Poincaré, Henri

Are the law of acceleration, the rule of the composition of forces only arbitrary conventions? Conventions, yes; arbitrary, no; they would be so if we lost sight of the experiments which led the creators of the science to adopt them, and which, imperfect as they may be, suffice to justify them. It is well that from time to time our attention is carried back to the experimental origin of these conventions.

The Foundations of Science Science and Hypothesis Part I

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