In order to establish an understanding of the world, we rely on ways of knowing to organize and establish information. Each of the ways of knowing play a role in the information an individual deems as true and takes as knowledge. This process creates differences in the knowledge accepted by individuals and also creates discrepancies in knowledge. We need to understand how the ways of knowing may limit our perspective, our ability to interpret information, and the pursuit of knowledge, looking specifically at science as an area of knowledge.
The pursuit of knowledge is determined by our ability to use the ways of knowing as tools in order to establish truth. Pursuing knowledge is being able to justify one’s beliefs with true information. However the issue becomes the differences between individuals’ justification and determining information as true. The idea of only having a hammer and fitting problems to the available tools is consistent with how we use the ways of knowing as tools. People will rely on one way of knowing more than the others because it is a stronger justification for them. In some cases people may use one of the ways of knowing that other people would not consider, consistent with fitting the problem to the tool.
Many people would prefer to rely on logic and reason to determine truth. The concrete facts legitimize information and provide justification for ideas. Especially in an area of knowledge like science, people rely heavily on logic and demand the presentation of evidence to support claims. We associate science with a process that specifically aims to find truth. I, personally, lean towards the scientific process as a valid way of seeking truth. I value logic as a way of knowing above the other ways of knowing because I am accustom to the scientific method and aim to be a research scientist. My background influences my preference for logic as a justification. However, there are limits to using logic as a tool. Looking at the many diet fads presented and advertised, the “magic pills” are always supported with research and facts that aim to supply people with knowledge about the ingredients. Yet the best weight loss option is always changing because different facts support and lead different or new ideas. (There is also a business aspect that heavily influences this topic but is irrelevant). Throughout history we’ve seen science, which has been widely accepted, be debunked for new theories. An example would be the theory of spontaneous generation which was not excoriated until the 19th century. The theory had research and evidence supporting it until new research was conducted and led a different direction. This example demonstrates how reason may not always lead to the truth and logic is not the only effective way to pursue knowledge.
People may view sense perception to be a reliable justification and a useful tool as well because it seems to be as concrete as logic. People strongly believe and value perception,...