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so my friend and I had a very interesting discussion. What is knowledge? Don't you need life for their to be knowledge. Like say there is a bottle on a table. in the universe it just exists, it is just there. But as soon as you have a life form pobserve it and "know" it exists, then that is knowledge. What do u think?

 

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I like to break things down a bit more, to avoid this kind of simplistic, non-nuanced explanation. Lots of folks think we need to make everything as simple as possible, but I don't think that extends to broad concepts like knowledge.

 

So I start with data. Bottle on a table tells me little. Half-empty, blue glass gin bottle on a huge, 20-seat mahogany dining table in a lavish private dining room gives me enough data to put together some information. The wealthy owner of this home was drinking alone in a room meant for a party. I can look for more information, and if I find a single-serving microwave tray, no glass to drink from, I might be able to conclude that the owner is either very depressed, or his servant has the night off, or he's depressed because he lost his money and can't afford servants any more (among other choices, I'm sure).

 

That's where I start thinking of what I've learned as knowledge. Everything before that really had no relevance and meaning to me.

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You tell a story and then say you learned as knowledge. Is the story knowledge before you learned it? If so, are all stories knowledge? If not, can all stories become knowledge? Is a story even necessary?

Edited by EdEarl
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I agree with phi for all. knowledge is information someone learned, by connecting information together or material being told to you which is already gathered. I would also add that information is something we discover by using proof all this information like the bottle the surroundings like lavish tablecloth are all proof of information you are looking for.

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For me, knowledge is equivalent to being good in a quiz, whilst understanding is equivalent to being good in life; it seems to me that that is the difference between science and philosophy; admittedly a thin line, since science can get a robot on Mars and philosophy can only imagine it.

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You tell a story and then say you learned as knowledge. Is the story knowledge before you learned it? If so, are all stories knowledge? If not, can all stories become knowledge? Is a story even necessary?

 

I just set it up that way. Patterns often seem to tell a story. Putting data bits together as relevant information helps you learn something meaningful, and that's what I consider knowledge. Knowledge is data presented as information that helps in specific situations.

 

If I come home to find my TV is missing, and leading away from where it used to be is a paring knife, a roll of aluminum foil, and a trail of blood, I don't need to know the story to know that following the trail of blood is the next thing I should do to find out what happened to my TV.

 

I would say that stories can impart knowledge if they're applicable to the situation in question. If I'm drowning, I'm not going to consider a story about fertilizer affecting crop yields to be valuable knowledge.

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so my friend and I had a very interesting discussion. What is knowledge? Don't you need life for their to be knowledge. Like say there is a bottle on a table. in the universe it just exists, it is just there. But as soon as you have a life form pobserve it and "know" it exists, then that is knowledge. What do u think?

In epistemology circles, it's generally accepted that knowledge is justified true belief plus what is called an "anti-Gettier condition". Epistemologists study justification for most part, but there's a not insignificant portion of epistemologists that study Gettier problems. Gettier problems are situations of justified true belief that are often intuited as not being a case of knowledge.

 

There are things like the TrueTemp case in which unbeknownst to a person, while they were asleep, someone put an implant in their brain so that they can always just tell what the temperature is accurately. Does this person *know* what the temperature is? There's also less scifi kind of cases like a broken clock. You wake up at 7:30am and your clock reads 7:30. It just so happens that your clock is broken and reads the correct time coincidentally. Does your belief that it is 7:30 constitute knowledge?

 

I'm in a growing camp that says these Gettier cases are not really important or really relevant. What is important is whether the belief is justified. If we have to drop the k word, then so be it.

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