What Is Known?

Submitted By fellowsm1
Words: 1090
Pages: 5

What Is Known? In C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, Lewis mocks Gaius and Titius’ comment about a man’s statement “this is sublime” as actually pertaining to a waterfall. Lewis states “this is not a remark about the waterfall, but a remark about his own feelings” Considering that Gaius and Titius are making judgments about feelings, we must know that no feelings are correct because they can’t be known by all. Feelings can’t be known by others because they are all subjective and trivial. They can vary from one person to the next. I now question what is known? Today, we are faced with uncertainties concerning various things like what should I declare as my major? Or what will I do once I graduate from college? Questions like these are unknown for a good bit of underclassmen and even some upperclassmen as well. All the vagueness can present the question what do I know? I believe that anything can be known and in time we will all figure out what we want to do with our lives. I use the word “anything” instead of “everything” because no one can really be a know-it-all. Therefore we are limited to having the potential to know anything that we choose in our lifetime. Knowing things isn’t something that comes instinctively for us. We learn things through conditioning, practicing, and experience. As children, we don’t know things without conditioning. When I was a four year-old, I had not the slightest clue of what the numbers on the clock meant, but I learned that when I heard mom and dad placing plates down at the dinner table that it was time to eat. Like Pavlov did in his study with the dog and the bell, I knew that sound meant food was coming. Other things much simpler than knowing when dinner is being served become known to children. When my youngest brother Nick was a little over a year old, he would cry when he was placed in his crib for nap time. Though he was just a little sprout, he had already learned that if he cried loud enough and long enough, momma would come to the rescue and let him out of the crib. My mother decided by the time Nick was nearly a year and a half old, that it was time to teach him that crying wasn’t going to get him out of nap time any longer. For the first week or so, he screamed for a good bit of time and progressively got louder. However after a couple weeks of my mother ignoring his screams, he learned through conditioning that it wasn’t going to get him out of the crib. The tears and screams stopped and he began to utilize nap time. When we start school, our kindergarten teachers are ready to teach us things like the alphabet, phonics, writing, and simple math like 1+1=2. When the young children walk into the classroom they don’t know these things, or at least most don’t. By the end of the year, these children will know the basics. How will they know? Through practice. They learn things through continuous repetitions. Practice is an individual’s way of conditioning oneself. Practicing things allows us to learn anything we set our minds on doing. By practicing the correct way of performing the order of operations in algebra, we can learn how to solve linear equations, thus we will know how to do this form of algebra. Experiences aren’t always the fun way of learning something, but they teach us lessons to prevent us from making the same mistakes twice. If one were to put their hand on a hot stove, I guarantee they’ll never make that same mistake again because they’ll remember the intense pain of the burn their hand suffered. They’ll know not to put their hand on the stove next time. Sometimes learning things the hard way is what needs to be done though. How can one understand the importance of budgeting their money without experiencing what it’s like to be broke and forced to eat ramen noodles until their next paycheck? Through experiences like these, we