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Out of the seven billion people in the world how many really understand quantum mechanics, cell biology, or macroeconomics?

Knowledge is power.

The real test of knowledge is not whether it is true, but whether it empowers us. Consequently, these days truth is a poor test for knowledge. The test seems to be utility. A theory that enables us to do new things constitutes knowledge.

Knowledge is a the root of many (dare I say most) challenges we face in a given day and I have to admit I could do with a large refresher course.

Once you get past basic survival we’re confronted with knowledge issues on almost every front.

These days most of us are becoming reliant on Google it.

But when you get an answer is that answer universal knowledge or is it Google cods wallop.

It’s not possible to completely shed all our lenses which color our view of things and so it’s not possible to be certain that we’re getting at some truth “out there.” If all beliefs are seen through a lens, like Google how do we know the postmodernists beliefs are “correct?”

In order to have certainty, postmodernists claim, we would need to be able to “stand outside” our own beliefs and look at our beliefs and the world without any mental lenses or perspective.

If we do not fully understand what it is, will we not fully understand ourselves either?

But then again knowledge — can ever be fully understood.

The nature of knowledge is answerable to intuitions. This means that what may count as knowledge for you may not count as knowledge for me. An other words what you know may not be something I know even though we have the same evidence and arguments in front of us.

The bottom line is that “universal knowledge” – something everybody knows—may be very hard to come by.

I think, therefore I am.

Truth, if it exists, isn’t like this.

Truth is universal. It’s our access to it that may differ widely.

Okay, a definition is tough to come by.

But philosophers have been attempting to construct one for centuries. Over the years, a trend has developed in the philosophical literature and a definition has emerged that has such wide agreement it has come to be known as the “standard definition.”

As with most things in philosophy, the definition is controversial and there are plenty who disagree with it. But as these things go, it serves as at least the starting point for studying knowledge.

The person believes the statement to be true
The statement is in fact true
The person is justified in believing the statement to be true

Belief:

They’re in your head and generally are viewed as just the way you hold the world (or some aspect of the world) to be.

It implies that what you think could be wrong. In other words, it implies that what you think about the world may not match up with the way the world really is and so there is a distinction between belief and the next item in our list.

People will generally act, according to what they really believe rather than what they say they believe

Truth:

Truth is not in your head but is “out there.”

When you believe something, you hold that or accept that a statement or proposition is true. It could be false that’s why your belief may not “match up” with the way the world really is.

Justification:

If the seed of knowledge is belief, what turns belief into knowledge?

This is where justification comes in (some philosophers use the term “warrant” to refer to this element). A person knows something if they’re justified in believing it to be true (and, of course, it actually is true).

Justification is hard to pin down because beliefs come in all shapes and sizes and it’s hard to find a single theory that can account for everything we would want to claim to know. Even so, justification is a critical element in any theory of knowledge.

So.

  • Everyone comes to belief with a cognitive structure that cannot be set aside.
  • Our cognitive structure serves as a lens through which we view the world. Because of this, knowledge is said to be perspectival or a product of our perspective.
  • Since the evaluation of our beliefs is based on our cognitive lens, it’s not possible to be certain about any belief we have. This should make us tentative about truth claims and more open to the idea that all of our beliefs could be wrong.
  • Truth emerges in the context (or relative to) community agreement. For example  if the majority of scientists agree that the earth is warming and that humans are the cause, then that’s true. Notice that the criteria for “truth” is that scientists agree.

Are you now any more knowledgeable.   Google it and see.

There is one thing without doubt:

The fact that you are a thinking things.

In order to doubt you have to think. (The very reason that it’s not possible to doubt something without thinking about the fact that you’re doubting it). Thinking then you must be a thinking thing and so it is impossible to doubt that you are a thinking being.

If you know it all leave a comment, otherwise press the like button. Ignorance is bliss.

Some further reading and viewing>

Knowing how to Google something is not enough. 2014/09/02

Google is a business. 2015/03/02

The Imparting and Acquiring of knowledge. 2015/03/03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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