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Assumptional contraband

Scientific theories are perpetually changing. This is not due to mere chance but might well be expected, according to our characterization of empirical science.

Perhaps this is why, as a rule, only branches of science—and these only temporarily—ever acquire the form of an elab­orate and logically well-constructed system of theories. In spite of this, a tentative system can usually be quite well sur­veyed as a whole, with all its important consequences. This is very necessary; for a severe test of a system presup­poses that it is at the time sufficiently definite and final in form to make it impossible for new assumptions to be smug­gled in. In other words, the system must be formulated sufficiently clearly and definitely to make every new assumption easily recognizable for what it is: a modification and therefore a revision of the system. [50]

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