The Possibility Of The Discarding Of Knowledge

1662 words - 7 pages

In this essay, the extent that the discovery/ development of new knowledge in the fields of the natural sciences and history causes the discarding of older and previously held knowledge will be explored. It is important to understand that the definition of knowledge is justified, true, belief. The central knowledge issue that arises from this exploration, is that the discovery/ development of new knowledge cause things that were previously held as knowledge to be discarded. This knowledge issue will be explored across the natural sciences and history. Throughout this essay, I will attempt to show that which is accepted as knowledge today, is sometimes discarded in regards to the natural sciences and history as areas of knowledge.
In the field of the natural sciences, scientists discard that which was considered knowledge previously on a regular basis due to the consistent development of new knowledge. It is the job of a scientist to not hold anything to be completely true without justifying the proposition for themselves. If a contradictory proposition is found to be true through justification by the scientific method of experimentation, the scientist conducting the research will accept the new proposition as knowledge and discard that which was previously held as knowledge. Through the scientific method, no proposition can be accepted as true by the scientific community until it has been confirmed on several occasions by several contrasting sources. The scientific method is an exemplary use of true reason as a way of knowing to accumulate knowledge. After a theory has been justified, only then can it become fact. Scientific law models the knower’s pursuit of knowledge on several levels because for a theorem to become law, it must be justified as true and believed by the vast community of leading scientists. Justification, truth, and belief are, not by coincidence, the same requirements required for a knower to hold a proposition as knowledge.
We now have a derived knowledge claim from this exploration, being that scientists test that which is currently held as knowledge and in some cases discard that which was previously held as knowledge due to the discovering of new knowledge through experimentation. One specific example to support this knowledge claim would be when Nicolas Copernicus discovered that the universe was heliocentric as opposed to geocentric. In Copernicus’s time, it was an accepted truth that all celestial bodies orbited the earth because it is what the church had proclaimed and, as far as anyone could examine given the technology, it was believed to be true. The universe being heliocentric was a concept that was believed by the masses to be true, and was justified as far as anyone could see with their naked eye into the sky. The knowledge claim that the universe is geocentric was henceforth considered to be knowledge. Sometime between 1510 and 1514, it was Nicolas Copernicus who challenged the church by presenting that...

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