I made brief mention of a Victor Fuchs article yesterday. It’s actually his1996 address to the American Economic Association and it is worth reading. In addition to his original content, he quotes or paraphrases other great minds. Here are two that are worthy of repeating:
The philosopher Susan Haack (1995) sees scientific research as analogous to an attempt by many participants to fill out a huge crossword puzzle. We have clues; we try out possible answers; we check to see whether they fit together. Occasionally, an Arrow or a Becker comes up with one of the really big answers that runs across the puzzle and makes it easier to discover the smaller words that intersect it. If several of the small answers don’t fit, however, we may have to modify or even reject the larger one. It is good to remember that all answers are provisional until the puzzle is completed–and it never will be.
Beautiful! And here’s another:
My experience was in accord with that of Thomas Henry Huxley (1983) who wrote, “Some experience with popular lecturing has convinced me that the necessity of making things plain to uninstructed people was one of the very best means of clearing up the obscure corners of one’s own mind.”
Except for the fact that many readers of this blog are more instructed than I am, I can’t think of a better justification for blogging than that. It’s been an education of quality unmatched since graduate school.