Author Topic: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."  (Read 8955 times)

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Offline Danielle Emmalee

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Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2013, 12:32:44 am »
I believe observation is inherently flawed and that true knowledge is unobtainable through current scientific methods (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting).  We only have the ability to gain a "working knowledge" of the world.  And that working knowledge can be proven false in a single moment.  But it does help us fumble around the Earth in our current states for about 60-80 years on average.  I'm not sure true knowledge can ever be obtained, if it can, surely it is through something beyond physical means, maybe even something beyond our current mental capabilities.
Discord, I'm howlin' at the moon
And sleepin' in the middle of a summer afternoon
Discord, whatever did we do
To make you take our world away?

Discord, are we your prey alone,
Or are we just a stepping stone for taking back the throne?
Discord, we won't take it anymore
So take your tyranny away!

Jenna Stannis

Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2014, 11:34:26 pm »
This is a contradiction on its face and all the way down. It is a complete refutation of knowledge as such. The concept "nothing" denotes an absence - in this case, an absence of knowledge, of all knowledge. In order to have language, we need to form concepts and assign words to them, e.g. "know" "you" "nothing" etc. If our concepts are based on observable facts in reality, we call that knowledge (as opposed to faith). If you know nothing, your mind is a blank, a zero, a vacuum, and you have no means of stating that you know nothing.

As to the original question, yes, although the phrase "true knowledge" is a redundancy. Knowledge comes from using our perceptual faculty to observe the world around us, and then integrating what we see into concepts. Sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste... Think of what would happen, what the state of a child's mind would be, if he could not see? He would never be able to form a visual concept, such as the color "red" or even the concept of "color".

Now what happens to a child who is completely senseless? Some one who is deaf, blind, who can't taste, who can't smell, and has no tactile sensation?
He would have no means, no method of experiencing the world. He might have automatic processes, such as a pulse, and breath, but he would not be able to feel either. His mind would be like a vacuum; ready to be filled at the first sensation he experiences, but unable to experience or to think anything. From the simplest thought to the most complex abstraction, observation of the world via the senses is required.

Well it is known as a Socratic paradox (though some argue it's not a paradox at all). One interpretation of "I know that I know nothing" is that while we cannot know anything with certainty, we can still make knowledge claims with varying degrees of confidence.

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2016, 11:13:04 am »
Do you agree with that statement?

Absolutely. It's what science is all about.

What actually occurs is always true and valid, for the purposes of human beings.

I've been told I'm smart and worldly; but it's nothing special, no talent. I just have my eyes open all the time. That in itself is a good education. 


Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2016, 06:42:12 pm »
There's a huge difference between wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom can be gotten from experience only, but anyone can have knowledge and knowledge is eternal and ubiquitous. Knowledge does not need talent. It is human nature to learn things, for survival, but wisdom is an earned quality that is hard to get. Knowledge is a very sure thing - knowledge has to be discovered, and it doesn't change much over time, but wisdom is ever-changing, hence why it's so hard to get.

  I can sit inside for the rest of my life reading books and researching, but that means I'll lose touch with the world. I can observe the world for my whole life and never retreat to fact, but that means I'll lose touch with the truth. We are easily swayed by peers and facts, so there's a need for balance between the two. It's also very subjective and personal, at that.

Offline Tysilio

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Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2016, 09:15:10 pm »
There's no such thing as objective observation of the world; what we see always depends on we already know. In principle, we can achieve more accurate knowledge by constantly testing what we think we know against how the world behaves. This is what's meant by "critical thinking."

In practice, given people's seemingly limitless ability to observe the same same set of facts and come up with completely different conclusions... I'm not optimistic.
Never bring an umbrella to a coyote fight.