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Epistemology

The Limits of Knowledge ~Lazar

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/#SKE

I always seem to have an immense drive for a grasp of unlimited knowledge, for the capability to understand all there is, for my goals are to reach this ultimatum of knowledge to the point where I can no longer accept any additional information into my mind. Yet, when I read my own words, I feel childish and foolish, wondering how it is possible for one to know everything? But the problem is not in the strive for this goal, rather, that the concept of knowledge is limited by varying factors that dictate what one can know and how one can know.

For starters, let us consider what gives us a grasp of knowledge. From the link I’ve posted above, I’ve pulled out four key factors in the dissection of how we go a bouts “our” knowledge.

  1. Perception
  2. Introspection
  3. Memory
  4. Reason

In order to grasp knowledge one must first perceive “it” and it’s ideals. We learn, and as we learn we conjure the topic(s) with questions and sources in order to gain a stable perception. It is this perceptions that builds us a basis for reciting this knowledge upon our thoughts and among our peers. It is after we perceive this new found knowledge that we begin to create our own opinions and thoughts.

Introspection is where one inspects what he knows within his mind, to create new ideas and thoughts that can branch off from the original topic. Introspection is the examination of ones own mental state, defining how he/she feels or thinks. This is a key aspect, for without introspection one would not be able to truly dissect what he/she knows and understand. It allows for one to rethink and conclude their knowledge from the basis of their own mind.

Retaining the knowledge you have acquired is very significant to the process. Without memory, one would not remember new concepts and topics, ergo, one would not truly have knowledge. Without this one factor, the other three have know need to exist (Then again, the same goes for the dependence of all the factors among each other).

Finally there is reason, where similarly to introspection, one can examine the knowledge known, and conclude facts and truths, rights and wrongs, accuracy and inaccuracy from a topic. However, the very significant difference is that introspection is the process only within one’s mind and mental state, while reason is acquired more from the notion of physical experience. For example, Ow the candles’s flame is hot, that hurt, i shouldn’t touch it again would be an example of one using reason to create a conclusion.

Perception, introspection, memory, and reason, are the foundations of grasping knowledge. As we discussed the four different levels of knowledge today in class, it is these three bases that allow us to have a mental existence in each level of knowledge.

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