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What is knowledge?

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prasad1

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[h=3]What is knowledge?[/h]This is a question that has been bothering me for a long time. It seems to be a really deep question as I ask myself “how do I know something?” and “how do they know something?” and “how can we be sure our knowledge is correct?”. These are important questions if we’re going to point our lives in the right direction, precisely because we’d like to be sure we “know” which direction is the right one.
In Wikipedia, the definition of knowledge is;
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something, which can include facts, information, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic. In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology; the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as “justified true belief.” However, no single agreed upon definition of knowledge exists, though there are numerous theories to explain it.
Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.

So it seems like I’m not alone. There is no agreed upon definition of knowledge and several theories trying to explain it.
http://www.lifeintherightdirection.com/original-knowledge/

There are self anointed Maha medhavis particularly in this site. How do they think they have attained that state, and why do they deride others by calling them names. Very childish behaviour.
 

sravna

Well-known member
My definition of lnowledge would be: Knowledge is one's knowing , understanding or realization of a truth
 
To me it appears to boil down to this: Knowledge is self-preservation ultimately. Whatever I need for that, I gather over a lifetime and all that becomes the stockpile called knowledge.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
I have feeling that all the posts are pointing to one's personal knowledge.
But there is wast amount of knowledge that is not known to that individual.
Avvaiyar Said:"கற்றது கைமண் அளவு, கல்லாதது உலகளவு" has been translated as "What you have learned is a mere handful; What you haven't learned is the size of the world".

So there is much more to the word knowledge than what an individual knows.

There are knowledge that I may not even know about. For instance I watched a program about black hole, and it had information I did not even know existed. Then the speed at which the universe is expanding.
http://skyserver.sdss.org/dr1/en/astro/universe/universe.asp

The Hubble telescope has expanded our knowledge about our universe.
Vganeji is trying to expand our knowledge everyday. So Knowledge is wast and ever expanding.

Of course there are misleading information, should that be included in the knowledge? Does the quality of material provided count towards knowledge.

We have this information about Astrology or spiritual power, is it knowledge or just plain noise?
 
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sravna

Well-known member
I have feeling that all the posts are pointing to one's personal knowledge.
But there is wast amount of knowledge that is not known to that individual.
Avvaiyar Said:"கற்றது கைமண் அளவு, கல்லாதது உலகளவு" has been translated as "What you have learned is a mere handful; What you haven't learned is the size of the world".

So there is much more to the word knowledge than what an individual knows.

There are knowledge that I may not even know about. For instance I watched a program about black hole, and it had information I did not even know existed. Then the speed at which the universe is expanding.
http://skyserver.sdss.org/dr1/en/astro/universe/universe.asp

The Hubble telescope has expanded our knowledge about our universe.
Vganeji is trying to expand our knowledge everyday. So Knowledge is wast and ever expanding.

Of course there are misleading information, should that be included in the knowledge? Does the quality of material provided count towards knowledge.

We have this information about Astrology or spiritual power, is it knowledge or just plain noise?

Dear Prasad,

Realized knowledge, one that is seen as real directly by the mind is more trustworthy than one that involves experimentation and analysis. Spiritual knowledge depends on such intuitive grasp and so in my opinion spiritual knowledge such as astrology is a more trustworthy representation of reality than any knowledge of science which also relies on experimentation and analysis in addition to intuition.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Knowledge in my understanding is the Information available to the human mind which is oriented to time,place and person and only applicable till its disproved by newer findings.

So for all practical purpose...Knowledge too is transient...its like a very informative dream state till we awaken to the fact that we never really knew anything at all or might never really know anything at all or may be realize everything there is to know.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Knowledge in my understanding is the Information available to the human mind which is oriented to time,place and person and only applicable till its disproved by newer findings.

What about the knowledge other forms (non-human) have. For instance how bats or monkeys communicate, is that not knowledge. How Monarch butterfly migrate, how do they acquire that knowledge?
 

sravna

Well-known member
What about the knowledge other forms (non-human) have. For instance how bats or monkeys communicate, is that not knowledge. How Monarch butterfly migrate, how do they acquire that knowledge?
If I may answer this, everything in nature is in sync with reality though at different levels. Bats, monkeys and butterflies so have the knowledge of reality that is commensurate with their level of development and that is needed for them.
 

renuka

Well-known member
What about the knowledge other forms (non-human) have. For instance how bats or monkeys communicate, is that not knowledge. How Monarch butterfly migrate, how do they acquire that knowledge?

Some amount of Basic Instinct is definitely present.

I have personally observed even inter species communication..eg Monkey asking a Dog help.

So this surely isnt instinct anymore and would fall under the category of acquired "knowledge"/skills under the umbrella of adaptation.

After all animals have been domesticated by us humans and they can understand the emotions of humans too and technically almost "communicate" with us.

So it seems that the concept of knowledge for any species seems like an evolving one to ensure survival.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Jñāna or gyan is a term for "knowledge" in Indian philosophy and religion.
The idea of jnana centers on a cognitive event which is recognized when experienced. It is knowledge inseparable from the total experience of reality, especially a total or divine reality (Brahman).

Jnana, ( Sanskrit: “knowledge”) in Hinduphilosophy, a word with a range of meanings focusing on a cognitive event that proves not to be mistaken. In the religious realm it especially designates the sort of knowledge that is a total experience of its object, particularly the supreme being or reality. The cognitive experience of the supreme object sets the soul free from the transmigratory life and the polarities this imposes upon thought. Its opposite, ajnana (also called avidya), is the false apprehension of reality that keeps the soul from attaining release; it is a form of mistaken knowledge, which has a large measure of validity as far as the realities of the present world are concerned but conceals the truth of a reality outside it.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/jnana
 
I think knowledge goes beyond ensuring one's survival. Once survival is ensured, the mind looks to newer and newer things to engage itself.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
"As fog before the Sun, Ignorance melts away before Knowledge." Knowledge is acquired by uninterrupted inquiry. One should constantly be engaged in Inquiry on the nature of Bramham: the reality of the I, the transformations that occur to the individual at birth and at death and such matters. As you remove the husk that covers the rice, so too the Ignorance that adheres to the mind has to be removed by the frequent application of the abrasive Atmic Inquiry. It is only when full knowledge is won that one can get liberated, or, in other words, attain Moksha.

Through inquiry on these lines, knowledge is rendered clearer and brighter, and liberation is achieved. Moksha is only another word for independence, not depending on any outside thing or person.

Jnanam is Brahmam, not a mere characteristic or attitude or quality. The Vedas and Sastras announce that Brahmam is Sathyam, Jnanam, and Anantham, not that Brahmam has these and other attributes. When Brahmam is known, the knower, the known and the knowledge all become One.

http://www.saibaba.ws/vahini/jnanavahini/jnanavahini.htm
 
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KRN

Active member
Knowledge could be “seeing sameness everywhere”.

According to the Gita

“The Knowledgeable, sees an erudite Brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and an chandala alike” J

Or

Knowledge could be “going beyond sorrow”

“The Knowledgeable don’t grieve over the dead or the living”

 

KRN

Active member
"The Knowledgeable, sees an erudite Brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and an chandala alike"

The phrase that comes to mind to explain this idea is "Tip of the Iceberg".

An erudite Brahmana is like an iceberg with a little red dot somewhere up top.

The dog might be akin to the same iceberg with a little grey dot somewhere in it....

The Knowledgeable sees the Iceberg ie the One infinite Brahman shining everywhere and disregards those little color differences somewhere in the tip...

The ignoramuses don't see the Iceberg at all, but spend entire lives magnifying the little color differences... ?
 
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