Question – 4
“That what is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow”.
Consider knowledge issue raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge.
Examination Session: - May 2014
School Code: - 002272
School Name: - Indus International School, Bangalore
Candidate Number: - 002272-0091
Name: - Nidhey A Pan
Word Count: - 1471
“That what is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow”. Consider knowledge issue raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge.
As I have studied in an Indian curriculum until grade 10 the knowledge that I had until then for the subject of environmental studies (AOK) was nothing but only about the rising concerns of the environment learn most of the stuff that was given in book to get good marks. But this was all discarded when I joined the IBDP curriculum and took that to study as a standard level subject. What I have learnt now is that this subject not only taught me about the environmental concerns but also about the different aspects of the environment and also to practically applies the concepts that we have learnt. Whatever knowledge I had earlier about the subject of learning by heart the stuff, has now been changed, as it is not learning by heart but apply the concepts that we have learnt and perform practical experiments related to the subject. This is because the way of teaching has changed. The schools now focus on providing more of practical knowledge and application based education.
This leads me to the knowledge issue of “To what extent can existing knowledge be justified for the future?”
This means that we cannot use knowledge at all the times for an unforeseen event or unpredictable changes that may occur in the future.
Could this mean that all the knowledge that we have today will be discarded tomorrow? This is an apt question but as we know that nothing in this world is permanent it has to either be discarded or replaced. Conventionally people accepted whatever it was proved or whatever they believed was the truth as knowledge. But scientists and academicians have now challenged this. Hence the knowledge that they had earlier has been discarded.
These aspects will be further explored in this essay through the application of areas of knowledge such as the human sciences, natural sciences and arts and approached through various ways of knowing like reason, imagination and sense perception.
There are several examples in Human Sciences (AOK) that justify the knowledge issue. This means that if an expert investment banker and is investing in a particular company, with his knowledge concludes that the particular investment is profitable. But his knowledge can be discarded, as there can be any external effect that may affect the share prices of that company which in turn may affect the profits of that person. This can discard the knowledge that is accepted today tomorrow due to unforeseen event.
Moreover in the fields of Natural Sciences (AOK) in Physics, heat was considered to be fluid. This was believed since the 3000 BC during the ancient Egyptian times, with the knowledge that as heat is transferred from hot area to the colder area so it is fluid. The knowledge they had then was that only fluid can change and transfers from one place to another. Count Rumford discarded this knowledge of the people from his theory of cannon, where he proved with a reason (WOK) that with the use of friction it was possible to convert work to heat. He proved that if heat was fluid and when transferred it should change its state and form. But the form was not changed. So heat was not fluid but a form of energy. This is where the knowledge that people had earlier was discarded with reason (WOK).
Furthermore again in the field of Human Sciences (AOK) in the subject of Economics three professors Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller who won Nobel Prize for the economics have disproved and discarded