We owe it to ourselves to begin with acknowledging the immensely gratifying response of a wide community of readers vis-a-vis this book at home and abroad. That the book is very widely used is evident from the number of editions brought out so far. We have made every effort to match the volume of readership with the quality of our exposition embodied in the book. Our approach with the growing age of the book has changed progressively in the direction of greater caution and modesty and tentativeness which go into the makings of maturity. The propositions embodied in the book have been accepted only after a close scrutiny and deep reflection. Criticism of the propositions, as and when warranted has been, as a rule, preferred. Dogmatism has found no place anywhere.
The contents of the book are structured in a manner so as to do full justice to be purported goals of the book. The discussions are addressed to the basic and integral aspects of the scientific method of understanding and appreciating the social and cultural environs. The analytical tools necessary for scientists are given an elaborate treatment. The philosophical premises underlying the scientific matters have been clearly brought out and explicated. This is a book which exposes the readers to the fascinating and challenging realm of science. For a long time now, we have been striving to hand over to the students a book of this kind. We are greatly convinced that this book is a*close approximation of our long nurtured desire.
M.A., Ph.D., LLM. Former Professor, Post-Graduate Department of Sociology, and Vice-Chacellor, Nagpur University, Nagpur.