Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course



A: What is something you know about knowledge

Okay, so what I think I probably know maybe.      Knowledge is the ability to recognize and make connections. The difference betwixt knowing something and having information of something is what can be done. A book is filled with ink in shapes which, in certain patterns and sequences, can be interpreted by humans as ideas. This is another difference, certain programs are capable of recognizing texts, but they do not comprehend what the idea is, only what the idea is called. In this setting, understanding or comprehension is shown in the ability to make connections. Not basic connections like “if <blank> and <blank> then <blunk>” but actual outside connections. If you see a keyboard on a table, you can guess that there is a computer nearby, but that is because of past experiences. This is a kind of knowledge, but in my mind, knowledge refers more to outside information. Plastic is derived from oils mined around the world, refined into usable materials in facilities, some of which in Halifax, and shaped in factories. If you see a keyboard, and can make the connection that it has history, or origins outside of what you have seen or noticed in patterns, then you know something about the keyboard.

B: How do you show it

Premise A: Making connections can be a way to demonstrate knowledge

Premise B: Alone, holding information is not knowledge

Premise C: Comprehension is required to have knowledge

Premise D: Understanding or comprehension is the ability to convert phenomena to noumena. To see the object, or hear the concept, or read or what have you, and realize not only what it is, but what it means.

Premise E: What is connected cannot simply be patterns, but must be understood ideas.

Conclusion: Knowledge is the ability to recognize and make connections

C: Who helps explain what and how do you know it

Seymour Papert forged the concept of constructionism, which is similar to my idea. Papert’s theory includes learning by doing, but is deeper. When one does anything, (he often uses building or making physical things) they make connections, and those connections are knowledge. This is a flavour of constructivism, which states that all knowledge comes from previously attained knowledge, presumably meaning we are born with some knowledge.

D: Can a personal example help relate this knowledge

Once I was standing on a cliff overlooking the salish sea. It was around 4 A.M during the summer, a full moon hung above and harbour seals puffed asthmatic breaths into the silence. A motorboat passed by, if I recall, which set this chain of thought into motion. I remembered an old stock question I’d once heard, a question that little boys (and it was only boys at the time) would need to go to school to get answered so they could work in the fields without the questions distracting them. How do all the bits of the sky fit into the curves made by the waves? This kicked off a burst of perception and fact recall. The sky fits into the sea because gaseous molecules contain more kinetic energy, and push and move each other into any gap faster than liquids can. Gaseous particles exist covering our planet, made primarily of liquid molecules, up until about 100 Km, the official start of outer space. beyond space there is little to no matter, up until the moon, which incidentally was called Luna or Selena in ancient cultures. There is a theory that the moon broke off from the Atlantic ocean sometime in the early formation of earth. Beyond the moon are great clouds of matter forming every celestial body we know of, clouds of dust, orbs of flame, gas giants and so on, all of which is slowing drifting towards a great attractor. Speaking of celestial bodies, I know that beneath the earth are billions or trillions of tons of liquid stone and metals, roiling and churning beneath the crust. I have never seen magma. I have never seen more than the moon and a few faint stars. But I attain knowledge by converting my senses into concepts in my mind, which I can join to other ideas, barely connected. The point I was trying to get across was that with only a cliff landscape as a catalyst, I made connections and had thoughts that were out of sight and sound.

As a conclusion, if the point has not been made clearly enough,  Aiden’s view of knowledge is that it is th ability to connect a concept to something beyond the immediately sensed.


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