Associate Professor of Intellectual and Social History of the Malay World
I had an interesting discussion with my eldest daughter about great scholars of the past that I have read about and duly admire. I explained to her why they became great and remained so for many generations to come. They all exhibited three unique capabilities: 1) The ability to tease out patterns and trends in anything they read and research about. This enabled them to come out with new Theories. 2) The ability to make connections between many factors and variables, bringing seemingly disparate things together within a single analysis. With this synergistic frame of mind, they constructed new Concepts. 3) The ability to see things beyond what is apparent to common observation and approaching problems in a truly novel way. Through such deep insight and foresight, they developed new Methodologies. Scholars that had all of these three capabilities in them and who wrote extensively were founders of new disciplines.