• RegularGuy
    I’m beginning to think that knowledge is a belief that things work a certain way, the belief that they will continue to work that way until they no longer work that way. Once that belief is shattered, it is no longer knowledge. The belief must have its foundation in empirical experiences.

    An example is the function of bows and arrows. Properly functioning bows if used properly will continue to shoot arrows away from the user. As long as this is the case it is knowledge given someone believes this. There can be knowledge of proper use of bows and arrows, the making of bows and arrows, and the repair of bows and arrows. As long as these things continue to work and someone believes they will continue to work, then they know about the use, construction, and repair of them.

    Scientific knowledge is something else. It employs explanatory models. Once something doesn’t fit into that model, the model is modified or scrapped. Scientific knowledge is much more tenuous and less useful than the example I gave above, but this needs justification:

    Technology precedes science in a lot of cases. Bows and arrows preceded F=MA, for example. However, E=MC^2 preceded the atom bomb. Bows and arrows will continue to work even without scientific knowledge. Atom bombs can be built by step-by-step instructions (simplistic, I know) without understanding E=MC^2 as North Korea probably did through the aid of Russia. Explanatory models are modified all the time. Sometimes they are even scrapped. However, the knowledge of the steps to build an atom bomb are true as long as atom bombs continue to work, regardless of whether E=MC^2 is modified or scrapped for something that works better as an explanatory model.

    Thus, useful knowledge is more compelling than scientific knowledge.
  • Janus
    I see knowledge as being in three guises; knowing that, knowing how and knowing with. They are often conflated which creates much confusion and controversy.
  • RegularGuy
    I see knowledge as being in three guises; knowing that, knowing how and knowing with. They are often conflated which creates much confusion and controversy.Janus

    Can you give examples just for clarification? I think I agree with you, btw.
  • Janus
    An example of knowing that would be knowing that Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales. Being able to do anything with anything is knowing how. Knowing via measurement or number or any concept or even any feeling (think the arts, poetry music here) is knowing with. They are all different kinds of examples of knowing by familiarity. Of course, conceptually there are crossovers; there are no hard boundaries. That's my take on it, anyway. I'm open to elaborations or improvements on this rough schema.
  • Filipe
    You are right it feels incomplete because you are right to say that you do not need to know how chemistry work to make a cake you just need the right instructions and for the biggest part of society that is work just fine. But you will always have someone that you ask you Why and that is the magical word that gave us the capacity to evolve (technologically) Why.
    Some people make the mistake of saying that we are stagnated in science and that before we were smarter and that people in the past had a better understanding of existence, they come and say names like Newton, Albert, Pythagoras and Etc, but what people fail to understand is that there were billions of people that lived with those guys but they never care to ask why...
    And you know what, that is just fine as long as there are guys that ask why and make discoveries and create new ways of doing things so that we can continue to make the cake (a better, bigger, tastier cake) everything gonna work.
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