"The nature of our spirit drives
us to seek the essence or the reason of things, so we
tend to look farther than the object of our quest .
. . Yet, we cannot go beyond the how, that is to say
beyond the near causes or the conditions of the existence
of phenomena . . . What is true is that the nature or
the very essence of all phenomena, be they vital or
mineral, will forever remain unknown to us . . . Science
has precisely the privilege of making us know what we
ignore, substituting reason and experience to feeling,
and showing clearly the boundaries of our present knowledge.
But, by virtue of a wonderful compensation, as science
humbles our pride, it strengthens our power . . . To
sum up, if our feeling daily asks 'why', our reason
shows that only 'how' is within our reach; for the present,
it is thus only the how that interests the scientist
and the experimenter" (Bernard, 1838).