„And last of all we have the secondary forms of crystals bursting in upon us, and sparkling in the rigidity of mathematical necessity and telling us, neither of harmony of design, usefulness or moral significance, — nothing but spherical trigonometry and Napier's analogies. It is because we have blindly excluded the lessons of these angular bodies from the domain of human knowledge that we are still in doubt about the great doctrine that the only laws of matter are those which our minds must fabricate, and the only laws of mind are fabricated for it by matter.“

Essay "Analogies in Nature" (February 1856), reprinted in The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell: 1846-1862 edited by P.M. Harman, p. 376 (the quote appears on p. 383 http://books.google.com/books?id=zfM8AAAAIAAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA383#v=onepage&q&f=false)

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James Clerk Maxwell1
schottischer Physiker 1831 - 1879

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„What has taught us to know the true profound analogies, those the eyes do not see but reason divines?
It is the mathematical spirit, which disdains matter to cling only to pure form.“

—  Henri Poincaré, buch The Value of Science

Quelle: The Value of Science (1905), Ch. 5: Analysis and Physics
Kontext: All laws are... deduced from experiment; but to enunciate them, a special language is needful... ordinary language is too poor...
This... is one reason why the physicist can not do without mathematics; it furnishes him the only language he can speak. And a well-made language is no indifferent thing;
... the analyst, who pursues a purely esthetic aim, helps create, just by that, a language more fit to satisfy the physicist.
... law springs from experiment, but not immediately. Experiment is individual, the law deduced from it is general; experiment is only approximate, the law is precise...
In a word, to get the law from experiment, it is necessary to generalize... But how generalize?... in this choice what shall guide us?
It can only be analogy.... What has taught us to know the true profound analogies, those the eyes do not see but reason divines?
It is the mathematical spirit, which disdains matter to cling only to pure form.<!--pp.76-77

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„By following up this idea, also, we might go a little further. We might arrive at the conviction that our present science is human, petty, and contingent; that it is closely linked with the structure of our sensory organs; that this structure results from the evolution which fashioned these organs; that this evolution has been an accident of history; that in the future it may be different; and that, consequently, by the side or in the stead of our modern science, the work of our eyes and hands—and also of our words—there might have been constituted, there may still be constituted, sciences entirely and extraordinarily new—auditory, olfactory, and gustatory sciences, and even others derived from other kinds of sensations which we can neither foresee nor conceive because they are not, for the moment, differentiated in us. Outside the matter we know, a very special matter fashioned of vision and touch, there may exist other matter with totally different properties. …We must, by setting aside the mechanical theory, free ourselves from a too narrow conception of the constitution of matter. And this liberation will be to us a great advantage which we shall soon reap. We shall avoid the error of believing that mechanics is the only real thing and that all that cannot be explained by mechanics must be incomprehensible. We shall then gain more liberty of mind for understanding what the union of the soul with the body may be.“

—  Alfred Binet French psychologist and inventor of the first usable intelligence test 1857 - 1911

Quelle: The Mind and the Brain, 1907, p. 43

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