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The Theory of Knowledge, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1643

Essay

Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge. Only seeing particular examples can give us understanding

Abstract

The Theory of Knowledge better describes a product of doubt. A time reaches when people sit down, with a feeling and a sense of doubt deep inside them. It is at this time when they seriously ask themselves if they really know anything. There is the urge to wanting to know more and more, which disregards the little that we already know. By default, this leads us into an examination and desire of knowing, with the hope of obtaining the ability to distinguish the trustworthy from the untrustworthy beliefs. Seeing is a mode of gaining knowledge, and so is exemplification[1]. This paper seeks to discuss the extent of the agreement of the statement that   only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge, and only seeing particular examples can give us understanding.

Distinguishing between knowledge and understanding

With regard to the statement of interest, we distinguish between knowledge and understanding. Knowledge and Understanding interlink to form Wisdom. In the example of a classroom case, after passing out the explanation of a concept, a teacher always has the urge to know whether the students understood the concept or not. This illustrates the importance of understanding, a concept that comes in after passing knowledge. Therefore, understanding and knowledge comprise of closely related concepts. However, they are different concepts all the same.

Knowledge is an act of learning gained through experience, reading books, or education. It is a justified true belief and a working model. In describing the experience part of knowledge, it brings in the issue of common sense as knowledge. It is common sense for people who are outdoors to put up their umbrellas by default when a shower of rain comes.  In some cases, knowledge concerns the distinction of truth from errors, thus bringing in the ability to tell the degree of certainty and precision. Thereby, vague knowledge has more likelihood of truth as compared to precise knowledge.  There are some cases where one does self-discovery to gain knowledge.

Understanding means having confidence on a given subject. Confidence in that subject gives the ability to employ the subject for a specific purpose appropriately. It brings in wisdom and intelligence that enables one to recall information and thus put it into use. Understanding is all about having a deeper meaning of a subject, more than just having mere knowledge. A person who understands a subject well has the potentiality of answering all questions regarding that particular subject. Contrary to knowledge that involves factual, not open to further questioning, understanding engages longer statements, explanations, and corrections wherever one points out any incongruence explanations[2].

Arguments for the topic

We give a closer look of the two concepts: knowledge and understanding, in our daily lives. One gains knowledge much faster than understanding. On daily conversations, people make casual use of the words knowledge and understanding. You may find someone saying, “I believe whatever I have done is correct to best of my knowledge.” Another person would say, “As far as my understanding is concerned, this sum is wrongly done.” With the two sentences in mind, the two words look almost similar but deep inside them lays subtle differences.  Knowledge is somewhat concerned with the memory level of a person. When one sees things, then he gains knowledge. If one is in a position to memorize facts as the weekly TV channel programs. One may also gain knowledge from the ability of cram, an example of a student who crams the entire map of United States of America with all countries listed.  Knowledge involves facts that are not arguable. They simply form a knowledge base that helps people in their daily lives. From a greater view of things, knowledge arises from seeing a general pattern of things[3]. Taking the example of the TV programs, a pattern naturally forms that this particular day of the week, a particular program airs. The same applies to studying map work, cramming the names of presidents, and obtaining the knowledge of the top ten songs of the week.

Holding still on the topic, there is understanding that is more concerned with a deeper meaning. It more often employs questions, whose discussions could bring in controversies due to the different answers that may come up. It is in employing the use of examples and proofs is there an agreement and understanding.  While there are different theories trying to explain natural occurrences, it is upon the proofing of those theories that there is understanding. The simple prove of the gravitational theory is practically done where one throws an object and it falls back to the earth. Students thus gain a practical understanding

Arguments against the topic

On having a closer look of the topic of discussion, “only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge”, a lot of ambiguity comes in. one would wonder if only seeing contributes to knowledge. It is obviously untrue. There are several ways of gaining knowledge- reading, listening, speaking, touching and feeling. In some cases, patterns do not form trend, due to arise of externalities. The rainfall pattern of a given region cannot give the exact knowledge of the climate. This is because the pattern is because human factors as logging and global warming can affect the rainfall pattern. In broader terms, knowledge is something gained at any place, any time, and while doing whatsoever. It does not just need some one to see only.  Knowledge can as well arise from experience, where, subjection of a person to a given condition or situation would bring out the knowledge required.

Taking a critical look at the second part of the topic statement, “only seeing particular examples can give us understanding”. Understanding underlies various items other than examples. In any case, if we consider the theory behind the origin of the earth. There is no definite answer, thus calling for absorption of the various theories. There exists no example in describing the evolution of the earth[4]. Yet, there is a form of understanding of the theories describing the earth’s origin. The answer would simply be, “According to Charles Darwin, evolution theory on the origin of species occurred due to natural selection.” Charles Darwin is not the only scientist who sought to describe the evolution theory. Exemplification would come in since latterly, people have advanced Charles Darwin’s theory to explain the idea of biological development and mutations to explain evolution. At that angle of argument, an affected family would form the example.

Going back to the classroom approach, after the teachers have taught and passed out the knowledge, they always have the urge to know whether the students understood the concept or not. There is the employment of a test to check the understanding of a person[5].  Students who gain a deeper understanding of the concept give detailed answers that describe both knowledge and understanding. They describe each concept precisely, while giving examples. On the other hand, those who simply gained the knowledge are more likely to jot down shallow factual answers. They comprise of those persons whose interest is grasping the fact, and not the concept behind it. Taking an example in describing the shape of the earth, a student who is knowledge-based with simply say the earth is spherical. On the other hand, those students with a greater concept regarding the spherical shape of the earth would go a step ahead and give further explanations behind the spherical shape of the earth. However, the fact that students have different mode of understanding not considered in this case. A student with a high “cramming power”, is able to describe clear concepts, just as the one who gained the understanding. Such a student is poorer, than even the one with basic knowledge, yet graded so highly.

In conclusion, I attest that both understanding and knowledge are of paramount importance to students, as one is incomplete without the other. If a student understands the explained concept without gaining the knowledge, then it is useless. Similarly, if one obtains knowledge i.e. facts, without understanding is just a show of marvelous memory, which may not help an immense deal in an exam situation[6]. However, I do not agree with the assertion that only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge, and only seeing particular examples can give us understanding. Seeing alone cannot ring in a deeper understanding of factual. Knowledge is obtainable from various approaches other than seeing. All the same, students are encouraged to have a deeper understanding of concepts rather than simply having the knowledge or a crammed concept.

References

Hardaway, Donald E. & Scamell, Richard W. (2012). Open Knowledge Creation: Bringing Transparency And Inclusiveness To The Peer Review Process. MIS Quarterly. Vol. 36 Issue 2, p339-346. 8p

Kihlstrom, John F. (2012). Searching for the Self in Mind and Brain. Social Cognition. Vol. 30 Issue 4, p367-379. 13p.

Lakshman, C. (2011). Postacquisition cultural integration in mergers & acquisitions: A knowledge-based approach. Human Resource Management. Vol. 50 Issue 5, p605-623. 19p.

Lee, Jongkuk.(2011). The Alignment of Contract Terms for Knowledge-Creating and Knowledge-Appropriating Relationship Portfolios. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 75 Issue 4, p110-127. 18p.

[1] Lee, Jongkuk. (2011).The Alignment of Contract Terms for Knowledge-Creating and Knowledge-Appropriating Relationship Portfolios. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 75 Issue 4, p110-127. 18p

[2] Kihlstrom, John F. (2012). Searching for the Self in Mind and Brain. Social Cognition. Vol. 30 Issue 4, p367-379. 13p.

[3] Lakshman, C. (2011). Postacquisition cultural integration in mergers & acquisitions: A knowledge-based approach. Human Resource Management. Vol. 50 Issue 5, p605-623. 19p.

[4] Lee, Jongkuk.(2011). The Alignment of Contract Terms for Knowledge-Creating and Knowledge-Appropriating Relationship Portfolios. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 75 Issue 4, p110-127. 18p.

[5] Hardaway, Donald E. & Scamell, Richard W. (2012). Open Knowledge Creation: Bringing Transparency And Inclusiveness To The Peer Review Process. MIS Quarterly. Vol. 36 Issue 2, p339-346. 8p

[6] Lakshman, C. (2011). Postacquisition cultural integration in mergers & acquisitions: A knowledge-based approach. Human Resource Management. Vol. 50 Issue 5, p605-623. 19p.

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