This chapter presents the English translation of Section 15 of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s text Gakumon no susume (An Encouragement of Learning). Here Fukuzawa explains how there is much that is false in the realm of belief, and much that is true in the realm of doubt. He says that the progress of civilization lies in seeking the true facts both in the physical and the spiritual affairs of mankind. The reason for the West’s present high level of civilization is that in every instance they proceeded from some irritation of doubt. Galileo, for instance, discovered that the earth is a planet by doubting the old theories of astronomy while Galvani discovered electricity in animals when he doubted the causes of convulsions in frogs’ legs.
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