Preface to the Fourth Monograph

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The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I am looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.    

 - Robert M. Pirsig*


There is an original and there is a copy. The copy can never achieve the status of an original. This is true not only of the arts, but of research as well, for there is original research and there is replicative research. But even replicative research has its own potential. It helps determine whether the original research findings are universally applicable, and/or whether they are faulty in methodology and design. Corrections are then possible. And this is how scientific research has progressed anyway.

A lot of Indian research is replicative in nature, but it can as well be useful if it does not lose sight of this perspective. And how do we involve Indian Science into original research? Well, that’s a different ball game altogether, not that it's not already been played here. However, it needs a different mental set, and social ethos, which are discussed in the monograph that  follows.

What is scientific temper? How does it differ from other attitudes? How should it handle religion, faith, superstition and other such entities? The corner stone of scientific temper is the worth of evidence, howsoever damning to the most established of theories and paradigms. And the ability to withhold comment, or to take sides, till suitable evidence is available. Which means a true scientist should not act a know - all, nor need he have a viewpoint to air on everything under the sun.

Is Science for Man, or Man for Science? This is a disturbing but fundamental question which all scientists, moral philosophers and other thinkers, must indeed attempt to answer. The two sides of this argument are presented in this essay to generate further dialogue.


* Cohen and Cohen (1986).


Mens Sana Monographs [MSM]: A Mens Sana Research Foundation Publication

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I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. - Isaac Newton (Brewster, Memoirs of Newton)