. 8 THE INTELLIGENT SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS pattern for the organization of knowledge concerning the physicaluniverse. The author has done his part to the best of his abihty. It remains for you, the student, to select one or more of the objectives of this text listed in the next paragraph. If none of these goals are your goals, it is probable that you have made a mistake in selecting this course of study. The objectives of this course are: 1 To help the student to formulate worthy goals and to choose ideals which will form a sound basis for discriminating judgment. 2. To develop such an understanding and appreciation of the scientific attitude that the student will actively cultivate it, thus liberating him from superstition and fears and giving a sound basis for successful adjustment. 3. To provide an understanding of the nature of the scientific method and to instil the habit of using it to solve the problems of life. 4. To impart an understanding and appreciation of the nature of the universe and man's relation to it; in other words, to help the student to develop a wholesome philosophy of life. 5. To afford an appreciation of the work and contributions of great scientists. 6. To provide a background of information essential to the solution of the problems of modern life as revealed by physical science, to the end that everyone will be able to interpret the phenomena of his own everyday experience in an intelligent, satisfying manner and live more effectively in the new environment created by physical science. Facts are the basic materials of thought; this course seeks to give a broad foundation of the most important facts of the physical sciences. 7. To survey and integrate the important generalizations of physical science in order to give meaning to the facts learned. 8. To show how physical science is changing the life and thought of man, showing particularly how physical science has enabled man better to adapt himself to his physical environment. 9. To provide guidance for the student by outlining the scope and the content of the different physical sciences, to enable him to determine whether or not his interests and talents lie in any one of these fields of knowledge, and if they do, to stimulate further studies in physical science. 10. To make clear the relation of the various sciences to each other. 11. To enable the student to develop a taste for the current nontechnical scientific literature and to acquire a vocabidary adequate for an understanding of it. Well-equipped travelers in this scientific age require a certain minimum scientific vocabulary. "He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel." — Francis Bacon. 1 2. To provide a broad background forfuture specialization. In the words of A. N. Whitehead, "Wisdom is the fruit of a balanced development." We are living in the age of specialists. Specialization,
PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY IN A DEMOCRACY 9 however essential in obtaining knowledge, is exceedingly dangerous if allowed to lead to an unbalanced development. Someone has said that "the specialist is one who is learning more and more about less and less, until he eventually knows everything about nothing." It is important that one should gain an understanding and appreciation of the character of the universe as a totality before he begins to specialize, so that he will not lose his sense of values in his later specialization and thus become "an educated fool." 13. To develop new interests and an intellectual curiosity. Richness of life is measured by one's alertness and breadth of interest. 14. To educate the student to know the satisfaction of work well done, to appreciate the social value of his work, to develop standards for guiding his expenditures , to have a regard for natural resources, and to measure technical advances in terms of the general welfare. SUMMARY 1. Science, through invention, has caused important and rapid changes in our culture and has thus created many problems. 2. These problems must be solved to avoid violent revolution and the overthrow of democracy. Violent revolution is a way of solving problems, though it is a painful way, and sometimes the solution is worse than the problem. Democracy provides the machinery for solving problems peacefully. Whether that machinery is used or not depends in part upon us. 3. Personal happiness likewise depends upon the solution of problems. 4. The ability to solve problems, i.e., the scientific method, is the most important contribution of education to the individuals in a democracy. Special Assignment. Instead of the usual study questions, the author suggests that you carefully consider which of the following courses of action you think will help to develop your ability to solve problems. It is exceedingly important that you have conferences with your teacher as often as possible in order to obtain suggestions and help on the projects selected. SUGGESTED COURSES OF ACTION 1. Take tests to determine the particular weaknesses which need improvement. 2. Solve real problems under the guidance of your teacher, starting with simple ones. See the problems listed at the end of Section 4. 3. Read books on "Problem-solving" and "The Scientific Method." See the Bibliography for Unit I, at the rear of the book. 4. Read books on "Consumers' Economics."