Updated: Oct 23, 2019
To what extent can the ways of knowing and the scientific method provide us with knowledge? Support you answer with theories and research.
First of all, the Scientific Method would cease to exist if there would be no Wok, considering without emotion,
intuition, imagination, memory, faith, language, sense perception and reason we would not be able to gain knowledge as a civilization and or communicate in order to develop our knowledge further. All the 8 ways of knowing are intertwined and dependent on each other and an example would be how without language there would be no reason, because without words, one cannot reason, either express intuition.
To begin, one must first question if what we observe to begin with is reality and the absolute truth or not. Rene Descartes wonders about if we humans are independent or controlled by someone, perhaps a demon in our heads. George Berkeley later on in history proposed that to be is to be perceived, meaning we can only be sure of the events we experience in our lives, but to know whether it is real or not is not possible to know. It all goes through Berkeley's Idealism, of which is our perception of reality and explains how science goes only through observation and what we can observe is only what we can be acquainted with.
So, as mentioned in the first paragraph without language we cannot communicate with one another, thus we cannot grow as a civilization and create a modern environment with technology. It is because of communication that we have grown a mutual knowledge and managed to cooperate with one another and together build ourselves through to today's technology. Mutual knowledge, as well as personal knowledge is Steven Pinker's theory of which we have the personal knowledge, which is as the name implies, knowledge we experience and gain personal through our lives. Mutual knowledge is what we gain together, which is where the scientific knowledge also lies. This has also been proven through the Attachment theory, in which we can see how dependent we all are on one another in order to scientifically build a logical and coherent view of the world we live in.
As to say, laws in the scientific method are accepted because they are mutual knowledge and are repeated often as well in order to be secure and confirmed. A law or a certain area in science is proven to be true through hypothesis, testing, review, publication, falsification, modification and only then finally it turn into laws.
But language is not the only tool needed to gain knowledge. We need a memory sensor, short term and long term in order to gain knowledge, which is shown through Behaviorism, a systematic approach to understand humans/animals behavior through the manipulation of their environment. It is proven by experimenting on rats and feeding them whenever they touch a loop, they get a rewards, which also shows how our memory connects to our faith growing in response to the environment. The rat touched the loop and gets food, thus believing that if he continues doing so, the second, third and infinity time he will get a reward and this he would not know of without a memory.
Reasoning is also another key to gaining knowledge, in which is needed to make sense of the world using logic and can be gained through observations or experiences, rationality, comparison and judgment. However, reasoning can happen instinctively, explained by Daniel Kahneman's book “Thinking fast and slow” where he calls this system one ;decisions made too fast, leading to bias, prejudice or stereotypical destinations, which connects to intuition, in which we do not need a conscious reasoning to be guided towards knowledge. Intuition helps repel restriction to only a certain area, considering we cannot go by physical observations in all scenarios because a hypothesis is needed in order to have a base to begin experiments on. Emotion is also another factor, which has its operation system in the amygdala, where the emotional decisions are made. This has been proven by Antonio Damasio, who also proved that the amygdala guides our rational system prior to anything else and the rational system is built through the personal and mutually shared knowledge we have gained in our lives. Intuition, also cooperates with imagination of which can act a guideline and take us to a certain place in mind of how some things might work. However, we must also control our intuition to not lead us to too much imagination, because that can lead us to pure fantasy.
Even though, Wok with all its 8 factors can lead/provide us with knowledge, however we can see a pattern of which too much of each factor can lead us to unrealistic areas in our minds. Thus one can say that they are also double-edged, either a tool or an obstacle to knowledge. Language can be used to build an understanding for another, but also to trick or deceive one another. Memory helps us remember the past experiences, but can be modified by our built up fears, imagination and even schemas. Faith brings hope and trust, which bonds humans to what or who they believe in, but can also turn into wrong believes and hit a person into the wall and stop one from developing. Intuition can guide us towards the right path when a complete civilization says otherwise, such as Galileo and the church, but can also lead us into a prejudice path. Lastly, imagination grows our creativity within us, but can also go so far as making it hard to decide whether the fantasy or the reality is true.
As a conclusion, we can also see that the Wok only in cooperation with the Attachment theory and Mutual Knowledge can support and justify scientific method and its laws. Because of the fact that the natural sciences have been criticized to be not trustworthy or justified, one can only justify them as true beliefs through a collection of mutual experiments and shared knowledge within the community in order to build trust and stability between the people and education. And as Rene Descartes wonders if we are truly fully independent and real or if we are controlled by a demon in our heads, you may even question your own existence, which we come to realize that if Wok and scientific method provides knowledge at all is as Johan Lindkvist, Katedralskolans TOK teacher also proposes a difficult adventure and an infinite amount of research ahead. To also consider Berkley’s Idealism together with his research on perception, we lead to the conclusion that we can never really answer if we ourselves or if our experiences are real. We might as well be TV show characters modified by aliens, that are watching us from the top like a full HD TV. However, this also proposes how valuable knowledge is, considering what is hard to get becomes automatically more valuable such as diamonds low source, giving a higher price range.
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