To What Extent Is The Purpose Of An Area Of Knowledge Fixed?

1599 words - 6 pages

This statement implies an assumption that areas of knowledge have one fixed purpose, however, I believe the purpose depends not on the area, but on the knower itself. Nevertheless, areas of knowledge do have some general tasks that differentiate them from each other, but these purposes may overlap. In order to investigate the actual purpose of the areas of knowledge History and Human Sciences I will attempt to answer the question ”To what extent is the purpose of an area of knowledge fixed?” To do so, first I will explain what their main purposes are as well as when these can change. Finally, I will discuss the data collection methodologies, focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of the way each of the knowers in these two areas of knowledge collect data and how the ways of knowing language and reason play a role in the outcome of results.
In some cases, human sciences do aim to change the future. This area of knowledge draws back on previous knowledge as well as trends and patterns in order to make predictions about the future and, if possible, fix them. For example, in 2008, when the euro crisis began, most countries knew that this would impact them, and that they had to prevent that from occurring. It was then when the American central bank, the Federal Reserve, implemented a policy that was based on theories from previous studies, a monetary policy. It involved reducing interest rates in order to increase aggregate demand; in other words, it would keep people spending and money flowing . This policy would ultimately save the US economy from falling into deep recession. This example shows how in many cases the purpose of the human scientist is to change the future .
Additionally, as the statement suggests, a historian’s main task is often to understand the past. In order to do so, a knower who learns history must learn facts or analysis of the sources that are available to them. The knower then interprets all that is learnt, usually using reason as the way of knowing. However, external factors such as culture or nature may affect a knower’s interpretation, even if this person believes it to be a “reasonable” interpretation. An example to portray this might be a knower considering that eating the placenta after childbirth is ridiculous. Whatever is learnt may then become part of our identity, be it true or not.
I don’t believe the purpose of an area of knowledge is fixed, but instead that the purpose of an area of knowledge must be adapted to not only the knowers, but also to the situation. This occurs because knowers of a same area of knowledge may differ. Moreover, areas of knowledge can be interconnected, meaning that their purposes will overlap. For example, two knowers, a historian and a human scientist, may use their respective areas of knowledge to attempt to predict the future.
In the area of human science the purpose can vary widely. As opposed to what was mentioned earlier, the purpose of this area of knowledge could be to...

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