Man's physical universe

xanabras

UNIT I

SECTION 6

STRAIGHT THINKING IS ESSENTIAL TO

THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH

Experimentation does not absolve the scientist from thinking. — Freeman.

Introduction.

The mental side of problem-solving is concerned with initial planning,

devising changes in plans in the light of unexpected difficulties or

developments, and finally interpreting the data obtained. Mental

effort can economize and direct and should accompany and supplement

experimentation.

Failures are due to lack of insight as well as to lack of

observation.

The majority of people think that they think, when they are actually

reacting to propaganda in the manner that the cunning propagandists

intend them to react. We are all slaves until we learn to think for

ourselves. While thinking is an essential step in the scientific method,

it is an art ; and, like all arts, it has to be learned and then perfected by

much practice.

Reasoning, like any other art, cannot come in any way except by

doing. One does not learn to play the piano or to paint pictures by

reading or talking about a set of rules.

Logical Reasoning Is a Difficult Art Which Results Only from Rigorous

Discipline of the Mind.

Reasoning is a process of association of experiences.

It leads to truth

only when reliable data are fed into the mind. It is the main business

of the mind to scrutinize every bit of data of which it becomes aware,

to be alert to new data, and deliberately to plan experiments to obtain

new data.

Many tests of logical thinking have been developed, but no one

knows whether poor thinking is the result of poor use of the mind in

scrutinizing and obtaining data or the result of the lack of ability in

associating ideas. One might venture the guess that the wrong number

is obtained more often because of errors in dialing the telephone than

because of errors in making the proper connections in the telephone

exchange.

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