As the ending of this very sentence will show, it is circular to assume ( that is, before investigation or a priori ) that you know what it means to know something (i.e. that you know what knowledge is!).
Epistemology – thinking about knowledge – can be helpfully characterised by fundamental questions such as:
- What is ‘knowledge’? (What do we mean when we say we ‘know’ something?)
- How do we truly ‘know’ anything? (What sources are used, and how are they used?)
- How do we know that our knowledge is accurate/true? (How do we evaluate knowledge?)
Another (I think) helpful thing is to at least note the way that different ‘ways of knowing’ are seen (for example) in the English language (the question-words):
- ‘knowing’ what (to do with ‘objects’, ‘things’ or ‘stuff’)
- ‘knowing’ where (to do with ‘location’, ‘place’ or ‘space’)
- ‘knowing’ when (to do with ‘time’, ‘duration’ or ‘moments’)
- ‘knowing’ why (to do with ’cause’, ‘purpose’ or ‘intent’)
- ‘knowing’ who (to do with ‘personality’, ‘identity’ or ‘character’)
- ‘knowing’ how (to do with ‘process’, ‘sequence’ or ‘progression’)
Anyone who thinks this is useless, ‘abstract’ philosophizing should take note of their own everyday, continual, ‘down-to-earth’ use of these words.
My last two posts have had to do with morals and worldviews, and seeking a foundational place from which to dialogue. One finds (eventually) that different ideas of morality and yes, even different labels of worldview(s) are defined differently. I’m not sure it gets any more foundational than the topic of how we know anything at all, and how we use and/or value knowledge. I’m interested in discussing how we ‘know’ and how this relates to (both directly and indirectly) worldview(s) and morality.