Tag Archive: art

Science and art: hidden likenesses

The discoveries of science, the works of art are explorations—more, are explosions, of a hidden likeness. The dis­coverer or the artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses them into one. This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born, and it is the same act in original science and original art. But it is not therefore the monopoly of the man who wrote the poem or who made the discovery. On the contrary, I believe this view of the creative act to be right because it alone gives a meaning to the act of appreciation. The poem or the discovery exists in two moments of vision: the moment of appreciation as much as that of creation; for the appreciator must see the movement, wake to the echo which was started in the creation of the work. In the moment of appreciation we live again the moment when the creator saw and held the hidden likeness. When a simile takes us aback and persuades us together, when we find a juxtaposition in a picture both odd and intriguing, when a theory is at once fresh and convincing, we do not merely nod over someone else’s work. We re-enact the creative act, and we ourselves make the discovery again. At bottom, there is no unifying likeness there until we too have seized it, we too have made it for ourselves. [31]

Imagination and criticism in science

Diese spekualtiven Welten sind, wie in der Kunst, Produkte unserer Phantasie, unserer Intuition. Aber in der Wissen­schaft werden sie von der Kritik kontrolliert: Die wissenschaftliche Kritik, die rationale Kritik, ist von der regulativen Idee der Wahrheit geleitet. Wir können unsere wissenschaftlichen Theorien niemals recht­fertigen, denn wir können nie wissen, ob sie sich nicht als falsch herausstellen werden. Aber wir können sie kritisch überprüfen: An die Stelle der Rechtfertigung tritt die rationale Kritik. Die Kritik zügelt die Phantasie, ohne sie zu fesseln. [67]