Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Understanding the language of Electricity, a model of philosophical clarification

 According to Heinrich Hertz:
Our confused wish finds expression in the confused question as to the nature of force and electricity. But the answer which we want is not really an answer to this question. It is not by finding out more and fresh relations and connections that it can be answered; but by removing the contradictions existing between those already known, and thus perhaps by reducing their number. When these painful contradictions are removed, the question as to the nature of force will not have been answered; but our minds, no longer vexed, will cease to ask illegitimate questions.

--Quoted in P. M. S. Hacker, Insight and Illusion (Oxford: Clarendon, 1972), 21.

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