Wild science

A pretty wild play of the imagination is, it cannot be doubted, an inevitable and probably even a useful prelude to science proper.

— Peirce, CP 1.235 (1902)

Blake: The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. Peirce:

Conservatism—in the sense of a dread of consequences—is altogether out of place in science—which has on the contrary always been forwarded by radicals and radicalism, in the sense of the eagerness to carry consequences to their extremes. Not the radicalism that is cocksure, however, but the radicalism that tries experiments.

CP 1.148 (c.1897)

Gregory Bateson observed that for the members of a typical culture,

Their ideas about nature, however fantastic, are supported by their social system; conversely, the social system is supported by their ideas of nature. It thus becomes very difficult for the people, so doubly guided, to change their view either of nature or of the social system. For the benefits of stability, they pay the price of rigidity, living, as all human beings must, in an enormously complex network of mutually supporting presuppositions. The converse of this statement is that change will require various sorts of relaxation or contradiction within the system of presuppositions.

— Bateson (1979, 158-9)

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