belong to different worlds, so that sentences which are constructed with is usually have verifiable meaning, but sentences constructed with ought never have. This is because Ludwig Wittgenstein's unit, and Bertrand Russell's unit, is one man; all British empiricist philosophy is individualist. And it is of course clear that if the only criterion of true and false which a man accepts is that man's, then he has no base for social agreement. The question of how man ought to behave is a social question, which always involves several people; and if he accepts no evidence and no judgment except his own, he has no tools with which to frame an answer.

„It is not merely that our pictures are not full enough; each of our pictures in the end turns out to be so basically mistaken that the marvel is that it worked at all.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 4: "The Abacus and the Rose" (p. 98)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: Nature is more subtle, more deeply intertwined and more strangely integrated than any of our pictures of her — than any of our errors. It is not merely that our pictures are not full enough; each of our pictures in the end turns out to be so basically mistaken that the marvel is that it worked at all.

„Tolerance among scientists cannot be based on indifference, it must be based on respect.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 3: "The Sense of Human Dignity", §6 (p. 63–64)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: Tolerance among scientists cannot be based on indifference, it must be based on respect. Respect as a personal value implies, in any society, the public acknowledgements of justice and of due honor. These are values which to the layman seem most remote from any abstract study. Justice, honor, the respect of man for man: What, he asks, have these human values to do with science? [... ]
Those who think that science is ethically neutral confuse the findings of science, which are, with the activity of science, which is not.

„The personal commitment of a man to his skill, the intellectual commitment and the emotional commitment working together as one, has made the Ascent of Man.“

—  Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Sourced to the book, The Ascent of Man (1973), BBC Books: London, Chapter 13: The Long Childhood, p. 330.
The Ascent of Man (1973)
Kontext: We are all afraid - for our confidence, for the future, for the world. That is the nature of the human imagination. Yet every man, every civilization, has gone forward because of its engagement with what it has set itself to do. The personal commitment of a man to his skill, the intellectual commitment and the emotional commitment working together as one, has made the Ascent of Man.

„Science is nothing else than the search to discover unity in the wild variety of nature — or more exactly, in the variety of our experience.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

As quoted in The God Particle (1993) by Leon Lederman – ISBN 978–0–618–71168–0
Kontext: The progress of science is the discovery at each step of a new order which gives unity to what had long seemed unlike. Faraday did this when he closed the link between electricity and magnetism. Clerk Maxwell did it when he linked both with light. Einstein linked time with space, mass with energy, and the path of light past the sun with the flight of a bullet; and spent his dying years in trying to add to these likenesses another, which would find a single imaginative order between the equations between Clerk Maxwell and his own geometry of gravitation When Coleridge tried to define beauty, he returned always to one deep thought: beauty he said, is "unity in variety." Science is nothing else than the search to discover unity in the wild variety of nature — or more exactly, in the variety of our experience.

„The progress of science is the discovery at each step of a new order which gives unity to what had long seemed unlike.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

As quoted in The God Particle (1993) by Leon Lederman – ISBN 978–0–618–71168–0
Kontext: The progress of science is the discovery at each step of a new order which gives unity to what had long seemed unlike. Faraday did this when he closed the link between electricity and magnetism. Clerk Maxwell did it when he linked both with light. Einstein linked time with space, mass with energy, and the path of light past the sun with the flight of a bullet; and spent his dying years in trying to add to these likenesses another, which would find a single imaginative order between the equations between Clerk Maxwell and his own geometry of gravitation When Coleridge tried to define beauty, he returned always to one deep thought: beauty he said, is "unity in variety." Science is nothing else than the search to discover unity in the wild variety of nature — or more exactly, in the variety of our experience.

„Those who think that science is ethically neutral confuse the findings of science, which are, with the activity of science, which is not.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 3: "The Sense of Human Dignity", §6 (p. 63–64)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: Tolerance among scientists cannot be based on indifference, it must be based on respect. Respect as a personal value implies, in any society, the public acknowledgements of justice and of due honor. These are values which to the layman seem most remote from any abstract study. Justice, honor, the respect of man for man: What, he asks, have these human values to do with science? [... ]
Those who think that science is ethically neutral confuse the findings of science, which are, with the activity of science, which is not.

„In science and in art and in self-knowledge we explore and move constantly by turning to the world of sense to ask, Is this so?“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 2: "The Habit of Truth", §11 (p. 45–46)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: In effect what Luther said in 1517 was that we may appeal to a demonstrable work of God, the Bible, to override any established authority. The Scientific Revolution begins when Nicolaus Copernicus implied the bolder proposition that there is another work of God to which we may appeal even beyond this: the great work of nature. No absolute statement is allowed to be out of reach of the test, that its consequence must conform to the facts of nature.
The habit of testing and correcting the concept by its consequences in experience has been the spring within the movement of our civilization ever since. In science and in art and in self-knowledge we explore and move constantly by turning to the world of sense to ask, Is this so? This is the habit of truth, always minute yet always urgent, which for four hundred years has entered every action of ours; and has made our society and the value it sets on man.

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„We are nature’s unique experiment to make the rational intelligence prove itself sounder than the reflex.“

—  Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Episode 13: "The Long Childhood"
The Ascent of Man (1973)
Kontext: And I am infinitely saddened to find myself suddenly surrounded in the west by a sense of terrible loss of nerve, a retreat from knowledge into—into what? Into Zen Buddhism; into falsely profound questions about, Are we not really just animals at bottom; into extra-sensory perception and mystery. They do not lie along the line of what we are able to know if we devote ourselves to it: an understanding of man himself. We are nature’s unique experiment to make the rational intelligence prove itself sounder than the reflex. Knowledge is our destiny. Self-knowledge, at last bringing together the experience of the arts and the explanations of science, waits ahead of us.

„Science takes its coherence, its intellectual and imaginative strength together, from the concepts at which its laws cross, like knots in a mesh.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 3: "The Sense of Human Dignity", §1 (p. 52)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: No fact in the world is instant, infinitesimal and ultimate, a single mark. There are, I hold, no atomic facts. In the language of science, every fact is a field — a crisscross of implications, those that lead to it and those that lead from it. … We condense the laws around concepts. Science takes its coherence, its intellectual and imaginative strength together, from the concepts at which its laws cross, like knots in a mesh.

„The most remarkable discovery made by scientists is science itself.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Quelle: The Creative Process, 1958, p. 97 Partly cited in: Daniel C. Schlenof. " 50 Years Ago: Greatest Scientific Discovery is Science Itself http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/50-100-150-scientific-creativity/," in Scientific American, Aug. 18, 2008.
Kontext: The most remarkable discovery made by scientists is science itself. The discovery must be compared in importance with the invention of cave-painting and of writing. Like these earlier human creations, science is an attempt to control our surroundings by entering into them and understanding them from inside. And like them, science has surely made a critical step in human development which cannot be reversed. We cannot conceive a future society without science. I have used three words to describe these far - reaching changes : discovery, invention and creation. There are contexts in which one of these words is more appropriate than the others.

„The discoveries of science, the works of art are explorations — more, are explosions, of a hidden likeness.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 1: "The Creative Mind", §9 (p. 19)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)
Kontext: The discoveries of science, the works of art are explorations — more, are explosions, of a hidden likeness. The discoverer or the artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses them into one. This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born, and it is the same act in original science and original art.

„It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known but to question it.“

—  Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Episode 11: "Knowledge or Certainty"
Quelle: The Ascent of Man (1973)
Kontext: The symbol of the University is the iron statue outside the Rathskeller of a barefoot goose girl that every student kisses at graduation. The University is a Mecca to which students come with something less than perfect faith. It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known but to question it.

„The Principle of Uncertainty is a bad name. In science, or outside of it, we are not uncertain; our knowledge is merely confined, within a certain tolerance. We should call it the Principle of Tolerance. And I propose that name in two senses. First, in the engineering sense: Science has progressed, step by step, the most successful enterprise in the ascent of man, because it has understood that the exchange of information between man and nature, and man and man, can only take place with a certain tolerance. But second, I also use the word, passionately, about the real world. All knowledge &ndash; all information between human beings &ndash; can only be exchanged within a play of tolerance. And that is true whether the exchange is in science, or in literature, or in religion, or in politics, or in any form of thought that aspires to dogma. It's a major tragedy of my lifetime and yours that scientists were refining, to the most exquisite precision, the Principle of Tolerance &ndash; and turning their backs on the fact that all around them, tolerance was crashing to the ground beyond repair. The Principle of Uncertainty or, in my phrase, the Principle of Tolerance, fixed once for all the realization that all knowledge is limited. It is an irony of history that at the very time when this was being worked out, there should rise, under Hitler in Germany and other tyrants elsewhere, a counter-conception: a principle of monstrous certainty. When the future looks back on the 1930's, it will think of them as a crucial confrontation of culture as I have been expounding it &ndash; the ascent of man against the throwback to the despots' belief that they have absolute certainty.“

—  Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Episode 11: "Knowledge or Certainty"
The Ascent of Man (1973)

„We re-make nature by the act of discovery, in the poem or in the theorem. And the great poem and the deep theorem are new to every reader, and yet are his own experience, because he himself re-creates them.“

—  Jacob Bronowski

Part 1: "The Creative Mind", §9 ( p. 20 http://books.google.com/books?id=TeHXAAAAMAAJ&q=%22We+re-make+nature+by+the+act+of+discovery+in+the+poem+or+in+the+theorem+And+the+great+poem+and+the+deep+theorem+are+new+to+every+reader+and+yet+are+his+own+experience+because+he+himself+re-creates+them%22&pg=PA20#v=onepage)
Science and Human Values (1956, 1965)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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