Bacon, Francis

The unassisted hand and the understanding left to itself possess but little power. Effects are produced by the means of instruments and helps, which the understanding requires no less than the hand; and as instruments either promote or regulate the motion of the hand, so those that are applied to the mind prompt or protect the understanding.

Novum Organum Aphorism II

Bridgman, P.W.

Not only do we use instruments to give us fineness of detail inaccessible to direct sense perception, but we also use them to extend qualitatively the range of our senses into regions where our senses no longer operate. . .

The Way Things Are Chapter V (p. 149)

Egler, Frank E.

Dazed with this brightness of our technology, I wonder if some are not inclined to forget that the most important instrument in science must always be the mind of man.

The Way of Science Methodology and Instrumentation (p. 59)

Eisenhart, Churchill

Of wonders of science and feats of design

Has many a scribe writ the praise;

And if I now mention the subject again

It's distinctly a relative phase.

For while science and gadgets are fine in their ways

One worries at times 'bout their clutch,

Especially when science, design, and math'matics

Combine to get us in Dutch.


Operational Aspects of Instrument Design (p. 343) Volume 110, October 7,1949

Kuhn, Thomas

...scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before...It is as elementary prototypes for these transformations of the scientist's world that the familiar demonstrations of a switch in visual gestalt prove so suggestive. What were ducks in the scientist's world before the revolution are rabbits afterwards.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Chapter X (p. 111)

Lavoisier, Antoine

As the usefulness and accuracy of chemistry depend entirely upon the determination of the weights of the ingredients and products, too much precision cannot be employed in this part of the subject; and for this purpose, we must be provided with good instruments.

Elements of Chemistry in a New Systematic Order Part III, Chapter I (p. 88)

In the present advanced state of chemistry, very expensive and complicated instruments are become indispensably necessary for ascertaining the analysis and synthesis of bodies with the requisite precision as to quantity and proportion; it is certainly proper to endeavor to simplify these, and to render them less costly; but this ought by no means to be attempted at the expense of their convenience of application, and much less of their accuracy.

Elements of Chemistry in a New Systematic Order Part III, Chapter II, Section II (p. 94)

von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang

Ye instruments, ye surely jeer at me,

With handle, wheel and cogs and cylinder.

I stood beside the gate, ye were to be the key.

True, intricate your ward, but no bolts do ye stir.

Inscrutable upon a sunlit day,

Her veil will Nature never let you steal,

And what she will not to your mind reveal,

You will not wrest from her with levers and with screws.

Faust The First Part Night, L. 668-75

Whitehead, Alfred North

The reason why we are on a higher imaginative level is not because we have finer imagination, but because we have better instruments.

Science and the Modern World Chapter VII (p. 166)

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