What a Grand Supposition

“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.

George Washington

Suppose you were looking for information regarding a research project, and you were to begin to define the parameters of your search. Very quickly you would find yourself depending on supposition to guide you in your academic journey.

Supposing There is an Answer

The first supposition is that there is a definite and concrete answer to the questions for which you would attempt an answer. Many a research journey has begun with this supposition only to be frustrated on a lifelong journey towards an answer that is unattainable. The frustration that might ensue could lead to great depression and eventually an abandoning of reasonable thought if one mistakenly takes this road to its terminus.

Supposing There is an Aptitude

The second supposition is that you, the researcher, are going to have the faculties needed to understand the answer if and when the material presents itself in the light of day. This is sometimes the biggest error in the life of an academician. There is a certain hubris that comes with study, and one may quickly believe that with a knowledge of search engines, databases, card catalogs one could conquer the world of academia but the truth is much of the information that is needed to properly interpret the world around us is found in the field of research that extends beyond the library – both concrete and virtual.

Supposing There is a Need

The third supposition is that the answer will be relevant to the world as one seeks to disseminate their findings in peer review journals, academic forums and on the internet. It is near certain to be an overstep in supposition if one begins to believe that their findings will be widely accepted without years of experiential probing and practicing with the new findings. This is a place where the professors can put forth new suppositions and invite others to do the same as they research, and begin a journey of supposition on the road to dissemination.

Bon Voyage!

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