Notes on the Composition of Scientific Papers

Paperback | February 1, 2012

byThomas Clifford Allbutt

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1905. Excerpt: ... the Jesuits, may be my opinion; but when a journalist calls such an opinion a ' theory' he impoverishes a language in which far apter words are to be found. A reviewer tells us that in the story of Sir Edmond Berry Godfrey " Mr. Lang himself seems to hanker after a theory of suicide " (!) Yet, if this be bad, how much worse is it to use a word of such weight flippantly, contemptuously, as a term of abuse, or as a mere cliche. A biographer of Virchow writes: 'Virchow had a deeply rooted, constitutional (why both adjectives?) aversion to (from is far more effective than to) all kinds (all kinds!) of theories, for he credited nothing that could not be definitely proved.' What a muddle! this of the founder of the Cellular 'Theory' of Pathology! If a theory is not proved, what general statement is proved? We have seen that it is in the degrees of proof that a theory surpasses a hypothesis, a speculation, a conjecture, or a guess. To say ' his views are theoretical' is, strictly speaking, the highest tribute to their truth; yet the other day, in an important essay, I read 'There is a certain piquancy in the theory, which Mr. has shown to be more than a mere theory,' etc., etc. (here for 'theory' read 'conjecture,' or 'speculation'). In another it is written 'The many theories of totemism are but wild guessings in the air.' In another the opinions of an author are called indifferently ' theories' and 'mares' nests.' A distinguished man of letters writes 'Justly contemptuous of theory as he was, he became himself a theorist.' Again I read 'The question (problem?) has not advanced beyond the theoretical stage' (the stage of conjecture or hypothesis: the theoretical is, so far as thought goes, the final stage). Now it is difficult to realise the evil which this com...

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1905. Excerpt: ... the Jesuits, may be my opinion; but when a journalist calls such an opinion a ' theory' he impoverishes a language in which fa...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:44 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.09 inPublished:February 1, 2012Publisher:General Books LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0217737447

ISBN - 13:9780217737449

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