The ever quotable Einstein

Another great Einstein quote, provided by Steve Peterson in the Hildebrand / Dewey / Rorty thread mentioned earlier on MoQ.Discuss.

“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. In our endeavour to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears it ticking, but he has no way of opening the case. If he is ingenious he may form some picture of the mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations. He will never be able to compare his picture with the real mechanism and he cannot even imagine the possibility of the meaning of such a comparison.”

This is my “there is always a hole in any metaphysics” point. And, let’s not forget that ingenious is the root of “engineering”, Dennett’s preferred intentional metaphor for evolutionary processes … cue blind watchmaker … etc.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.