Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Knowledge is Understanding Truth

The concept of knowledge is the composition of things that are known and what is known is and can only be true, therefore knowledge in essence is the understanding of truth.

  • Premise 1: For you to have knowledge, you need to know things
  • Premise 2: Premise 2: For you to know things the things you claim to know need to be true
  • Conclusion: Knowledge is understanding truth

What do I mean by “understand”? By “understand” I mean the ability to comprehend, perceive, or grasp. We as human human beings are not the only ones who can possess knowledge. Through my argument, there are several animals that possess the ability to understand truth and therefore acquire knowledge. For example, a pet dog has been disciplined to not pee on the carpet, and knows if he pees on the carpet he’ll get smacked or punished in some other way. Though from this example we may get the assumption that knowledge is only influenced by humans; pets being influenced through incentives. This however is not the case and there many ways in which other animals can acquire knowledge. If, there is extraterrestrial life, I would even state that they too would be able to understand truth and thus acquire knowledge, thus making knowledge Universal. Knowledge of course being only acquired by living things.

How do we know if what we claim to understand is true however? Scientists and I would tell you through evidence. Though not pure Empiricism, the evidence can be abstract, a priori such as Mathematics, or concrete, a posteriori such as Evolutionary Biology, and is then rationalized. Neither Empiricism nor Rationalism being absolutes in determining true knowledge. But this does not mean each individual must find evidence to know something is true. If something has already been realized as true, such as Newton’s Laws of Motion, learning the concept would be suffice. This structure of understanding truth I’ve developed is similar to Immanuel Kant’s views on knowledge. Here’s what Kant had to say:

All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason. – Immanuel Kant

There may be several congruent definitions we can give to knowledge, after all the concept is quite broad. With this said, to summarize what knowledge is based upon these paragraphs, knowledge is the art of comprehending truth. If you are on a path to acquire as much knowledge as possible, here’s a quote to help motivate you more:

Knowledge is Power – Francis Bacon


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