Równania mądrzejsze od swych odkrywców
This article aims to critically analyse the concept of the development of science, as proposed by Wojciech Sady in the work Struktura rewolucji relatywistycznej i kwantowej w fizyce [The Structure of the Relativity and Quantum Revolution in Physics]. The author uses Ludwik Fleck’s concept of thought styles and thought collectives to analyse the problem of how two great scientific revolutions took place in 20th-Century physics in terms of the rise of quantum theory and special relativity. Sady argues that the way of thinking of scientists is determined by the particular thought style in which they were educated, and that great scientific discoveries are not the result of “creative imagination”, but a product of deductive reasoning, in which scholars closely adhere to the formalism of mathematical theory and the results of experiments. Therefore, scientific discovery in physics is made “on paper” rather than “in the mind of a scientist.” In the “battle of equations with the imagination,” equations always win, and scientific discovery is more a result of the work of a scientific community than solitary geniuses, and can only be made at the right time in history, called the “discoverygenic situation.” The concept of the development of science presented in The Structure is directed against the incommensurability thesis and the indeterminacy thesis.