Gilbert Lewis...on practical aims
The scientist is a practical man and his are practical aims. He does not seek the ultimate but the proximate. He does not speak of the last analysis but rather of the next approximation. His are not those beautiful structures so delicately designed that a single flaw may cause the collapse of the whole. The scientist builds slowly and with a gross but solid kind of masonry. If dissatisfied with any of his work, even if it be near the very foundations, he can replace that part without damage to the remainder. On the whole, he is satisfied with his work, for while science may never be wholly right, it certainly is never wholly wrong; and it seems to be improving from decade to decade.
The theory that there is an ultimate truth, although very generally held by mankind, does not seem useful to science except in the sense of a horizon toward which we may proceed, rather than a point which may be reached.
- The Anatomy of Science, 1926