to it. What looks like a digression is in fact the actual proper movement on the way by which the neighborhood is determined. And that is nearness.

When we intend nearness, remoteness comes to the fore. Both stand in a certain contrast to each other, as different magnitudes of our distance from objects. The measurement of magnitude is performed by calculating the length or shortness of intervening stretches. The measurements of the lengths so measured are always taken according to a yardstick by which, along which, the number of units in the measured stretch is counted out. To measure something against something else by moving along it is called in Greek parametrein. The stretches along which and past which we measure nearness and remoteness as distances are the temporal sequence of "nows," that is, time: and the spatial side-by-side (beside, in front, behind, above, below) of the points here and there, that is, space. To the calculating mind, space and time appear as parameters for the measurement of nearness and remoteness, and these in turn as static distances. But space and time do not serve only as parameters: in this role, their nature would soon be exhausted—a role whose seminal forms are discernible early in Western thinking, and which then, in the course of the modem age, became established by this way of thinking as the standard conception.

The new theories, that is, methods of space and time measurement, relativity and quantum theories and nuclear physics, have changed nothing in the parametrical character of space and time. Nor can they produce any such change. If they could, then the entire structure of modern technology and natural science would collapse. Nothing today indicates the possibility of such a collapse. Everything argues against it, especially the hunt for the universal mathematical-theoretical formula of the physical world. But the impetus to that hunt does not spring from the personal passion of the investigators. Their nature itself is already of the kind that is driven by a challenge confronting modern thinking as a whole. "Physics and Responsibility"—that is a good thing, and important in today's crisis.