The demonstration of knowledge is one of a complex nature. With over 1000 written languages, 6900 spoken
languages, 130 forms of sign languages, and the universal body language, communication has evidently become the
most commonly accepted means of demonstrating knowledge. From personal experience, I have come to the belief that non-verbal communication is a more universal means of communication than verbal communication. This ideology ties into the epistemological theory of propositional and competence knowledge. My concept of the communication of knowledge can be broken down into the following syllogism:
- Premise 1: If non-verbal forms of communication, such as sign language and body language, are more universal ways of conveying the understanding of knowledge.
- Premise 2: And if verbal communication is very limited in its range of communication and leads to the most amounts of confusion and misunderstanding.
- Conclusion: Then non-verbal communication is cos a better means of demonstrating knowledge than verbal communication
Before delving in further to my understanding of knowledge, there are some terminology that needs to be defined in its regards to my syllogism.
- Knowledge: Information gained through rationalism and empiricism.
- Communication: The expression of knowledge to another being in a way that both people comprehend
- Non-Verbal Communication: A form of communication that uses the body to convey knowledge, ways such as facial expressions, body language, and hand gestures, it is also more universally understood.
- Verbal Communication: A form of communication that uses speech to relay information and is limited by language barriers.
- Better: A more effective or efficient means to convey comprehendible information.
- Universal: Being able to demonstrate knowledge to others regardless of their language or nationality.
- Demonstrating: Relaying information to other individuals through actions or words.
Now, onto my first premise: If non-verbal forms of communication, such as sign language and body language, are more universal ways of conveying the understanding of knowledge. 55% of communication is demonstrated through non-verbal cues humans display either subconsciously or consciously. Generally, people world wide have the ability to demonstrate their opinions, feelings and knowledge of things through their body language. When you feel as if you’re under attack, naturally you would become tense and have defensive posture. Displaying knowledge through the human figure may seem strange, but we do it on a regular basis. When we agree, understand or know something, we tend to be more open with our body language. In opposition, when we don’t understand, think something is wrong or don’t agree with something, we tend to have closed body language. This is a concept that majority of people have the capacity to recognize.
My second premise: if verbal communication is very limited in its range of communication and leads to the most
amounts of confusion and misunderstanding, addresses the verbal aspects if communication. While there are some individuals who are great at speaking, they still use and manipulate their body language to convey a certain message. This can lead to misunderstandings and confusing quiet easily. Not to mention the one dimensional aspect of language that is created by having one mother tongue or in some cases, multiple. This barrier restricts the how widely a message can be spread.
How does all this relate to competence knowledge and propositional knowledge? Competence knowledge is explained in one of our class readings as knowledge that is understood through demonstration while propositional knowledge is explained as the processing of information, usually through words. This direction connects to my syllogism because non-verbal communication can also be interpreted as competence knowledge and verbal communication can be understood as propositional knowledge. So by following my syllogism, competence knowledge is a better means of knowledge than propositional.
I have come to make these conclusions through experiences such as interacting on a daily basis with a variety of people and through my own personal realizations. To me, there is no ‘right’ answer for what knowledge is. Knowledge is whatever we allow it to be. It’s intangible and carries from person to person. I think that the most common experience I have in regards to this is when two people witness the same event and both tell entirely different versions of it. Their body language will convey more about the emotional connection and understanding to the event rather than the words that come pouring from their mouths. At the end of the day, people struggle to communicate their true intentions through words, but non-verbal communication will always prevail.