Is a discovery an invention or is an invention a discovery? This is one question that can probably never be answered. A discovery can be defined as something which already existed, and is excavated after one notice’s it or proves its existence . Invention is the creation of something which didn’t exist before it was created by a genius mind . For instance, Newton discovered the existence of gravity when an apple fell on his head. It did exist before Newton realizes its existence, but then why didn’t anyone else notice its existence except him? Hence it is said that Newton discovered gravity.
Whereas on the other hand Thomas Alva Edison was the first person to make the electric bulb and his technology was a baby of his brain which didn’t exist before he created it, hence it is said to be an invention. Almost all Areas of knowledge namely History, Art, Natural Science, Mathematics, Human science and ethics are both discovered and invented if different point of views are taken into consideration. Is mathematics invented or discovered? There are two questions which arise in the minds of people when they think of this. If math was discovered, where and how is one exactly looking for it? Is mathematics a language?
The way poets add new words to English making it more understandable and expressive; does a mathematician do the same with numbers to make it as connected and expressive it is? Or did they just point out at things which always existed but were waiting to be discovered. And if it was that, then why it did only appear to these big minds and not to common men. How could Newton and Leibniz, who stayed seas apart, come up to almost the same conclusions regarding calculus, in the same time period? Since they did reach at the same conclusions, their source of knowledge would also be similar hence maths could be discovered.
On the other hand if math was invented, why wouldn’t we see the truth in “2+2=5”? Mathematics is based on a set of Axioms or what we call “postulates” which are basically statements that are assumed to be true without a proof. Therefore if “2+2=4” is an axiom without a proof, why do we believe so deep in it and use it in our daily affairs if there is no possible proof to back it up? And if it were to be true, why wouldn’t a new concept of “2+2=5” hold truth if a mathematician has come up with it with his own sensible research? Therefore mathematics can be invented. Human efforts to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature. ” One of the most controversial areas of knowledge is art. This is mainly because art is not definite as people’s definition of art is highly subjective. What might appeal to my eyes may not appeal to someone else’s eye. For a person a cave could be artistic, while for another it could be just another cave. Therefore art depends on people’s perception. Some artists try to find creativity in already existing things. For instance, an artist walking by a tree suddenly realizes that the tree resembles a woman.
For him, that is a piece of art, which always existed, hence was discovered. However, that tree may not seem like a woman to another person and may look just like a tree. Some artists invent something and call it a piece of art. For instance, if an artist carves a woman out of a tree, he has invented that piece of art. But again it may not necessarily appeal to others as an artwork. There is also a third view point to this. If I make a statement, “I am hungry”, it is neither invented nor discovered. It is only the expression of my thoughts/feelings. The thought was created and brought out through the medium on language.
Art too is a language used to express one’s creativity. It is only a medium and is neither invented nor discovered, it is only created. What is it that clouds every human decision? What is it that forms a base line for the humans to understand wether what they are doing is right or wrong? What is it that’s forms the human conscience? It is ethics. Ethics can be defined as, “A set of principles of right conduct. ” Ethics are a list of rules which one has to follow to maintain a good conduct in the society. Our decisions and thoughts are completely governed by our ethics. Ethics are forced into us since our young early days.
Every one at some point or the other remembers their parents telling them in their adolescence, “One should never lie”, “one should always keep their anger in their control”, and “one should always bow their head before the great God”. What are these that our parents are teaching us? These are ethics. These develop overtime and then they make us responsible humans. Were ethic’s invented or were they discovered? Let’s take for example, a comparison between the Indian culture and the Western culture a few decades back. When widow remarriage was a taboo in the Indian culture, it was at accepted in the western culture.
In India, one’s a husband expired because of what so ever reasons, the wife had to sit on his dead body and the family members would burn the living wife to death along with the dead husband. According to them, then, marriages were pairs made by God and sent to Earth. Therefore if the husband dies, the wife is also killed hence they stay in pairs even after death. That were the ethic’s of Indians at that time, where as the western had a totally opposite culture. If a husband died or visa versa, the other one could get remarried and settle down with a new family.
Therefore if the kinds of ethics thought to humans are differentiated on the bases of factors, in this case, Religion, then ethics is to be invented. On the other hand when it is believed that killing people for our selfish means is not a good conduct. Robbing, abusing, insulting others is not the right thing to do. What are these? These are also ethics, but the only difference is that these are accepted world-wide. Maybe some countries have a small punishment for it and other have a terrible one but at the end everyone believes that it isn’t the right thing to do.
Then how are these ethics not differentiated on the bases of religion or any other factors symbolizing diversity? This might be because ethics might be discovered and their source of discovery is either the same or it is similar. This is because if the conclusion of two problems is the same, either their source is similar or the same. Therefore ethics can either be invented or discovered or maybe created my religion or religious preachers in the olden times but nothing can be said with complete certainty.
In conclusion, I would like to ask a question, if something is discovered, wasn’t it once invented to be discovered? And if it is invented, how do we know it did not exist before it was made. Maybe it did but we were unaware of it! Is it then not a discovery? Doesn’t this mean that all areas of knowledge are discovered as well as invented? Bibliography websiteDate accessed http://www. dailygalaxy. com/my_weblog/2008/04/is-mathematics. html 8th august, 2009 http://www. answers. com/topic/art 14th august, 2009 http://www. thefreedictionary. com/ethics 26th august, 2009