CSAT 2023

Q. Science by itself is not enough, there must be a force and discipline outside the sciences to coordinate them and point to a goal.

It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed. What science needs is philosophy the analysis of scientific method and the coordination of scientific purposes and results; without this, any science must be superficial. Government suffers, precisely like science, for lack of philosophy. Philosophy bears to science the same relationship which statesmanship bears to politics : movement guided by total knowledge and perspective, as against aimless and individual seeking. Just as the pursuit of knowledge becomes scholasticism when divorced from the actual needs of men and life, so the pursuit of politics becomes a destructive bedlam when divorced from science and philosophy.

Q. Which one of the following statements best reflects the most rational, logical and practical message conveyed by the passage? 
(a) Modern statesmen need to be well trained in scientific methods and philosophical thinking to enable them to have a better perspective of their roles, responsibilities and goals.
(b) It is not desirable to have Governments managed by empirical statesmen unless well mixed with others who are grounded in learning and reflect wisdom.
(c) As the statesmen/bureaucrats are the products of a society, it is desirable to have a system of education in a society that focuses on training its citizens in scientific method and philosophical thinking from a very early age.
(d) It is desirable that all scientists need to be philosophers as well to make their work goal-oriented and thus purposeful and useful to the society.

Question from UPSC Prelims 2023 CSAT

Model Answer:

Science by itself is not enough

Q1: Correct Answer – (b) It is not desirable to have Governments managed by empirical statesmen unless well mixed with others who are grounded in learning and reflect wisdom.

Explanation –
The passage emphasizes the importance of philosophy in guiding and coordinating scientific pursuits, and draws a parallel to statesmanship in politics. It suggests that just as science needs philosophy to avoid superficiality, government suffers without philosophy, becoming a destructive bedlam when divorced from science and philosophy. Therefore, the statement that best reflects the message of the passage is that it is not desirable to have governments managed by empirical statesmen unless well mixed with others who are grounded in learning and reflect wisdom. This option encapsulates the idea that both science and government need philosophy (learning and wisdom) to guide them and make them purposeful and useful.

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