Thursday, October 10, 2013

Types of Knowledge

It's difficult to talk about knowledge today.  For the past 400 years or so, the study of knowledge has been extremely mixed up and confused.  Half the people who study it end up deciding they can't know anything, and the other half don't know anything besides how to use long words like phenomenology, anamnesis and epistemology.

But I don't want to confuse you readers, so I'm going to use common language.  Okay?

People speak of three different places where you can know something: in your body, in your mind, and in your heart.  Each one works in a different way, to give you a different type of knowledge.  Here's a chart:
  • Mind—The intellect uses reason, which results in wisdom.
  • Body—The senses uses experience, which gives us knowledge or intelligence.
  • Soul—The intuition uses perception, which gives us understanding.
Examples:
  • My reason tells me that two parallel lines will never meet.
  • I know it is sunny today, because I can see the sky.
  • I believe that the Great Wall of China exists.
There can be overlap between the three types of knowledge.  For example, I can know something with my mind, and then later confirm it is true with my senses.  Or I can ponder something in my mind and use intuition to perceive that it is true.

Sometimes, there is no overlap between the three types of knowledge.  For example, an infinite line or the subconscious mind cannot be perceived by the senses. That makes it impossible to have sense-knowledge of those things.  You can have knowledge about them, yes, but not through the senses.

2 comments:

Breanna;) said...

Hmmm. I never thought of it that way before! That's interesting.

Anonymous said...

How can you believe the Great Wall of China exists when there’s evidence that it’s fact? Belief, by definition, is an assertion without proof or evidence. For example, you don’t BELIEVE 2+2=4. It’s a FACT 2+2=4. There’s no faith involved. You don’t believe the Great Wall exists. It’s fact that it does—there’s evidence for it. By contrast, you may believe aliens exist, since at this time, there is no evidence to support or deny that they do. So, thinking aliens exists are belief, not a fact, while you KNOW the Great Wall exists.