The most difficult thing is getting to know the truth, to know the truth takes a lot and there is no prescribed procedure for getting to know the same. So the question is how exactly can a person know whether his perception of a given thing is true or not? This is a very debatable topic and many a theory has been formed on this. To know the truth one has to be an actor of knowledge. The term WOK which stands for ways of knowledge plays a pivotal role in getting to know the truth.
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This paper is going to deal with how exactly a person can get to know the truth. What are the complexities involved in knowing the truth? This paper will also describe terms like Areas of knowledge and ways of knowing the truth.
The famous Greek philosopher Plato described truth as “Justified true belief”. Theory of knowledge is a course that basically deals with how a person can get to know the truth. It involves the study of various terms like Ways of knowledge and Areas of knowledge. The term Ways of knowledge is further divided into four subheadings, namely perception, emption, reason, and language. The term perception is a psychological term that is a process in which the knowledge of sensory information is obtained. “The word perception comes from the Latin perception, perception, meaning receiving, collecting, the action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses.” (Wikipedia, August 22, 2008).
There are many things which make up a person’s perception, the most important of them all is a past experience which the person has had. Another important factor is the culture of that particular person. These two things are the most significant things which make up any person’s perception. Perception can be of any type, for instance, a person can have a perception of color or for that matter perception of speech and to add to this there are many more perceptions which any individual develops.
The next important term which comes under ways of knowledge is emotion. “An emotion is a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It is a prime determinant of the sense of subjective well-being and appears to play a central role in many human activities. As a result of this generality, the subject has been explored in many, if not all of the human sciences and art forms. There is much controversy concerning how emotions are defined and classified.” (Wikipedia, August 22, 2008).
A common mistake that is often committed is the inability to distinguish feelings from emotion. These two terms are different and the same is proved by many researchers. They believe that a person can experience emotions unconsciously too. On the other hand, feelings are emotions being experienced by an individual or a group of people. The third most important term which constitutes in the ways of knowing is Reason. Reason is a very broad term and it is usually justified by logic, for instance, an individual has a reason not to trust another individual because of logic and past experience. So a reason is provided to any individual purely because of logic.
When an individual comes to a conclusion by a logical understanding of a sequence of events that’s when it is called a reason. Logic is often the biggest drive that allows an individual to have a reason. The reason emotions vary immensely. The main focus of reason is to decide what is true and what is best suited in a given situation for an individual. The reason is one of the biggest factors which help in deciding the truth.
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The last factor which constitutes in the ways of knowing is Language. Language is nothing but symbols that help in communication. This is mutually exclusive to human beings; it is believed that only human beings are blessed with the ability to communicate effectively. There is no denying that other species do communicate but communication is not as effective as in human beings. This is important in the study of truth because unless an individual understands the language it is highly improbable that he would arrive at the truth. Hence this is another major factor that helps an individual in figuring out the truth.
Finding out the truth is a process that involves many ambiguities and to reduce these ambiguities there is something called areas of knowledge. Seven subheadings form the areas of knowledge namely mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, history, the arts, ethics, and spirituality.
To know the truth there are tests that can be executed to make sure that truth is found out. These tests involve four processes namely coherence, correspondence, pragmatism, and consensus. The word Coherence has many meanings, it can be associated with the field of linguistics, physics, and many more. It is basically something that provides meaning or propositions or beliefs. The same can also be a theory, the meaning differs and depends on which context the word is used in.
The term correspondence means communication between two or more people. This is very important in the process because communication plays a key role in deciding what the truth is. The penultimate term is Pragmatism, which involves a philosophical view of looking at a situation. The term also means real effects; this also involves logic without the involvement of logic it is impossible to arrive at the truth.
“If someone believes something, he or she thinks that it is true but maybe mistaken. This is not the case with knowledge. For example, a man thinks that a particular bridge is safe enough to support him, and he attempts to cross it; unfortunately, the bridge collapses under his weight. It could be said that the man believed that the bridge was safe, but that his belief was mistaken.
It would not be accurate to say that he knew that the bridge was safe, because plainly it was not. By contrast, if the bridge actually supported his weight then he might be justified in subsequently holding that he knew the bridge had been safe enough for his passage, at least at that particular time. For something to count as knowledge, it must actually be true.” (Wikipedia, August 22, 2008).
Finding out the truth is a very difficult process and for a person to arrive at the truth is a very pain-taking process. An individual has to have a clear understanding of the terms like areas of knowledge, ways of knowing and these terms are further subdivided into many more terms which lead to ambiguities, so getting to know the truth is a process and extensive research has to be conducted to arrive at the desired result which is to know the truth and relying upon our senses to give us the truth.
Theory of knowledge. In Wikipedia. 2008. Web.