Dr. F. C. S. Schiller on Evidence

Dr. F. C. S. Schiller (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A mind unwilling to believe, or even undesirous to be instructed, our weightiest evidence must ever fail to impress. It will insist on taking the evidence in bits and rejecting them item by item. The man who announces his intention of waiting until a single absolutely conclusive bit of evidence turns up, is really a man not open to conviction, and if he be a logician he knows it. For modern logic had made it plain that single facts can never be “proved” except by their coherence in a system. But as all the facts come singly anyone who dismisses them one by one is destroying the conditions under which the conviction of new truth could ever arise in the mind.

— Dr. F. C. S. Schiller, “Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research,” Vol. XVIII, p. 419, Society for Psychical Research, 1904.

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