Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 479.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 07:32:59 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: source for Kelvin's "if ye canna, ye dinna!"
William Thompson, Lord Kelvin, is often quoted as having said, "Can ye make
a model of it? For if ye can, ye understand it, and if ye canna, ye dinna!"
Unfortunately I have not so far been able to locate a reliable source for
these words. In the published Baltimore lectures on wave theory and
molecular dynamics (1884), edited by R Kargon and P Achinstein, he does
say, though less memorably, "I am never content until I have constructed a
mechanical model of the subject I am studying. If I succeed in making one,
I understand. Otherwise, I do not." I would be very grateful indeed to be
able to quote the former in good scholarly conscience, with a reference.
Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
7848-2784 fax: -2980 || email@example.com
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