Sunday, October 7, 2012

mach on academia

Similarly, esprit de corps, class bias, national pride, and even the narrowest minded local patriotism may have high value, for certain purposes. But such attitudes will not be shared by the broad-minded inquirer, at least not in moments of research. All such egoistic views are adequate only for practical purposes. Of course, even the inquirer may succumb to habit. Trifling pedantries and nonsensical discussions, the cunning appropriation of others' thoughts, with perfidious silence as to the sources, the metaphorical dysphagia suffered when recognition must be given, and the crooked illumination of others' performances when this is done, abundantly show that the scientist and scholar have also the battle of existence to fight, that the ways of science still lead to the mouth, and that the pure quest of knowledge in our present social conditions is still an ideal.

~ Ernst Mach (1885) Contributiosn to the Analysis of the Sensations

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