Man's physical universe

xanabras

UNIT I

THE INTELLIGENT SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS AS

THEY ARISE IS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY

INTRODUCTION TO UNIT I

The acquisition and systematizing of positive knowledge is the only human

activity which is truly cumulative and progressive. Our civilization is essentially

different from earlier ones, because our knowledge of the world and of

ourselves is deeper, more precise and more certain, because we have gradually

learned to disentangle the forces of nature, and because we have contrived,

by strict obedience to their laws, to capture them and to divert them to the

gratification of our own needs.^ — Sarton.

Man alone, of all

experiences.

the animals, has the ability to evaluate his own

He alone has the power of directing his behavior, of guiding

it by what he has learned from past experience, although his efforts

are pitifully inadequate.

At last, man has developed a method of thinking and an attitude of

mind that can lead surely and ever more rapidly to progress.

In this unit you will be introduced to this attitude and method. You

are hereby warned that you are now entering upon a study that will

probably revolutionise your thinking and greatly change your conduct

for the rest of your life.

here, for what follows is not for you.

Professor Walter M. Kotschnig wrote in

Review,

If you are not ready for such a change, stop

The Harvard Educational

Putting it bluntly it is this: much of our teaching at home and in the schools

of this country has tended to undermine and destroy the sense of values of the

younger generation and to leave them naked in a world of predatory animals;

worse, to turn them into predatory animals themselves. . . . This is the world

in which we live ... a world without values.

Professor A. J. Carlson (" Is This the Age of Science?" Sigma Xi

Quarterly, winter, 1940) points out that we are living in an age of propaganda

in which lying is a fine art, although

the scientific method demands that we suspend judgment until we know the

facts and demands honesty, integrity and industry in ascertaining the facts.

' Introduction to the History of Science, Vol. I, pp. 3-4.

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