Free The Theory Of Knowledge Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Education, Knowledge, Cognition, Belief, World, Human, Psychology, Life

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/10/25

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Abstract

The paper deals with the theory of knowledge or gnosiology, which appeared in the philosophy at a very early stage of its development. Gnosiology studies the nature of human cognitive activity, the ratio of knowledge to reality, the conditions of its existence in the system of culture and communication, the criteria of truth and ways to achieve the true knowledge. The main issue of the gnosiology is the problem of the knowability of the world. The author argues that cognition is the process of purposeful and active representation of reality in the human consciousness. During the cognition it is identified the various facets of life, researched the external side and the essence of things and phenomena of the world, as well as the subject of cognitive activity (a man) explores himself.
It is said that the result of any cognition process is knowledge. In the process of this cognition a person receives information about the world, forms the concepts and makes judgments about the phenomena, objects and their properties, relations between them, constructs a theory or hypothesis about the functioning of the objective world. Knowledge is the basis of the practical human activity whose effectiveness depends on how they adequately reflect the real world. Types of knowledge on the nature of knowledge can be: a) everyday; b) art-shaped; c) scientific (Hay, 2008).
It is made a conclusion that the passive observation or the active experiments are very broad concepts and not the only ways of the acquiring knowledge. Certainly, the active experiment is incredibly important, because it is the only criterion for true knowledge, and may be the only possible source of knowledge. However, in the majority, the experiment is based on the basic knowledge obtained through the passive observation. In my opinion, the best thing is to consider these two methods together, because each of these methods are not mutually exclusive, but complementary and provide an opportunity to get a true knowledge in most areas of life.

The theory of knowledge or gnosiology appeared in the philosophy at a very early stage of its development. Gnosiology studies the nature of human cognitive activity, the ratio of knowledge to reality, the conditions of its existence in the system of culture and communication, the criteria of truth and ways to achieve the true knowledge. The main issue of the gnosiology is the problem of the knowability of the world. Gnosiology deals with the common characteristics of the cognitive activity, while logic, psychology and other sciences study the particular aspects of the cognitive processes. Also the subject of gnosiology includes questions about the structure of the process of cognition of the specifics of the subject and object of knowledge in the natural and humanitarian sciences. Gnosiology investigates the rational and sensual cognitive abilities of man, studies the empirical and theoretical ways of cognition (Morton, 2003).
The term epistemology appeared later. Epistemology is the theory of the scientific cognition. Cognition is the process of purposeful and active representation of reality in the human consciousness. During the cognition it is identified the various facets of life, researched the external side and the essence of things and phenomena of the world, as well as the subject of cognitive activity (a man) explores himself. It is accepted to distinguish the two principles of epistemology. The basis of approach to the problem of knowledge are gnosticism (or epistemological optimism) and agnosticism (Dancy, 1985).
In the philosophical concepts, the cognition is traditionally divided into three its varieties: sensory, rational and intuitive cognition. Within the framework of sensory cognition and the interaction with objects and processes of the external world we get the primary knowledge about the world in the form of sensations, perceptions and ideas. The results of the data received through sensation are recorded in the sphere of rational with the help of concepts, judgments and inferences. The criterion of truth of the acquired knowledge is the social practice. It is the basis and purpose of the cognitive process (Morton, 2003).
Sensation is a simple elementary reflection of the individual property of the material object, directly interacting with the human senses. Sensations are divided into visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and gustatory. They tend to act as the components of a more complex thing - perception. Perception is a holistic image of the object, which is directly given in the live contemplation together with all its sides, the synthesis of these individual sensations. It occurs within the direct interaction of the subject with the object, process and phenomenon (Morton, 2003).
Presentation is a generalized sensory-visual image of the object, affected the senses in the past, but not perceived at the moment. These include images of memory and imagination images (mermaid, centaur et al.). Comparing with the perception, representation does not mean a direct relationship with the real object. This is usually vague, not clear image of the object, but it is made with the release of an elementary generalization of some of the common signs and display insignificant features (Morton, 2003).
The living contemplation as a whole is characterized by the reflection of the external world in a visual form, a direct link with human reality, reflection of mostly external sides and relationships, the beginning of understanding the internal dependencies based on the initial concentration of the sensory data. We must bear in mind that there is no ‘pure’ sensuality, free from the influence of thinking (Morton, 2003). The importance of the sensory reflection in the development of knowledge is extremely high, even taking into account the trend of the significant increase in the role of thinking, abstractly - idealized objects in the modern science.
Rational knowledge is more fully and adequately expressed in the process of thinking. Abstract thinking is closely related to the human capacity for generalization and idealization, judgments and conclusions, other logical operations (Morton, 2003). Rational cognition differs from the sensitive by the fact that the first is a volitional process, it is inextricably linked with the language and has a generalized character. It, like the perceptual cognition, is purposeful and active (Dancy, 1985).
Human thinking is not a purely natural his property, but a developed in the course of history function of the social subject, society in the process of purposeful activity and communication, their perfect form. Therefore, thinking, its forms, principles, categories, laws and their sequence are intimately connected with the history of the social life, due to the development of the labor practices. Exactly the level and structure of practice ultimately determine the way of thinking of a particular era. Along with the development of practice, its increasing complexity and internal differentiation it changes thinking, passing the certain levels.
It should be borne in mind that the rational thinking is correlated not only with the sensual, but also with other forms of knowledge. The great importance in the cognition process refers to the factors such as imagination, imagination, emotion, intuition. In the obtaining of new knowledge, besides the logical thinking, intuition plays an important role. The experience of the cognitive activity indicates that the usual logic in many cases is not sufficient to solve the scientific problems. The ability to the intuition is recognized by many outstanding scientists of our time (Morton, 2003).
Intuition is a specific cognitive process, directly producing new knowledge inherent to all people (though in varying degrees). It is the ability to comprehend the truth through its direct discretion, without the justification by proving (Dancy, 1985). At the initial stage in the human psyche at the level of the unconscious it is accumulated the unconscious sensory and conceptual images. Then, is takes place the ‘processing’ of these images using those or other intellectual operations. It is possible that there is a transition of the sensual images to the logical forms and vice versa (Hay, 2008).
At the same time there is a process of awareness of the problem facing the person, as a result of which this task can be clearly and precisely formulated. The final phase of intuition is a sudden insight, emergent solution to the problem, which may be due to the formation of a single sensory-logical way, ‘ejecting’ the surface of consciousness that is still hidden in the depths of the unconscious. Temporally this process can be lengthy or short-lived, as well as almost instantaneous (Hay, 2008).
The result of any cognition process is knowledge. In the process of this cognition a person receives information about the world, forms the concepts and makes judgments about the phenomena, objects and their properties, relations between them, constructs a theory or hypothesis about the functioning of the objective world. Knowledge is the basis of the practical human activity whose effectiveness depends on how they adequately reflect the real world. Types of knowledge on the nature of knowledge can be: a) everyday; b) art-shaped; c) scientific (Hay, 2008).
A person gets everyday knowledge in the daily life. This is knowledge at the level of common sense. It is often superficial and needed for a person to navigate in the world, to build relationships with other people. Artistic knowledge is a set of concrete sensory images, the system of multi-valued metaphors and symbols that reveal one phenomenon through another. This knowledge contributes to the development of imagination, affects the formation of the ethical and moral values.
Scientific knowledge is an ordered system of concepts that makes up the theories. It is characterized by a high degree of generality and abstraction, a deep understanding of the facts and insight into the nature of the object under the study. In scientific knowledge it is recorded the causal relationships between objects and reflected the patterns of their development. It enables to predict the results of the development of various systems with a high degree of certainty (Hay, 2008).
Currently, knowledge is identified with certainty, corresponds to the objective reality. Opinion – is an uncertain knowledge that needs to be substantiated. Opinion is based on the subjective confidence, which is a consequence of unconscious inner experience of the individual personal knowledge, intuition. That is why it can exist the different opinions over the same object in the same relation. Opinion is a subjective view, a subjective evaluation that has not yet received its objectification (Hay, 2008).
In addition to opinions, it exists a faith. Faith is the adoption of a provision without a reason (empirical or rational). Knowledge suggests the possibility of doubt in its authenticity and its subsequent removal by the justification. Faith eliminates doubt and does not accept criticism. In this sense it is opposed to knowledge. Faith is ‘woven’ into an emotionally-psychological context of human life, i.e., rational grounds are completely superseded by the sensory-emotional bases (Hay, 2008).
Faith accompanies man throughout the life path. Faith in the existence of a ‘material world,’ in that it is diverse and multi-featured, contributes to the cognition of the world and to the use it to improve the conditions of the human existence.
The scientific process also has the elements of faith. For the mathematical knowledge it is the axiom, for physics – postulates, for the humanities – the different premised structures (Hay, 2008). Regarding the assertion that ‘there are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment,’ after the extensive study of the theory of knowledge we can say the following (Hay, 2008).
The passive observation or the active experiments are very broad concepts and not the only ways of the acquiring knowledge. Certainly, the active experiment is incredibly important, because it is the only criterion for true knowledge, and may be the only possible source of knowledge. However, in the majority, the experiment is based on the basic knowledge obtained through the passive observation. In my opinion, the best thing is to consider these two methods together, because each of these methods are not mutually exclusive, but complementary and provide an opportunity to get a true knowledge in most areas of life.

Works Cited

Dancy, Jonathan. An introduction to contemporary epistemology. Oxford, UK New York, NY, USA: B. Blackwell, 1985. Print.
Hay, Clare. The theory of Knowledge a coursebook. Cambridge, U.K: Luttherworth Press, 2008. Print.
Morton, Adam. A guide through the theory of knowledge. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2003. Print.

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