Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Epistemology, knowledge, chocolate cover almonds…

Knowledge is a weapon that everyone cares, its something that can’t be fully explained by science. Everyone has a different view on knowledge either on what it means or where it comes from. For my epistemology midterm we had to discuss/blog about knowledge, I choose to topic about where knowledge comes from. During the first day of our assignment I didn’t know exactly where knowledge came from, all I knew was that experience played a big important part in it. But through out our class discussions I was able to come up with my belief about where knowledge comes from, like some people I do believe that we are born with certain type of knowledge aka our instincts. In this situation I believe that instincts is a kind of knowledge, and if you continue to read further I will TRY to explain…

p1: we are born with certain instincts (communication, senses etc) which can be the potential to learn new knowledge.

p2: through experiences we are able to develop/change our instincts and create knowledge.

conclusion: we are born with certain innate knowledge, that can be further develop and evolved by our experiences as we grow.



p1.

Instincts can be defined as our five senses smell, touch, hear, sight and taste; from those five senses we are able to gain different kinds of knowledge. In this case instincts to me is a “baby” step of knowledge, I believe that we are born with instincts that leads us to learn more. All babies are born with the instinct to stay alive, a study held by Yale show that a baby is able to differentiate between good or bad. They were shown a video with two different colour spoons, one (red) helped another climb a hill and the other (purple) delay the person from climbing up. After the video was shown the babies (6 and 10 month-old) had a stronger preference for the “good” spoon. For some people the experiment can be consider knowledge through experience of watching something, but I personally consider that to be an instinct of survival, because the babies had to sense which of the spoon gave the “trusting vibes”. And from instincts like survival and our five senses we are able to grow and develop, continuing the baby example, the baby now knows that they need to form a bond with someone who they feel trust and love from. They know that as soon as the are out of the womb they need to depend on someone that they feel safe in order to survive.

p2.

Experiences is something that allows us to grow and learn from, experiences like breakups or relationships can help us gain new knowledge that we didn’t know before. Knowledge gain from experiences can change through out the years, it can be affected by age, gender, generation etc. We are able to create new knowledge from the experiences we make from our five senses, for example a person can gain knowledge from touching a key on a piano, hearing the note or seeing the music. We gain knowledge about feelings from the experiences we go through, we aren’t able to know what the sound of a piano is like from reading a textbook even when one learn to read notes we are going through the experiences of learning (explanations and doing) it rather than rationally discuss about it.

Conclusion:

Knowledge…where does it come from? Well, to me, knowledge comes from experiences that change through our lifetime, and those experiences were brought to us by our five senses which I consider to be a “baby” step of knowledge. We see that through experiments and research we are able to study that even babies have instincts, to survive, and from those instincts we evolved. Humans were not born with the ability to known what a for example, piano sounds like by reading a textbook without anyone explaining it or actually play (touching keys etc) of a piano.



To the philosopher that I agree with, Kant, there are many ideas that Kant shares about his theory of knowledge. But one thing that made me realize that Kant is the answer to my final, is when he says that there are two kinds of knowledge..

1) Knowledge is mostly derived from experience

2) Part of our knowledge isn’t derived from experience

I think that the two point stood out to me is that I too believe that, but I lean more to the empiricist side. It makes sense to me that through instincts which we are born with we are able to use them and develop from them, we are able to know that we have the ability to walk or move, and through watching others walk and age we later grain the knowledge of knowing how to work. I think when Kant say that we have part of our knowledge isn’t from experience he is saying that instincts (senses) are born within, but Kant’s theory of knowledge changes through out. Kant’s work made me realize that even famous af philosophers believe that there can be two different kinds of knowledge in our world, and that their views on knowledge can change.

Kant (Katherine’s man)

 

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Everyone is responsible for what they know by Ashlee

Simplifying my theory of knowledge, I managed to summarise how I perceive knowledge in a few bullet points:

  • You should withhold judgement before you investigate the situation
  • belief should exist in correlation to validity and true in order to be perceived as knowledge
  • knowledge is subjective; for every object or matter there exists different ideas
  • Without a human mind that can think, the existence of knowledge is impossible

And with pondering lead by these thoughts, I concluded  that with all forms of knowledge follows epistemic responsibility. The thought process (shout out to Mr. Jackson for guiding me in finalising my rather jumbled and disoriented mind) looks something like this:

  • Premise 1: Knowledge tends to affect the way people view the world
  • Premise 2: the nature of one’s knowledge tends to have an implicit effect (even without the explicit intentions/actions) on the world in which we live in
  • Conclusion: All form of knowledge holds epistemic influence that affects our surroundings, no matter its intentions

Knowledge tends to affect the way people view the world:

Coinciding with the idea of knowledge being perpetuated as a belief, I believe that one’s knowledge is mainly rooted from the way they tend to perceive the world. Knowledge is often interpreted as facts, information, data and what the current education system teaches our adolescents, yet knowledge exists in forms of layers. Its concept is often believed to be subjective among many philosophers; Plato has argued that two conditions must be fulfilled in order for anyone to claim to withhold knowledge: truth and belief. From here, I much agree with Plato, except I personally put the emphasis on the “belief” aspect more than the “truth” part. Often, there is much contrast put between belief and knowledge, but I believe that knowledge stems from individual’s beliefs; if there exists enough motivation to pursue proving a point one possesses, then that is the reality in which they live in. The knowledge that individuals carry is a paradigm that has a direct effect on our emotions, opinions, and thought processes in general. In clarity, you see how much you know, and how much you know is directly impacted by what you believe in.

The nature of one’s knowledge tends to have an implicit effect (even without the explicit intentions/actions) on the world in which we live in:

After much investigation I decided that even without physical or verbal actions being taken, knowledge has its way of making an effect in our world. The way we treat others and our actions derive from the epistemic responsibility that is behind our choices. English philosopher, W.K. Clifford purposed that there is no such thing as a “private belief”, meaning that it spreads not always with our fullest intentions. One example I want to bring up to support this very premise is how epistemic responsibility is of absence when it comes to religion. Clifford suggested that a belief in a God was “epistemically irresponsible” and is proven as a “blind faith”. Clifford believed that a blind faith leads one to live an unexamined, unthoughtful life by ignoring facts and arguments.  Just like how a religious person’s reality consists of believing in a superior being and actions carried out may be through attempts in conversion (of others) to weekly rituals. Although, I want to accentuate even without those religious actions, a religious person relies on a God (possibly more than any other factors in their life), which has an impact on to which they show gratitude towards, thoughts on evolution, and personal morals. For instance, when I was younger I was much more indulged in Buddhism because I attended a Buddhist-kindergarten, located inside a Buddhist temple (I still can’t believe such thing exists, but it was honestly the coolest thing ever). My knowledge and beliefs was raw, and I had first-hand experience in obtaining them; such environment shaped the way I thought and the way in which I expressed myself. Through this, I want to prove that the Buddhist morals and values I gained directly impacted things like my diet, manners, behaviour and personality (to this day).

All forms of knowledge holds epistemic influence that affects our surroundings, no matter its intentions:   

Brought by the above premises, I believe that all forms of knowledge has an epistemic background that have an effect on our surroundings, in regardless of its intentions. The dictionary definition of epistemic responsibility is, “related to capacity to engage in adequate policies in search of truth, the ability to give reasons, or the readiness to revise one’s beliefs in the light of new evidence.”   This leads to my point of epistemic responsibility being what dictates our decisions. Epistemic responsibility is told to hold an idealistic character, that in order for knowledge to exist there must be someone who has the ability to process and appreciate the concepts. With the knowledge perceived by individuals comes an epistemic responsibility as the subjectivity of knowledge comes with a choice. After much thinking, I decided that people choose to believe certain things, and people choose to learn or educate themselves and because of this very thought, belief coexists with knowledge. Of course when the word “knowledge” is used in modern day society, its connotations are known as what is, “true”, but because I personally believe that knowledge is the nature and reality of one, it’s impossible for the person to not have authority over how their belief is shown through. To make it more precise:

  • belief requires knowledge in order to be valid
  • knowledge reflects the person’s reality and,
  • the belief that derives from one’s knowledge holds epistemic responsibility

So basically, our actions or words, or even sometimes our implicit intentions have a way of being carried out. Knowledge is only an illusion of seeming to be the “absolute truth”, but with different realities everyone holds, in no way is it achievable for there to be a universal truth; common-sense realism is viewing the world in a flat approach. From where I stand today, my understanding is that knowledge comes with much responsibility and is a direct reflection on the nature of one’s paradigm.

Sources:

http://www.giffordlectures.org/books/belief/lecture-3-belief-and-knowledge

https://www.bu.edu/arche/5/cusimano.pdf

http://www.province-of-the-mind.com/exploring-epistemic-responsibility.html

 

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You Are What You Know

 

View post on imgur.com

In order to lay a bit of a foundation for this post, I first want to clarify my beliefs regarding the self and where knowledge resides in a person or Being. After conducting my Metaphysics inquiry, I strongly believe in dualism and the idea that self is made of two components: a physical component and a non-physical component. I also believe that the non-physical component of the self is the most important part and is responsible for identity and making us who we are. Finally, I agree with David Hume when it comes to the Bundle Theory of the self, the idea that the self is a work in progress and constructed by our collection of life experiences. In terms of where knowledge resides, I believe that knowledge is the non-physical component of the self and therefore manifests in the mind as opposed to any part of the physical body. Although the non-physical mind and physical body are separate, I believe that they are connected by the brain. The body allows us to experience reality via our senses and the mind allows us to rationalize these experiences and develop knowledge, the brain acts like an adapter between the two. The body interprets reality and sends information to the brain which translates this information so it can be used by the mind to develop knowledge. Conversely, the mind makes us who we are and holds our knowledge, based on our previous knowledge it sends information to the brain which is then translated to control the way our body interacts with reality.

Image result for senses

My first proposition is that, aside from the small amount of a priori knowledge that we are born with, knowledge is gained through experience.

Premise 1: Knowledge is gained through rationalizing experience

Premise 2: During life one collects experiences

Conclusion: Knowledge is a synthesized collection of one’s life experiences

When it comes to gaining knowledge and the empiricism vs rationalism debate, I have a dualist view. Similar to the idea that the self is both physical and non-physical and cannot be a true self without one of the components, I don’t believe that knowledge can be gained purely through empirical observation or entirely through rational thought. In order to gain knowledge, empirical experiences need to be rationalized by the mind. Through this process connections can be created between new and prior experiences and diverse experiences can build upon each other to create an intricate and ever increasing network of knowledge.

For example, there is often a correlation between a person’s amount of life experiences and level of knowledge, especially higher level knowledge. Older people are considered wise because they have experienced more of the world and have gained a diverse network of knowledge. Likewise, young children are considered blissfully ignorant or innocent because they have experienced less of the world and are not aware of or haven’t developed knowledge of some of the awful things happening. This also is closely related to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, gaining knowledge can be likened to moving further and further out of the cave and striving for enlightenment. While humans may not be able to ever gain enough knowledge to fully achieve enlightenment, I believe it is entirely possible for a society to do so and has been done in the past. When the collective knowledge of a society is synthesized it is possible to overthrow old beliefs and leave the cave to start again in the light, examples of this include the renaissance period and scientific revolution.

My second proposition about knowledge is that knowledge builds one’s identity.

Premise 1: One’s identity is built by a collection of life experiences

Premise 2: Knowledge is a collection of one’s life experiences

Conclusion: Knowledge builds one’s identity

During my Metaphysics project, I came to the conclusion that the self is a collection of life experiences interpreted by a person’s senses or more simply memories. After exploring Epistemology, I now believe that these “memories” or “interpreted life experiences” can be more accurately classified as knowledge. Our experiences, when rationalized, synthesized, and connected to one another become knowledge and this knowledge makes us who we are. Our previous understanding of reality will affect the way that we interact with reality in the future and therefore shape our identity, the way other people perceive us, and even the way we perceive our self.

This also supports the idea of individuality. Even if people arrive at the same understanding or gain the same knowledge they must achieve it in different ways. No two beings can exist in the same space and time; therefore, no two people can experience reality from the same point of view. Additionally, no two people’s senses can be guaranteed to be exactly the same. On the other hand, two people may share the same experience but gain different knowledge from it. Depending on an individual’s senses, pre-existing knowledge, and place in space in time they will experience and rationalize reality differently.

Learning and gaining knowledge of new things can alter a person’s self or identity. I have experienced this in my own life as a result of learning the bagpipes. Prior to learning, I had no understanding of the language of music, now I have a whole new set of knowledge and I’m able to think in a completely different way. I have also had opportunities to travel and compete across Canada, the US, and Scotland as well as gain friends and mentors from around the world. I have expanded my understanding of reality and this has in turn significantly altered my identity, I can’t imagine the person I would be without my understanding of bagpipe music. Similar to a person who has left the cave, it can be frustrating when non-piping people in my life don’t understand me but I wouldn’t go back into the cave and give up my knowledge, it would feel like giving up a piece of myself.

My propositions are supported by the ideas of philosophers including David Hume who introduced the Bundle Theory, Plato and his Allegory of the Cave, as well as by Immanuel Kant. I feel as though I align strongly with Kant’s ideas, especially transcendental realism, which I used as the first premise in my first syllogism, and a priori knowledge.

In conclusion, we gain knowledge through living life and experiencing new things and this knowledge contributes to our identity. For this reason it is important to constantly work to expand your horizons and gain new knowledge through new experiences and sharing knowledge with people different than yourself. This is the only way to strive for understanding and enlightenment and, in my opinion, the way to truly live life.

 

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If you practiced yodeling enough you could probably do it in your sleep-Benedict Mendes

So, for this midterm I had no idea what I wanted to do at first, but after the first free writing session I came up with a proposition.

Knowledge can be presented in practiced actions that do not require thought

I came up with this because when I thought of really knowing something, I thought of being familiar with an action or a subject. When one is extremely familiar with an action they can reproduce it at any time without effort or even thinking of it, save the momentary “I am going to do this action” thought. In a sense, to me knowledge it at it’s most valuable when it can be reproduced without thought, because of experience and familiarity with it. The premises preceding this proposition make things a little more clear.

If knowledge is defined by being familiar with a subject

and

If knowledge in the mind can be separate from knowledge in the body

then

Knowledge can be presented in practiced actions that do not require thought

 

The truth of the premises is debatable, as both premises are subjective to the reader or writer, but to me these premises are true and they are what I base my opinion of knowledge on.

 

For the first premise, the reason I define knowledge as being familiar with a subject is that the definition of experience is pretty much being really familiar with something. For example, an experienced chef will be able to tell you how to make dishes in certain ways and how to bring out certain flavours because they themselves have gone through these processes hundreds, even thousands of times. Because they have experience with it they are able to easily produce dishes with their gained knowledge.

 

The second premise basically is talking about the difference between conceptual knowledge and applied knowledge. Reading a manual on how to set up an IKEA chair is different than actually physically setting up the chair, that’s the idea that this premise draws from.

 

And of course, the conclusion. If my premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. Basically, what I’m saying is that once you become familiar enough with something, especially an action, you can replicate it without thinking, and it is in that action that the most valuable knowledge lies. This means that something like muscle memory, when your body physically remembers certain actions, is more valuable than knowledge of how to do an action.  For example, I am a musician and I play piano. When I learn a song I learn it slowly, I have to think about each and every note I hit and constantly use the sheet music for reference. As I get more and more familiar with the song I can start to go faster, and when I’m going faster I can’t rely on the sheet music as much, I have to simply know where some notes are. Eventually I can memorize the song and play it anytime that I sit down at the piano, this is because I have ingrained every key hit, every note into my body and I can replicate it without hesitation. Even when I’m playing a song I have memorized completely, I can think about something else while my body continues the action. Even if I make a mistake, I know the song so well that I can register it and remember to correct it in the future. It is at this point that knowledge is at it’s best and most valuable. Being able to reproduce a song without thinking means I have to know every little detail, every rhythm, every note, every key, I have to have a lot of experience with the song. Because of this, I have more knowledge of the song than someone who does not have as much experience with it but is able to look at the sheet music. Of course, the mind is part of the process of learning the song and transferring what I see on the page to the actions in my hands, but once I know the notes and keys I no longer have to rely on the mind to monitor my actions as I perform them. When the body no longer has to rely on the mind to replicate an action is when you know you have basically the best knowledge possible of that thing or action.

 

This argument lines up a little bit with the thinking of Kant with his mindset of “All knowledge comes from experience” and the belief that the physical world is real. It opposes Descartes because if there is no physical world then the actions I perform would not matter, and therefore would have no place in knowledge. It’s based a lot more empirically than it is rationally, because really an action is about the feel of it. The experience of how your body moves and how it performs the action is more important than the concept of what the action does, it’s using your senses to judge how you’re performing the action rather than the mind and reason.

 

In conclusion the entire argument is a little bit like a more complicated version of “practice makes perfect”, it’s all about repeated exposure to an action or a subject. The longer you practice an action for the easier it will get until you can do it without needing to think, your mind can think about something else while your body does the thing. It is in this that the most valuable knowledge lies.

 

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Katie Crompton – Attempt at Communication (DOL #1)

These first couple weeks in Philosophy 12 have got me incredibly excited and thoroughly confused all at the same time. Coming into this class I had no idea what was coming my way. I was worried that my brain, which a lot of the time thinks of things as black or white, wouldn’t be cut out for this incredibly colourful course. After the first day, I realized one of the things I needed to do for me to be successful would be to stretch my mind and learn to be more open, which is much easier said than done.

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Image from The Art Studio NY Blog

  Our first few discussions really got me thinking about the isolation vs. communication debate. Communication is a huge part of our daily life. In our current society it is easier than ever to spark conversations with anyone at anytime, anywhere, which can be both a blessing and a curse. On the bright side, you can Skype with your cousins who live on the other side of the world, or you can message your best friend who moved to a different province last year. But on the not-so-bright side, there is that anonymous person on a Youtube video you put up who comments, “i h8 u” or your extremely conservative relatives posting anti-everything statuses on Facebook. Communication is something that everyone has to deal with in their daily lives, or is it? Is it better to hear other’s ideas or keep to your own? Does your mind thrive in isolation or when being social?

  Personally, I feel it is extremely important to speak with others and give people the opportunity to question you on your beliefs. This is something I am working on as I sometimes have a hard time expressing myself in fear that my opinions will be thought of as unimportant. One of my goals for this course is to become more open and not let myself fear sounding unintelligent. After all, you don’t know how much you know until someone challenges you and you have to explain yourself.

“Telling someone something he will not understand is pointless, even if you add he will not understand it” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Image from The Rock School

Image from The Rock School

  This quote got me thinking a lot about the connection between communication and wisdom. I have discovered through our class discussions and the essay Talk With Me by Nigel Warburton that wisdom isn’t knowing a bunch of useless facts that you can blurt out whenever you want to sound ‘smart’. It is having a wealth of knowledge that you are eager to share and discuss with others. Wisdom is also having the ability to see and understand other people’s opinions, though you may not fully agree with them.

  These discussions on communication and wisdom have really helped me realize how I learn and how I can grow as a person in this course. I am looking forward to hopefully letting my guard down and adding a little bit of colour into my black and white brain. It will be a challenge for me but I am excited to see what the next few months have in store.

 

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Metaphysics Phil’s Day Off

My question for this unit is “what are words?” and I was struggling to figure out what to do for my Phil’s Day Off! This is a difficult topic to do out of class learning but I was planning on going downtown anyways, so I decided to go to the Vancouver Art Gallery with Erin. My objective was to try to see how or if the things people said about the artwork, changed my opinion of the art. I was very lucky because the theme of one of the displays happening that I went to was “Modern Art.” There were a ton of “simple” and very abstract pieces that people seemed to have a lot of their own opinions on.

Listening to some conversations, I could tell that they were like me, they didn’t know much about art because they either weren’t saying much, or nothing at all. I was dissatisfied how not many people were talking about any of the art so I walked onto the part of the exhibit that was more “abstract” so more people would have different opinions on the art and I could see if my theory was going to work. As I kept walking further into the exhibit, more people started speaking their opinions on the work. I was looking at a piece I really liked and it was a very unusual sculpture because it was very simple and plain-looking. One lady who to me, sounded like she knew quite a bit about art started pointing out some of the flaws she noticed like the color, how boring it was, how it didn’t really convey a message about anything and much more that I couldn’t even comprehend. She seemed almost discussed how this was even considered good enough art to be in a gallery. Afterwards I found that when I looked at the art again, I focused more on the many imperfections that if had. I couldn’t really look at this art that I once really liked, and see it the same way that I had before because I was more aware of the fact that someone who seemingly knew a lot about art, didn’t like this piece which of course, made me not enjoy its beauty anymore.

This showed me how greatly our use of words affect objects around us and how we perceive them. The way we string together our words and voice our opinion on something can completely alter my opinion and change the way I see it. It was a very important aspect of me research because It helped me see how much words really do affect us and items in our lives. I think that it really depends on how people are altering their use of words makes me assume they are more knowledgable on the subject and I will ultimately value their opinion much more!

I think my phil’s day off was very successful because I really learned how my opinion on things around me can be altered by the way people manipulate their words to seem more knowledgeable on a subject. If you are constantly using words that are completely unrelated to the topic, nobody will think you know what you are talking about and they wont really take your words into consideration.

Questions I had after I completed my phil’s day off were: How do our words convey how much we know on a topic?, What about grammar and its relationship to our knowledge? How do my words affect the people around me? Do you have to be knowledgeable to be considered smart on a topic?

 

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Epistemology Final- Alysha Gillis

Initially at the beginning of this unit I had absolutely no idea what knowledge was. I think it was such a difficult question because knowledge is essentially so many things put together and we just call this word of knowing stuff “Knowledge.” We say we “know” subjects by writing tests, only to forget the information five seconds after times up, we say we “know” people that we just met, and we claim to “know” how to do things we were taught just five minutes ago. My conclusion to this question that we were asked was Knowledge is language. This seems weird to connect the 2 topics together but essentially language is knowledge as a whole. It it almost impossible to begin to talk about knowledge without thinking about language, words and grammar. I really wanted to dig into this topic because I just finished my metaphysics project on “What are words” and I wanted to connect my projects because I think now I have much more background information on linguistics so I can look deeper into my topic.

Reading: The most impactful and informative reading I came across was from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy and this was about the language of knowledge. It talked about different philosophers and what they think a person who speaks with “knowledge” should know. It stated:

(a) That speakers of a language know the grammatical properties of individual expressions of their language;

(b) That speakers of a language know the particular grammatical rules of a natural language; and

(c) That speakers of a language know the principles of universal grammar.

These 3 concepts are important when we are speaking in terms of knowledge. Words are completely meaningless  without knowledge of what the strange lines put together in a seemingly random formation unless you have prior knowledge of what these sounds or lines are supposed to mean. We cannot begin to discuss knowledge without really understanding how to manipulate the language to assist us in making our points.

Discussion: Conversations I had with classmates really seemed to help me push myself to find connections between topics that don’t seem to go together. It helped me understand my topic more because I think it caused me to try to look at language in a different light. My discussion with Courtney and Erin helped me find the connection between measuring knowledge and language. There are endless ways of measuring a person’s knowledge and one of these ways is a test. On this test it is important to use the right language, grammar and words to allow you to achieve the highest success because if your language use is wrong and there are spelling mistakes everywhere, you will be considered less knowledgeable so you will get a much lower mark.

Phil’s Day Off: Since my last phil’s day off was pretty successful and my topic didn’t change much, I decided to do exactly the same thing. I headed to the Vancouver Art Gallery for the second time in a month. Although I did the same thing, I was actually looking for something much different. I was still listening to conversations but this time I was listening to the type of language they used. I found that if they used artsy language, I made the assumption that they were more knowledgable on this subject. If I concluded them knowledgeable, I ultered my opinions on the art that they were talking about. For example: i found a really ugly looking abstract picture, to me it was ugly forest green lines on a canvas, a couple behind me were walking around and suddenly the lady stopped and gasped at this miraculous piece of art she had just seen. It turned out she was looking at the ugly green lines. She admired outloud this perfectly constructed geometrical lines with immaculate shading and prescice angles. She went on about how amazing it was, and becuase of the language she was using to describe this art, I assumed she was knowledgeable, in doing this I realized I was thinking to myself “wow I actually might kind of like it now.” My opinion changed becuase of this random womans artsy language.

Conclusion: The manipulation of language is a deciding factor on how knowledgable people think you are . In using it properly, your limit to how much knowledge you have is endless. Knowledge cannot exist without language and language cannot exist without knowledge, it is a completely co-dependant relationship.

 

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Phil’s Day Off- Alysha Gillis

My goal during this phils day off was to find out how language relates to how knowledgeable you are percieved as by others. I was struggling to figure out what to do because I couldn’t just go on with my weekend becuase nothing I was going to do was going to help me with my topic. I decided to do to exact same thing as I did last Phil’s day off because my topic again has to do with words and the use of language so I figured that this would be a good idea. So I went back downtown to the Vancouver art gallery. This time I went to a different part of the gallery and this time it was based on Picasso’s artwork and this kind of fit perfectly with my topic becuase it got people talking about their opinions of all of the artwork.

During my afternoon at the art gallery I was just walking around and looking at the different art and listening to what peoples opinions on the art and the difference between last time and this time was last phils day off I was trying to listen to how people’s opinions affected my view on the artwork but this time I was trying to see if I could tell how knowledgeable people were about the art.

I discovered that it was clear who was an artist and was the “smartest” and had the most information on the artwork and who was just there becuase the art was pretty or for something to do on the weekend. I was listening to the people who were actally artists and had a lot of knowledge about art and it was much more interesting listening to people who actually knew what they were talking about becuase I felt like I could really learn much more about the piece than if I was listening to someone who didn’t know much about art and just thought it was pretty. I learned that when I was listening to people who used proper language about the topic, it seemed to me that I assumed that they had more knowledge than the people who spoke with less artistic vocabulary.

I think that I still would like to learn more about how smart I think people are about things I have knowledge about  becuase I could have been biast because I don’t really know much about art. Maybe if I did know a ton about art, those people that I thought knew what they were talking about, could have been completely wrong but since I knew basically nothing, I couldn’t have known any better.

I think that this phils day off was equally as sucessful as last because in both, I ended up sucessfully achieving my goal that I set out to complete. I also think that I learned more about my topic and answered a few of my unanswered questions so I would consider this a sucessful phils day off.

 

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Knowledge is language- Reading Post

In trying to figure out the original question What is knowledge? I really was struggling to figure out what to do with this becuase it was so open to so many different interpritations of what it could be. I knew that I wanted to connect this to my metaphysics question which was What Are Words? I couldn’t figure out how to connect knowledge to words so I simply stated that Knowledge is Language. I was really eager to find connections between the two topics or even if there was a connection becasue I think that these 2 ideals are so complex in their own ways that it would be really difficult to narrow them down to find the connections. We can all agree that when you are using language, it is used as reference to the knowledge that you know but how does our knowledge affect our language and words? My original idea at the beginning of this unit was Knowledge is language and as I was reading more and more posts and websites, it really started to solidify my concept. One of the more interesting articles I read was from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy and It was about the Language of Knowledge it states 3 sets of ideas that philosophers claim about an individual who speaks with knowledge must have/know:

(a) That speakers of a language know the grammatical properties of individual expressions of their language;

(b) That speakers of a language know the particular grammatical rules of a natural language; and

(c) That speakers of a language know the principles of universal grammar.

It basically states that a person who speaks with knowledgeable language must be aware of their grammar and knowing how to CORRECTLY use different grammatical expressions that differ from person to person, a person must know the rules of grammar in common/everyday language and finally, the speaker must know how to use universal grammar which is basically every concept and idea that you learn in english class. So this means in order to be considered “knowledgeable” language you first must know and understand what you are talking about. You also must be aware of how you are stringing together the way you are demonstrating this knowledge. You have to be able to connect with grammar, spelling, punctuation ect. To put together your opinion or thoughts on the subject you are knowledgable about. We must experience the world and explore different types of people and ideas in order to become intrigued or interested in our area of knowledge and this can affect how you are using your language because if the person who teaches you how to “correctly” use words and language doesn’t know how to use it, you would probably be considered less smart and sound like you don’t know what you are really talking about, even if you are completely right in your ways of thinking.

As I was reading numerous articles, of course the more I started to read, the more questions I began to have. I think that as with anything that interests you, you begin to find more and more interesting points and ideas from different people, the more you dig deeper into any given topic. My questions that I had after I continues reading were:  What relationship do speakers have to the system that regulates the language they speak? and also, What experiences are we missing in order to acquire understanding from words about a particular subject or concept?

 

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Knowledge Discussion/Reading Post – Courtney Mignot

When our class started the Epistemology Unit and started talking about Knowledge, the first thought that popped into my head was that knowledge is endless. No one can accurately or definitely define knowledge. Knowledge is many things, it is power, is it unique, it is knowing you know nothing and i believe that all of these examples tie together to show that knowledge is in fact everything and endless at the same time.

Once i decided on my question I started this process by coming up with my own questions and ideas. Some of these were..

-Is it possible for one person to be smarter or more knowledgeable than another? Because everyone has areas that they perhaps excel in more than others.

-Do we learn things without even knowing it?

-Can being too knowledgeable ever be a bad thing or hold you back for some reason?

-I believe that knowledge is absolutely everything and surrounds us everyday.

I did my research on “knowledge is endless” and wasn’t able to find that many blogs that helped answer my questions but instead i did find a couple really good quotes which opened my mind more to the concept of “knowledge is endless”.

“Knowledge is like an endless resource; a well of water that satisfies the innate thirst of the growing human soul. Therefore never stop learning… because the day you do, you will also stop maturing.” – Chidi Okonkwo

also…

Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge.

– Isaac Bashevis Singer
Finding these great quotes helped me because i realized that its true, no matter how smart we think we are, how much we study or how much we actually know, it will never be close to knowing all we can because knowledge IS endless. There will ALWAYS be someone who knows more than you, there were always be new knowledge about certain things being brought to our attention and we will never stop learning, even if we want to.
I spoke with Erin, Helena, Tali and Alejandro quite a lot about this topic. When Erin and I talked about my statement about knowledge is endless, she agreed with me but also said something that stood out to me. Erin asked “how do we measure knowledge and know how much someone has learned or if it endless? and there is no real answer to that question because there is no way to measure knowledge. So I realized that knowledge being endless is just a thing that i believe strongly but cant actually ever prove.
When Helena, Tali, Alejandro and I spoke we got off topic a little and ended up trying to figure out if knowledge is perception or capital T Truth. This discussion made me realize that knowledge in a way is a very personal topic and may mean different things to different people. So back to my topic, i realized that i believe knowledge is endless but others may believe that once you’ve learnt all you can about a subject then that is that.
After talking with my classmates and researching my topic online, It helped me realize that no matter what the topic is everyone will always have a different opinion on it. I also realized that knowledge as a whole is actually a way bigger topic than i thought and its actually scary to think we will never/cant ever realistically know everything there is to know.
 
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