Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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What is this knowledge you speak of???


Day after day we are gathering, and obtaining new information, maybe without even realizing. There’s an abundance of things to learn, the only way we can try to expand our knowledge is through time.  There are many different ways we can gain knowledge, from things such as books, the internet, experience, etc. And I’m going to talk about it, but before I do, I am putting the Webster’s dictionary definition of “knowledge” below.
Knowledge:

  • facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
  • awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

As I said above, we’re all able to gain knowledge from books, the internet and different sources, but experience based knowledge might perhaps be the most practical. A German philosopher by the name of Immanual Kant, believed that the fundamental concepts of knowledge were gained through human experience.  He believed our minds were actively processing and shaping everything we gather.  In an article about Immanuel Kant, it read,

all the events in our experience take place in time, that is because our mind arranges sensory experience in a temporal progression, and if we perceive that some events cause other events, that is because our mind makes sense of events in terms of cause and effect. Kant’s argument has a certain parallel to the fact that a person wearing blue-tinted sunglasses sees everything in a bluish light: according to Kant, the mind wears unremovable time-tinted and causation-tinted sunglasses, so that all our experience necessarily takes place in time and obeys the laws of causation.

 

Premise 1: Knowledge is “facts, information, and skills acquired by a living being through experience or education”

I want to emphasize “experience” in my first premise, because we can’t always find what we’re looking for in books or the internet.  What we do know, is that by reading books, we are able to understand

the knowledge of such topics like, Math, English, Physics, Chemistry etc.  But this knowledge is purely academic knowledge, and isn’t enough for us to achieve the practical skills that are essential to succeeding in our real life. You can read all the books you want, and have all the information in the world, but really, knowledge itself is worthless if you are unable to do something that can create value to you or the world around you.

Premise 2:  Experience is a form of knowledge 

 Experience itself allows us to connect the dots to identify failure vs. success.   An easy example of this could be ice skating lessons;  you’re able to skate at a basic level, but I am sure that you’ll fall quite a bit on your first lesson.  By time you step off the ice, you will have an understanding of what you need to do, that will prevent you from falling, like, bending your knees, tightening your skate laces, etc.  you will then critique it, and will hopefully succeed for future lessons.  

Conclusion:  Knowledge is achieved through experience.

In conclusion, knowledge can be obtained through books and other sources, but at some point someone somewhere had to have some type of physical experience in order to achieve the information they are writing about, correct?  Suffice to say, knowledge gained from books is very important, but in perspective, knowledge gained from experience is the key to knowledge. The experiences that can be gained, brings us practical skills and  teaches us to distinguish success and failure, and isn’t that most important?

 

 

 

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