Science and Hypothesis

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Science and Hypothesis
La Science et l'hypothиse.JPEG
Title page of first edition
Original title La Science et l'Hypothèse
Country France
Language French
Subject Science
Published 1902
Media type Print
Text Science and Hypothesis at Wikisource

Science and Hypothesis (French: La Science et l'Hypothèse) is a book by French mathematician Henri Poincaré, first published in 1902. Aimed at a non-specialist readership, it deals with mathematics, space, physics and nature.[1][2][3] It puts forward the theses that absolute truth in science is unattainable, and that many commonly held beliefs of scientists are held as convenient conventions rather than because they are more valid than the alternatives.[4]

In this book, Poincaré describes open scientific questions regarding the photo-electric effect, Brownian motion, and the relativity of physical laws in space. Reading this book inspired Albert Einstein's subsequent Annus Mirabilis papers published in 1905.

A new translation was published in November 2017:


  1. ^ Young, J. W. A. (December 16, 1904), "Poincaré's Science and Hypothesis", Scientific Books, Science, 20 (520): 833–837, Bibcode:1904Sci....20..833Y, doi:10.1126/science.20.520.833, JSTOR 1630324 .
  2. ^ De Laguna, Theodore (November 1906), "Science and Hypothesis by H. Poincaré", Reviews of Books, The Philosophical Review, 15 (6): 634–641, JSTOR 2177514 .
  3. ^ Russell, B. (July 1905), "Science and Hypothesis by H. Poincaré", Critical Notices, Mind, 14 (55): 412–418, JSTOR 2248430 .
  4. ^ Lalande, André (October 1954), "From Science and Hypothesis to Last Thoughts of H. Poincaré (1854-1912)", Journal of the History of Ideas, 15 (4): 596–598, JSTOR 2707678 .