How is knowledge gained? What are the sources? To what extent might these vary according to age, education, or cultural background?
According to the theoretical definition written originally by Plato, knowledge is a statement that is contemplated as justified, true, and believed. Knowledge is gained through a combination of ways of knowing; including perception, language, and reason. However, it is through experience that we begin to understand the process about knowing exactly what we know. Experience results in drawing inferences and reaching conclusions about what we learn through out life. Our education, age, and cultural background all affect what we distinguish as being true or false, and what is determined as knowledge.
Although many people believe that knowledge is gained through the average educational facilities, this is not always true. It is through experience, which is a form of empirical knowledge, that we actually learn and gain knowledge. “Experience is the accumulated pool of observations, associations, habits, skills, and judgments from which we draw recollections, hunches, expectations, and so on” (Dunn 53). This is the basis of everything we know. For example, we do not know that a stove is hot until we touch it, and it causes pain to our body. Through sense perception, we learn that we should not touch a hot stove, and therefore gain that knowledge. The education we receive in schools is not considered knowledge without experience. We can learn as much information as possible, but still not gain knowledge. Information can be described as experience, observations, data, and facts that have not yet been processed. (Dunn 9) With all the information we gain in school, we must apply it into the real world. Humans are an odd species that seem not to take what other people say as being true. Even if we have been told that we must not do something, we tend to rebel against society, and take actions that result in negative consequences. It is...
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