ThinQ

Students who have successfully completed the Inquiry and Integration (I & I) course should have:

              a rudimentary understanding of the trans-disciplinary concepts of knowledge and inquiry, and

              a rudimentary ability to investigate questions in terms of mathematical, scientific, conceptual, and humanistic inquiries.

 

1.    Understanding  

1.1.         Trans-disciplinary Knowledge Concepts

1.1.1.            Atoms of knowledge: entities, their properties/traits, relations between them, and events

1.1.2.            Categories: similarities and differences

1.1.3.            Change: difference across time

1.1.4.            History: a sequence of changes

1.1.5.            Evolution: emergence, persistence, and loss of distinctions and patterns in history

1.1.6.            Organization: Structure, System, and Function 

1.2.         Trans-disciplinary Inquiry Concepts

1.2.1.            General concepts

1.2.1.1.                  Knowledge: a body of beliefs beyond (reasonable) doubt.   Academic knowledge: what is documented as 'knowledge' in Encyclopedias, and disseminated to students in educational institutions, a collective pool of rationally justified conclusions, with certainty beyond reasonable doubt.

1.2.1.2.                  Justification: evidence, arguments, and proof; Structure of justification: claims/conclusions, grounds, background assumptions, and reasoning.

1.2.1.3.                  The concepts of rational and irrational.

1.2.1.4.                  Types of reasoning.

1.2.1.5.                  Theory as a set of logically coherent constructs and statements from which we deduce a set of logical consequences (predictions/conjectures.) 

1.2.1.6.                  Theoretical frameworks, laws, and models

1.2.2.            Observational inquiry

1.2.2.1.                  Observing, counting and measuring, experimentation, instrumentation

1.2.2.2.                  Operationalization.

1.2.2.3.                  Observational report/description (data point).

1.2.2.4.                  Sampling, reliability and representativeness of samples, sample size.

1.2.2.5.                  Properties/traits as variables and constants,  values of variables. 

1.2.2.6.                  Regularities in the sample, correlations, causal generalizations.

1.2.3.            Theoretical inquiry

1.2.3.1.                  Scientific theory: integrating and explaining observational generalizations

1.2.3.2.                  Mathematical theory: definitions, axioms, conjectures and theorems.

1.2.3.3.                  Ethical-Moral theory: moral capacity as a combination of moral sensibility and moral reasoning

1.2.3.4.                  Conceptual theory: unpacking and re-assembling the components of abstract concepts  

1.2.3.5.                  Aesthetic theories: culture specific grounds.

1.2.3.6.                  Instrumental theories: values, goals and rational action. 

1.2.3.7.                  Norms and Criteria of theory evaluation.

 

2.           Abilities

2.1.         General

2.1.1.              Ability to engage in mathematical, scientific, conceptual and humanistic inquiries, and the critical thinking associated with them.

2.2.         Specific: The ability to

2.2.1.              observe carefully and systematically, based on sense perception, counting, estimating, measuring, and instruments, to gather data relevant to a question

2.2.2.              design and conduct experiments to supplement the non-experimental observations in (1)

2.2.3.              describe/report what is observed as well as what is introspectively apprehended clearly, precisely and accurately, without interpretations or judgments

2.2.4.              notice and formulate patterns in (1) - (3). 

2.2.5.              establish observational generalizations based on (4).  

2.2.6.              explore and establish the causal factors of observational generalizations, with an awareness of the distinction between causes and correlations.

2.2.7.              explain the generalizations in (5) and (6) either within an existing theory, or by creating a novel theory.

2.2.8.              classify; to invent and evaluate classificatory systems.

2.2.9.              think through concepts and ideas, clarify and define them, and evaluate the definitions;

2.2.10.        unearth, explicitly articulate, and critically evaluate hidden assumptions and biases

2.2.11.        create abstract entities and processes, with clear and precise definitions

2.2.12.        set up imaginary worlds in which these entities exist by formulating axioms that govern them.

2.2.13.        notice the patterns in (12) and formulate them as conjectures.

2.2.14.        reason in a wide range of domains, using appropriate modes of reasoning.

2.2.15.        identify logical consequences and detect logical contradictions, if any.

2.2.16.        prove and refute (justify, with evidence and arguments).

2.2.17.        participate in rational debates without the desire to win and the fear of 'loss of face' when one is proved wrong.

 

3.             Mindset: Rational Temper  - We expect that engagement with learning tasks aimed at the understanding and abilities outlined above will result in a mindset of what we call the rational temper, the core of what the Indian Constitution calls the scientific temper when extended to all forms of rational inquiry including not only science, but also mathematics, and the humanities. The ingredients of rational temper are:

3.1.                     intellectual curiosity: the desire to find out about things

3.2.                     the  joy of learning and of finding things out on one's own

3.3.                     openness to criticism: the predisposition to accept and seek criticism in the spirit of self-correction

3.4.                     intellectual skepticism: the habit of doubting and questioning the values, norms, beliefs, and practices of authorities and peers, as well as one's own; unwillingness to accept assertions unless supported by adequate reasons

3.5.                     open-mindedness: willingness to modify one's beliefs and practices when confronted with good reasons to do so

3.6.                     commitment to the epistemic values of truth, rationality, and rigour, and to clarity and precision of thought and expression.