When the editors of the HHE suggested that I should reflect on the intellectual evolution,
the first thing that came to my mind was the evolution of physics during the last century. Being a man of science, I often go
through the evolution of thought from Newtonian physics to Quantum mechanics and general theory of relativity.
Science is not wrapped up with any particular body of facts; it is characterized as an intellectual attitude. It is not tied down to any particular method of inquiry. Objectivity and precision, both as to thought and its verbal formulation are two main characteristics of science which can be seen in the above mentioned process of evolution of scientific thinking. The habit of forming a judgment unaffected by the individual thinking is the nature of the scientific frame of mind.
As science is the realm of objective thought, the humanities are the dwelling of subjective thought. Science tries to understand and interpret the things as they are; in humanities one tries to understand and interpret the things as he or she is.
This subjectivity is the spirit of soft sciences but when confined to a certain set of thoughts, it leads to dogmatic behavior. Dogmatism in the field of research restricts evolution of intelligence and the democratic nature of academia.
To be very precise, today's research has been suffering under this tyranny of dogmatism cither left or right. This situation must be overcome. According to Indian philosophy, knowledge bestows humility. A learned person always respects others' views and opinions. This openness of mind on the part of an individual is needed in the field of research to nurture the democratic spirit of academic field. The research environment should be structured so as to maximize diversity. The design-intent of such a system should not be such as it makes everybody the same, but rather to foster creativity and diversity among researchers so that each one represents a unique perspective, based on his or her personal experience and insight, constituting a valuable contribution to the whole academia. This means, the openness of mind and diversity of thought should be used to maximize interactivity. After all the knowledge of a society - or even its individual member - is a product of cumulative interactions of its members. For example, the insight represented in any language is based on the collective wisdom and insight of the society that speaks that language.
What openness is on the part of an individual, autonomy is on the part of a system. To establish democratic research environment in a system, it is utmost necessary that the system ought to be autonomous. Autonomy of the research environment ensures that the researchers are guided and are able to guide themselves according to their own goals, objectives, values or visions.
This universe, or say, existence is neither objective nor subjective, it is rather omnijective. To grasp this omnijective reality we need this kind of intellectual evolution; let us strive to accomplish the same.