Norbert Wiener - Science Quotes
7 Sourced Quotes
Those of us who have contributed to the new science of cybernetics thus stand in a moral position which is, to say the least, not very comfortable. We have contributed to the initiation of a new science which... embraces technical developments with great possibilities for good and for evil.
The measures taken during the war by our military agencies, in restricting the free intercourse among scientists on related projects or even on the same project have gone so far that it is clear that if continued in time of peace, this policy will lead to the total irresponsibility of the scientist, and, ultimately, to the death of science.... The interchange of ideas, which is one of the greatest traditions of science, must of course receive certain limitations when the scientist becomes an arbiter of life and death.... I do not expect to publish any future work of mine which may do damage in the hands of irresponsible militarists...
The success of mathematical physics led the social scientist to be jealous of its power without quite understanding the intellectual attitudes that had contributed to this power. The use of mathematical formulae had accompanied the development of the natural sciences and become the mode in the social sciences. Just as primitive peoples adopt the Western modes of denationalized clothing and of parliamentatism out of a vague feeling that these magic rites and vestments will at once put them abreast of modern culture and technique, so the economists have developed the habit of dressing up their rather imprecise ideas in the language of the infinitesimal calculus.
I have said that science is impossible without faith.... Inductive logic, the logic of Bacon, is rather something on which we can act than something which we can prove, and to act on it is a supreme assertion of faith... Science is a way of life which can only fluorish when men are free to have faith.