“When the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems begin to resemble nails” (Abraham Maslow). Applying the ways of knowing as an alternative of the subject matter of “tools”, this quote
suggests that if one looks at the ways of knowing as one group rather than individually, the knowledge that will be gained will not be to the best of the ability of oneself. The four ways of knowing are: reason, language, sense perception, and emotion. We will be determining to what extent is reason more reliable
as a way of knowing than the other ways of knowing, in math, natural science, and ethics? While analyzing math, natural science, and ethics, we will see that reason is neither more reliable or unreliable,
but plays both as a strength and weakness in different areas of knowing. In math, reason is not the most reliable way of knowing, considering math is mainly about deductive reasoning and logic. Natural
science does rely heavily on reason, due to the fact the scientific method is mainly about asking “why” and/or “how” questions. Similar to Natural Sciences, Ethics relies majorly on reason, because of the
question “Is this morally right or wrong?”
Math is a language. Having an extensive vocabulary, math also touches upon syntax and
grammar. Math relies heavily on language as a way of knowing, because math is a language itself. It is used to communicate between mathematicians, students, and teachers, etc. Globally, Math can make statements that are difficult or impossible to make in natural languages, giving it the opportunity to find truth values of statement that can be decided within the system.
Although math heavily relies on language as a way of knowing, it always requires reason. The equation 1+1=2 requires one to logically think; if I have one apple, and my friend gives me one more, how many do I have? Primarily, one must learn the number system. However, after that,
one must logically know that the number “2” is after “1”. Thus, adding 1+1, equals 2 and only 2, because that is the only number right after “1”. This shows that reason is heavily relied, as well as
Natural Science is a branch of Science that deals with the physical world. Some subcategories
of Natural Science are Physics, Biology, Geology. This branch of science thrives to answer the question “How can we develop technology?” by synthesizing bodies of evidence. Once finished with analyzing different bodies of evidence, the once stated opinion either becomes a law or theory. Reason is used in the concept of Observationalist Induction, in which one observes how something will happen and induces how it will continue to happen in the future. Reason is the best way of knowing to be used in natural sciences because it is objective, canceling out the opportunity of one to be bias. For example, the scientific method requires reason. Having science for ten years, I have been obligated to partake in lab experiments, each using the scientific method. First, one must...