D O C . 2 8 I N D U C T I O N A N D D E D U C T I O N 1 0 9
hypothetical character. So, while the researcher always starts out from facts,
whose mutual connections are his aim, he does not find his system of ideas in a
methodical, inductive way; rather, he adapts to the facts by intuitive selection
among the conceivable theories that are based upon axioms.
Thus, a theory can very well be found to be incorrect if there is a logical error
in its deduction, or found to be off the mark if a fact is not in consonance with one
of its conclusions. But the truth of a theory can never be proven. For one never
knows if future experience will contradict its conclusion; and furthermore there
are always other conceptual systems imaginable which might coordinate the very
same facts. When two theories are available and both are compatible with the
given arsenal of facts, then there are no other criteria to prefer one over the other
besides the intuitive eye of the researcher. In this manner one can understand why
sagacious scientists, cognizant of both—theories and facts—can still be passion-
ate adherents of opposing theories.
I offer the reader in these hectic times a small, objective, passionless reflection
because I believe that quiet devotion to the eternal goals that are shared by all civ-
ilized men can today serve political reconvalescence better than political medita-
tions and credos.