Theory Of Knowledge Essay

1199 words - 5 pages

Within the world, many times we have to reevaluate and consider multiple varying possibilities. Nothing is ever completely known, so when new discoveries are made about a topic that has already been previously discovered we must readapt our way of thinking about something that we believed we had used to know.
In order to evaluate the quote, “That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow,” we must first define key words within the phrase to get a better understanding of what the quote actually means. In saying “accepted”, by which terms do we mean, and by what terms, or who, determines what is “accepted”? Is “knowledge” valued in terms of functionality, or just the knowing of how to do something even if invaluable? When speaking of “today” and “tomorrow” what time frame is being considered, and does certain knowledge expire over time? In saying “sometimes” I am curious as to what the certain conditions pertain to. Lastly, what is meant when saying “discarded”? Does this mean lost and forgotten, or just ignored? Who determines the disregard? What if one group chooses to discard a set of beliefs while another decides to accept and still practice them? In using language as a way of knowing, we already see that this quote is more dimensional than what it appears to be on the surface.
I believe that the two most addressable and prevalent areas of knowledge for this topic are within the natural sciences and human ethics. Knowledge within these two areas are at a constant change. While ethics are based more on the forever changing opinions of societies, the natural sciences are more concrete and are malleable by different means. By looking at these two areas of knowledge, we can Consider knowledge issues raised by the previously stated quote.
As evidence to this quote, in the natural sciences we can use the development of the model of the atom as an example. It is a story of how ideas changed about the nature of the atom. Democritus, a Greek philosopher, is credited for discovering the atom the atom. His question was, what would happen if you keep taking something and breaking into smaller and smaller pieces? Would it always be a piece of a tree? Democritus said that if you kept breaking it down, you would eventually get to a size that could no longer be broken. This would be the indivisible piece. In Greek, atomos means indivisible. We later had John Dalton who believed that: one, stuff can be broken into elements,, two. elements are atoms with different masses, and three, compounds are a combinations of elements. Dalton expanded upon the Greek idea of the atom by stating that atoms are small things, and they have different masses with different properties. We then see the atom further developed by Jonah Jameson Thomson. He discovered cathode rays, beams of electrons. By having the beam interact with electric and magnetic fields, Thomson was able to determine the mass to charge ratio for an electron. So, from that he...

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