Pursuing Knowledge

The term philosophy, from its Greek roots, it is the love of wisdom.

Since I often ponder with a little decompositional analysis, philosophy stands on two legs. The first, that usually (probably?) gets the most attention is wisdom. The second, that usually gets the short end of the semantic relationship, is love; and how “love” can be applied to wisdom.

In the value hierarchies of thinking and knowledge, wisdom usually get the top spot, indicating a person has a broadly comprehensive, fully integrated world-view that is largely conformant with whatever situation the person happens to be in, or whatever topic area that person is wise in. Knowledge often seems to indicate holding exacting details of topic areas (which may itself be quite broad), with specific incidents, memorial facts, and historical references; and the ability to observe and identify things that conform to that topic area, and possibly make causal inferences (either on what caused the current situations, or what the current state will cause in the future).

In that loose schema, other “brilliant” qualities, like observant, cleverness, or inventiveness, are usually secondary, and relate to the person’s characteristic disposition to other people and events; but are largely informed by the person’s knowledge base and funneled through the person’s interests and enterprising drive (and perhaps mental[?] stamina). It’s hard to be observant when you aren’t knowledgeable about what you are observing, It’s difficult to be clever if you don’t have detailed models of what your outcomes could be.

While it may seem I place wisdom and knowledge in some linear dimension polarized by broad (wisdom) and narrow (knowledge) scopes, I prefer to use some type of “system model scaling” and consider these not as ends of a pole, or magnitudes, but parts of a self-referential model of how a field of discourse (or action) is justified, how one operates on concepts and ideas within its bounds, and how it can be applied to other fields of discourse (or action).

I am less interested in how people build systems of knowledge, than in how people build systems that explain the systems of knowledge they do build. I didn’t love that kind of technical articulation within a set of assumptions. I liked to discover and test assumptions, then see what happened when I built things (ideas, concepts, processes or software applications) to challenge them. I liked practical application and verification; sort of a 19th century natural-sciences approach to philosophy (as opposed to say, a 19th century approach to philosophy proper).

This type of free-wheeling maverick approach to philosophy isn’t necessarily appreciated in academia which necessarily embraces institutionalization of paradigms; nor is it necessarily welcomed to the technically oriented world of specialization of knowledge that wants to put everyone in a place in an organization for a purpose; where the organization acts, and the individual is (effectively merely) a functionary.

Pushing boundaries is not socially or materially easy; staying the course, getting with the program would be far “easier” to the individual simply trying to remove a felt unease and maintain some semblance of static equilibrium.

Author: sageikosa

Ikosa Framework Author

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