Tell A Man There Are A Billion Stars And He'll Believe You. Tell Him A Bench Has Wet Paint And He Must Touch It To Know. Why?

1394 words - 6 pages

"'Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it he'll have to touch it to be sure (Anon.)' what does this suggest about the way different types of knowledge are justified?"Hot plates have to be touched. It is common knowledge that no matter how many times a waitress tells you that the plate is hot; you have to touch it to make sure. This is an example, along with the bench with wet paint on it of tactile proved knowledge. The above mentioned quote exhibits combined optical/believed knowledge against tactile knowledge and asks the question, "What does this suggest about the way different types of knowledge are justified?" An answer could be: different types of knowledge evoke different manners of justification.There are many types of knowledge, mainly classified by the sense by which one must use to perceive them; optical, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory. Each of these senses allows knowledge to be perceived by the body, all in different ways. An example here is the tactile knowledge of wet and hot, the bench and the plate. These two items are tactile and close at hand which create a need to touch them, due to the known closeness of the items.The sense of touch is one often combined with the sense of sight. Once a person perceives an object optically, the urge to know what the surface is like either evokes a movement to make oneself closer to the object or to use another sense to further the knowledge of the object, such as the sense of touch. It is natural in a human to learn as much as possible about an object through all the senses. Auditory knowledge comes by itself, but in order to "learn" more about it, one must utilize the imagination since the other senses are not viable. Gustatory knowledge is often disputed. Food, for example may taste differently to any one person, or perhaps, if someone is not aware of what they are eating, the lack of knowledge may alter the taste. Children and adults for that matter often use their sense of sight to prejudge a food item, as humans do receive ninety percent of their total information from the eyes. "Just taste it. C'mon try it!" Mom pleads hoping to encourage trying something new, but alas, the majority of the time it does not work, because those children know what they are about to be forced to eat is going to be disgusting. All of these are examples of different types of knowledge attained through the senses and why there may be attributed factors in the way knowledge is justified.Another example of a type of knowledge, is dogmatic knowledge, knowledge that is believed to be true, just because. An example of this is the stars in the aforementioned quote. "Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the sky and he'll believe you..." This is a dogmatic statement. Advanced enough technology does not exist to date that could actually track how many starts exist in the universe. This estimate is spoken and most...

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