Beginnings of the Nervous System
There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), in Speak Memory (1966, revised edition)
This was a theory of trial and error — of
conjectures and refutations. It made it possible to understand why our attempts to force interpretations upon the world were logically prior to the observation of similarities. Since there were logical reasons behind this procedure, I thought that it would apply in the field of science also; that scientific theories were not the digest of obsevations, but that they were inventions — conjectures boldly put forward for trial, to be eliminated if they clashed with observations; with obervations which were rarely accidental but as a rule undertaken with the definite intention of testing a theory by obtaining, if possible, a decisive refutation.
Karl R. Popper (1902–),
conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of scientific Knowledge, 1962