The theory of relativity is just as unacceptable to me as, say, the existence of the atom or other such dogmas.
Strange as it may seem, the power of mathematics rests on its evasion of all <br/>unnecessary thought, and on its wonderful saving of mental operations.
Personally, people know themselves very poorly.
The presentations and conceptions of the average man of the world are formed and dominated, not by the full and pure desire for knowledge as an end in itself, but by the struggle to adapt himself favourably to the conditions of life.
Man is pre-eminently endowed with the power of voluntarily and consciously determining his own point of view.
All this, the positive and physical essence of mechanics, which makes its chief and highest interest for a student of nature, is in existing treatises completely buried and concealed beneath a mass of technical considerations.
Similarly, many a young man, hearing for the first time of the refraction of stellar light, has thought that doubt was cast on the whole of astronomy, whereas nothing is required but an easily effected and unimportant correction to put everything right again.
Physics is experience, arranged in economical order.
Science always has its origin in the adaptation of thought to some definite field of experience.
The plain man is familiar with blindness and deafness, and knows from his everyday experience that the look of things is influenced by his senses; but it never occurs to him to regard the whole world as the creation of his senses.
The biological task of science is to provide the fully developed human individual with as perfect a means of orientating himself as possible. No other scientific ideal can be realised, and any other must be meaningless.
Without renouncing the support of physics, it is possible for the physiology of the senses, not only to pursue its own course of development, but also to afford to physical science itself powerful assistance.
In reality, the law always contains less than the fact itself, because it does not reproduce the fact as a whole but only in that aspect of it which is important for us, the rest being intentionally or from necessity omitted.
If our dreams were more regular, more connected, more stable, they would also have more practical importance for us.
The task which we have set ourselves is simply to show why and for what purpose we hold that standpoint during most of our lives, and why and for what purpose we are provisionally obliged to abandon it.