THE SPIRIT AND METHOD OF SCIENCE
The Social Value of Truth . Throughout this volume attitudes towards social problems and objective methods of study constitute a chief point of emphasis. First and last an open-minded approach and a scientific method will not only result in finding and disseminating truth but will in themselves constitute an effective discipline in the ways of truth and social values. Professor Curtis, for instance, goes so far as to say that "the supreme value of research lies in the power of truth to harmonize conflict of human opinion and make coöperation possible." Thus our spirit and method of seeking truth become both a means and an end in this fascinating task of studying social problems and developing social guidance. This chapter will therefore continue the approach to human backgrounds and relationships, begun in the previous chapters, with a simple study of the search after truth and the broader humanistic spirit which must underlie the successful teaching of the social sciences. It may be well to begin our understanding of truth and knowledge by pointing to some of the folk estimates and references in literature that show the place they hold as social values.
The Age-long Search after Truth . Literature and experience abound in evidences of the universal search after truth and wisdom and of the recognition of their value to humanity upon the earth. There is, perhaps, no objective more universally accepted as a summum bonum than that revealed in the doctrine which proclaims that to know the truth "shall make you free." Socrates declared that man wise who knew that he did not know, and hence was open to the search after truth. Said the old Roman, " Plato is my friend, Socrates is my friend, but truth is a friend I prize above both." Another Roman said that "truth is mighty and will prevail"; and still another: "Truth never perishes." Sophocles early grounded his drama and philosophy on the principles that "truth is always straightforward," and "the truth is always the stronger