Nine years ago I put forward two general principles that form the basis of the scientific method, the principle of the understandability of nature, and the principle of objectivation. Since then I have touched on this matter now and again, last time in my little book Nature and the Greeks. I wish to deal here in detail with the second one, the objectivation. Before I say what I mean by that, let me remove a possible misunderstanding which might arise, as I came to realize from several reviews of that book, though I thought I had prevented it from the outset. It is simply this: some people seemed to think that my intention was to lay down the fundamental principles which ought to be at the basis of scientific method or at least which justly and rightly are at the basis of science and ought to be kept at all cost. Far from this, I only maintained and maintain that they are – and, by the way, as an inheritance from the ancient Greeks, from whom all our Western science and scientific thought has originated.
The misunderstanding is not very astonishing. If you hear a scientist pronounce basic principles of science, stressing two of them as particularly fundamental and of old standing, it is natural to think that he is at least strongly in favour of them and wishes to impose them.