„That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow. “ Consider knowledge issues raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge. To what Extent is new knowledge better than old knowledge and therefore can knowledge be permanent? To answer this question, one first has to consider that knowledge as such varies on the point of perspective, since there are many ways of knowing. As for example Reasoning and Sense Perception. Reasoning is something we use whenever we tend to make a decision, therefore the interpretation of the word “Reason” can vary in the slightest form.
Our sense of reason is usually decided by our instinct as we decide almost unconsciously depending on the sort of experience we have had before. Reason is the way of connecting past experiences with each other using explanation, justification and judging. Sense Perception on the other hand is the primary way of how we interact with the rest of the world. Before we can use any of the other ways of knowing, we tend to use our own senses. I would interpret Perception to be the ability to pick out something through any of the different senses, such as smelling, seeing, hearing or touching.
Our human memory then takes these perceived experiences and registers them. Using History and Maths as my two areas of knowledge, I am going to be able to analyse my Topic from two different points of views. In my Opinion History is the study and/or record of past events. However what happened in the past can never be fully revealed and will therefore always maintain an assumption, therefore History can most likely never be fully proven. On the other hand Mathematics is a scientific study of measure, shape, structure, change and space.
The study can be divided into many fields but all of them are based on facts, theories and formulas and they can be proven right. The use of these areas of knowledge When looking at this question, five main key words stick out. Accepted, Today, Sometimes, Discarded and Tomorrow give the significance to the question. Accepted and discarded could be considered as an oxymoron, meaning that they connote the exact opposite. Just like today and tomorrow, today is the present and tomorrow is the future. If accepted is mentioned, I immediately connote that which is accepted by some, might not be accepted by
others. Or does society even accept knowledge? Like for example Hitler and the Nazis. The majority of people chose to believe that the knowledge, which was given to them, was correct. However it doesn’t necessarily have to be true, for example he gave the majority of his followers wrong information, which made them perceive the world differently. This is suggesting that the key to knowledge is not what we do know, but it is more important what we do not know. Information being revealed leads to different perception that automatically influences our lives, restricting boundless possibilities.
In other words, if one has the most knowledge, he can control the others. But to what extent do we accept knowledge? Although some people knew what Hitler did was not right, they would still refuse to follow their instinct and help, and they would rather sit back and watch. This demonstrates the strength of power (knowledge) and how it can influence someone else’s reasoning. Long ago, before the government as such ruled, the church aka Religion was known for ruling over people. They used to claim money and have power over them.
After considering the previous point made, the church were those who had knowledge over others, as believers would sanctify in the church. Discarded on the other hand means to get rid of something. When reading this word in a Theory Of Knowledge based question, the immediate connotation I have in mind is time. Old knowledge can’t be used anymore. Is new Knowledge better than old knowledge? This means that the knowledge can’t be widely accepted anymore, because it is out of date. This means that people forget, and they don’t question it anymore.
This often happens in Politics when scandals are created to encrypt what is actually happening. For example in 2009, the swine Flu was devised worldwide. Later given facts proved that the amount of deaths caused by the Swine Flu measured annually were similar to any other of a normal Flu. 1This proves my point that scandals are devised to the wider public to hide real problems. The modern media makes this very easy, as they seem to push the importance of scandals. This can be linked to the area of knowledge History, as it might have been the case with past incidences, and therefore how do we know if they are correct?
Today is a time measurement representing the present. This makes me wonder what knowledge exists today? Will it be permanent? To what extent is knowledge temporary? As we have seen in the past, knowledge we have gained previously proves to be wrong over a certain amount of time. If we look back for example people used to believe that the earth was flat. This was predominantly because the technology was not there to research further. So basically a lack of technology hinders us from knowing everything. Can this be applied to us?
It is often said that the more you learn the less you know, which conveys much the same problem as the essay. For example myself, when I was younger, I used to believe that colours were just given by nature. But now after some time in Physics lessons, I realised that colours are nothing more than the visual perception from the light reflection depending on its wavelengths. How do we know we can trust the knowledge sources we have today? Does this indicate that everything we know is only knowledge until it can be proven? Therefore does real Knowledge even exist?
It is most likely that although our technology has advanced exponentially throughout the past 10 years, the knowledge we have today will be irrelevant to the knowledge we have in future. This can be linked to both areas of knowledge. Although we do not know for sure whether our knowledge about things is at its final stage, but we do know that we can reason for it to be correct at the moment. Tomorrow is a time measurement representing the future. When reading this word in a Theory of Knowledge based question, the immediate connotation I have in mind is Future. What knowledge will exist tomorrow?
Will it be different to today’s knowledge? To what extent will it be different to today’s knowledge? People in the future might look back at us living today. Will our information discard in the future of tomorrow? Just like we look back at the people who didn’t know of the existence of the now by far most powerful continent of the world: America. Or will our information be proved right in the future of tomorrow? As for example the Mayas, who pretty much predicted every main event in nature that happened to us, millenniums before the technology advanced to the required standard.
Might this be true for us as well? Will our knowledge and our discoveries stay permanent? If yes, which ones? Probably the most important word of this question is sometimes. It means occasionally or from time to time, which suggests that it is undefined and has no common pattern. In Scientific based theories sometimes is not a good term to refer to, because Science is based on factual information or data, which can be proven to be right. However even Sciences work on the assumption of something to be true. On the other hand mathematics might change, expand, find new problems and truths but the
Pythagoras Theorem is not going to be overthrown. Therefore Maths is the only subject to truly embody “proof”. To what extent is new knowledge better than old knowledge and therefore can knowledge be permanent? New knowledge does not necessarily have to be better than old knowledge. I think “better” is the wrong word to justify thus. But I do think that the knowledge we have does improve over time, as for example technology increases, or for example we have more experience and new events influence our perception and our reasoning to adapt it to our world.
Since people change and cultures and religions tend to stay the same, we have plenty of real life examples, which prove that knowledge does change but it does not necessarily mean it gets better. I think that some knowledge can be permanent, but only until new knowledge and it can be proved through better reasoning. Furthermore, the acceptance and discarding of knowledge can be affected by several factors, but the main factor combining all of the five key words is time. Some knowledge can never be proven correctly, as the technology does not exist to explore it.
But to what extent is new knowledge better than old knowledge? Do we even want to know the “whole” truth about everything? Or is it better to sometimes keep things unrevealed? Our reasoning and our sense perception helps us identify knowledge, but to what extent is knowledge accepted? Others might discard it. Different people perceive and reason things differently. There is one certainty; the Pythagoras theorem is going to stay the same. However Todays knowledge is sometimes not tomorrow’s knowledge. Word Count: 1576 Written by Lion Zeisberg Rossall School United Kingdom