Students of physics do not puzzle over [Newton’s first law] today and have not for a long time. If we mention it at all and know anything about it, that and to what extent it is a fundamental principle, we consider it self-evident. […]

This law, however, was not at all self-evident even in the seventeenth century. During the preceding fifteen hundred years it was not only unknown, but nature and beings in general were experienced in such a way that it would have been senseless.

Martin Heidegger, “Modern Science, Mathematics, and Metaphysics”, translated by W. B. Barton, Jr., and Vera Deutsch, in Basic Writings, edited by David Farrell Krell

Modern physics is not experimental physics because it applies apparatus to the questioning of nature. The reverse is true. Because physics, indeed already as pure theory, sets nature up to exhibit itself as a coherence of forces calculable in advance, it orders its experiments precisely for the purpose of asking whether and how nature reports itself when set up in this way.

Ibid., “The Question Concerning Technology”, translated by William Lovitt