„An essential distinction exists between two stages in the process of advancing our knowledge of the laws of physical phenomena; the first stage consists in observing the relations of phenomena, whether of such as occur in the ordinary course of nature, or of such as are artificially produced in experimental investigations, and in expressing the relations so observed by propositions called formal laws. The second stage consists in reducing the formal laws of an entire class of phenomena to the form of a science; that is to say, in discovering the most simple system of principles, from which all the formal laws of the class of phenomena can be deduced as consequences.“

Quelle: "Outlines of the Science of Energetics," (1855), p. 121; Lead paragraph: Section "What Constitutes A Physical Theory"

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William John Macquorn Rankine Foto
William John Macquorn Rankine
schottisch-britischer Physiker und Ingenieur 1820 - 1872

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William John Macquorn Rankine Foto

„A physical theory, like an abstract science, consists of definitions and axioms as first principles, and of propositions, their consequences; but with these differences:—first, That in an abstract science, a definition assigns a name to a class of notions derived originally from observation, but not necessarily corresponding to any existing objects of real phenomena, and an axiom states a mutual relation amongst such notions, or the names denoting them; while in a physical science, a definition states properties common to a class of existing objects, or real phenomena, and a physical axiom states a general law as to the relations of phenomena; and, secondly,—That in an abstract science, the propositions first discovered are the most simple; whilst in a physical theory, the propositions first discovered are in general numerous and complex, being formal laws, the immediate results of observation and experiment, from which the definitions and axioms are subsequently arrived at by a process of reasoning differing from that whereby one proposition is deduced from another in an abstract science, partly in being more complex and difficult, and partly in being to a certain extent tentative, that is to say, involving the trial of conjectural principles, and their acceptance or rejection according as their consequences are found to agree or disagree with the formal laws deduced immediately from observation and experiment.“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine civil engineer 1820 - 1872

Quelle: "Outlines of the Science of Energetics," (1855), p. 121; Second paragraph

Bernhard Riemann Foto
Albert Einstein Foto

„Physics is essentially an intuitive and concrete science. Mathematics is only a means for expressing the laws that govern phenomena.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

From Lettre à Maurice Solvine, by A. Einstein (Gauthier-Villars: Paris 1956)
Attributed in posthumous publications, Albert Einstein: A guide for the perplexed (1979)

Edward O. Wilson Foto
Max Planck Foto
Karl Pearson Foto
Alexander Bogdanov Foto
William John Macquorn Rankine Foto

„In thermodynamics as well as in other branches of molecular physics, the laws of phenomena have to a certain extent been anticipated, and their investigation facilitated, by the aid of hypotheses as to occult molecular structures and motions with which such phenomena are assumed to be connected.“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine civil engineer 1820 - 1872

Quelle: A Manual of the Steam Engine and Other Prime Movers (1859), p. 31
Kontext: Hypothesis Of Molecular Vortices. In thermodynamics as well as in other branches of molecular physics, the laws of phenomena have to a certain extent been anticipated, and their investigation facilitated, by the aid of hypotheses as to occult molecular structures and motions with which such phenomena are assumed to be connected. The hypothesis which has answered that purpose in the case of thermodynamics, is called that of "molecular vortices," or otherwise, the "centrifugal theory of elasticity. (On this subject, see the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, 1849; Edinburgh Transactions, vol. xx.; and Philosophical Magazine, passim, especially for December, 1851, and November and December, 1855.)

John Herschel Foto

„We must never forget that it is principles, not phenomena, — laws not insulated independent facts, — which are the objects of inquiry to the natural philosopher.“

—  John Herschel English mathematician, astronomer, chemist and photographer 1792 - 1871

A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1831)
Kontext: We must never forget that it is principles, not phenomena, — laws not insulated independent facts, — which are the objects of inquiry to the natural philosopher. As truth is single, and consistent with itself, a principle may be as completely and as plainly elucidated by the most familiar and simple fact, as by the most imposing and uncommon phenomenon. The colours which glitter on a soapbubble are the immediate consequence of a principle the most important, from the variety of phenomena it explains, and the most beautiful, from its simplicity and compendious neatness, in the whole science of optics. If the nature of periodical colours can be made intelligible by the contemplation of such a trivial object, from that moment it becomes a noble instrument in the eye of correct judgment; and to blow a large, regular, and durable soap-bubble may become the serious and praise-worthy endeavour of a sage, while children stand round and scoff, or children of a larger growth hold up their hands in astonishment at such waste of time and trouble. To the natural philosopher there is no natural object unimportant or trifling. From the least of nature's works he may learn the greatest lessons. The fall of an apple to the ground may raise his thoughts to the laws which govern the revolutions of the planets in their orbits; or the situation of a pebble may afford him evidence of the state of the globe he inhabits, myriads of ages ago, before his species became its denizens.
And this, is, in fact, one of the great sources of delight which the study of natural science imparts to its votaries. A mind which has once imbibed a taste for scientific inquiry, and has learnt the habit of applying its principles readily to the cases which occur, has within itself an inexhaustible source of pure and exciting contemplations. One would think that Shakspeare had such a mind in view when he describes a contemplative man as finding

Benjamin N. Cardozo Foto

„The law has outgrown its primitive stage of formalism when the precise word was the sovereign talisman, and every slip was fatal.“

—  Benjamin N. Cardozo United States federal judge 1870 - 1938

Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon, 222 N.Y. 88, 91; 118 N.E. 214 (N.Y. 1917)
Judicial opinions
Kontext: The law has outgrown its primitive stage of formalism when the precise word was the sovereign talisman, and every slip was fatal. It takes a broader view to-day. A promise may be lacking, and yet the whole writing may be "instinct with an obligation," imperfectly expressed. If that is so, there is a contract.

Michel Bréal Foto
Adolphe Quetelet Foto
Joseph von Fraunhofer Foto

„The number of different optical phenomena has become in our time so great that caution must be taken so as to avoid being deceived, and also to refer the phenomena to the simple laws.“

—  Joseph von Fraunhofer German optical physicist 1787 - 1826

In The Wave Theory, Light and Spectra. Prismatic and Diffraction Spectra. Memoirs by Joseph Von Fraunhofer (1981), p. 14 ISBN 0-405-13867-9

Boris Sidis Foto

„Science is the description of phenomena and the formulation of their relations.“

—  Boris Sidis American psychiatrist 1867 - 1923

Quelle: The Foundations of Normal and Abnormal Psychology (1914), p. 11

Carl Menger Foto
Isaac Newton Foto
William Stanley Jevons Foto
Richard von Mises Foto
Justus von Liebig Foto

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