Friday, March 16, 2012

Carl Wernicke reflecting on science

I came across this quote that I think reveals something about Wernicke's thoughtful and careful approach to science and in particular his penchant for questioning dogma.  It is from roughly two decades after the publication of his ground-breaking 1874 monograph on aphasia.

In the course of years I have yet much to learn, but also much I have accepted as true from others has proved inaccurate.  I believe that this double-edged discovery spares no one who holds an earnest striving, and that one need not thereby be wholly disenchanted.   
If man would not be a mere counting-machine or registrar, he remains exposed to error.  But should he, therefore, hold the counting-machine as his ideal? May that thought hold as little sway in my riper years, as it has in the past.  
-Carl Wernicke, Breslau, 1892

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