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Recognising When We Have Made Progress In Knowledge Philosophy Essay

Knowledge is all around us and it is something that is a learned behavior. Knowledge is acquired through life's experience and education. Everything we do in life gives us a step further in knowledge's wise perspective. Everything we do, everything we live through, and everything we experience is how the knowledge is gained. It might not always be the knowledge we seek, but there will definitely be some sort of knowledge out of every situation we encounter whether new or repeat. Unless we seek the correct knowledge, we will not be always able to find what we are looking for. Therefore it is up to the person whether he chooses to acquire or not the correct knowledge.

The interesting thing about a topic such as knowledge is that sometimes people make progress in search of knowledge yet they are not aware of it. It is something like through the investigation of some project we need to do for school, we stumble upon what seems to us as insignificant information about something which normally is at the time considered to be of no importance and we simply disregard it. But on the day of project, the teacher might ask that very question, and since we have our memory grouped into 3 different types of storage - sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory, it is most likely that that small piece of information was just briefly in the short memory at the time of investigating and that information can be retrieved if we try to remember it. Then we actually realize we made progress in knowledge of something that we thought was insignificant. We learn knowledge with everything we do from reading a book to sitting on a blanket on a starry night watching the stars in the night sky.

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Normally, we consider the knowledge to be something that is true - most likely a fact. But let's really think about it who said that what we learn is really true? Just because some ancestor form far back at the start of time said that green is the color of the grass and that two plus two is four we don't question it we just go with it, But if we think of it deeper then we come to realize that in fact, the knowledge we presume is knowledge that might just be an assumption set by us or set by someone else then acquired by us so it becomes indefinite whether it is true knowledge or simply someone's assumption. To know something is not necessarily all the time plain facts, it is sometimes learned experiences, or experiences handed down from our ancestors, where we make choices instead of having one straight forward answer in front of our eyes. Knowing this is knowing you progressed in knowledge.


The knowledge we are looking for will not always stare us right in the face, but sometimes we have to seek it in order to get the answers we want. In order to do that, we investigate and search the unknown and when a person is in an unknown area of exploration he/she can come to the realization what is the limit of something and by what standards can they decide that limit. Example for that can be put in a real life scenario where a person who gets lost in the forest and comes across an unknown flower collects it and brings it back home with him. Then he grows the plant and gives it a name. Then years later a scientist comes along and makes a medicine from the flower after some research and trills and errors'. It is basically same like knowledge - if we discover something in an unknown area of exploration, we are not sure whether or not that knowledge is valid until we get strong solid proof for it from external source "Doubt is the key to knowledge". Since you have to question and research your answer to know if you are on the right track to gaining the knowledge you seek. But the main concrete question remains. How can we say, with certainty when are we actually aware that we made progress in search for knowledge? Mostly it is based on our life experience and the experiences of our ancestors handed down from one generation to another, Or as innovated investigators and seekers through which we develop skills with which we can confirm certain things that a non-investigator cannot. Therefore an investigator can search in areas which are well developed with information needed while non-investigator searches blindly and slowly starts developing himself. It all comes down to experience - whether it is in knowledge, seeking information or some important life lessons that everyone have to learn. Because of that, most of the times, some big figures for country and world such as presidents and premiers are always in their mid age instead of still being in youth. But just because they are older don't mean they know what is best sometimes a young fresh mind has a better insight. But, most of the times, even without school education, an elder person will most likely know more life questions and information then a young person because of the experience and how long have they lived in the world. To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in different areas of knowledge? As young children we gain knowledge from our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members. We also gain knowledge from playing in the yard, riding a bike, climbing a tree. As we get older we gain knowledge from going to school, learning about the world's history, and the history of the culture of our ancestors. Then as adults we gain knowledge from our jobs, friends, spouses, and let's not forget about our children. That is what acquiring knowledge is about, LIFE! So if one gains knowledge but does not pass it on to the younger generation is it truly learned knowledge? Because when one passes on to the other life he/she takes that knowledge with them and it is lost till someone comes along and discovers it for themselves. Then with a little luck that person will pass it on to the next generation and so on, till it becomes a passed down learned knowledge.


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Now the question of how we realize if we progressed in knowing is in my opinion based on individuals. There is no universal answer for such question because every person acts according to his/her own sense of claims and truths. For people to think all in the same way would probably be the only way to get universal answer to any question, but that is not possible because every individual thinks and decides on their own according to their culture and beliefs. Many give and provide great answers and alternatives, but still the core idea of knowledge must be preserved in order for people to develop it and raise new ideas slightly higher than previous ones. People knowing they acquired the new knowledge and then passing that knowledge on to younger generation is the true meaning of knowledge. As so Knowledge is a learned behavior.

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