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“Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he’ll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he’ll have to touch to be sure” (Anon). What does this suggest about the way different types of knowledge are

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Theory of Knowledge Paper Sheryll Sison Student Number Atherton High School 2002 Anne Wilson, Instructor Topic: "Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure" (Anon). What does this suggest about the way different types of knowledge are justified? Word Count: 1, 399 As human beings, we justify knowledge in different ways to prove as valid. However, the validity of some types of knowledge can be justified in two ways: acceptance of knowledge without any evidence to support the truth and acceptance of knowledge only by evidence. Knowledge, an aspect to all things that keeps everything else together, can be obtained through perception, reason, and language, and proven through the categories of knowledge including mathematics, science, and history. Frequently, we justify knowledge through perception because of its convenience. In the given situation such as this quote, what we accept as valid and what we justify to be knowledge is based on how it affects our lives through order of importance. If a man were to tell a person that there are 300 billion stars in the sky, that person will be more inclined to believe him. This is simply because it is knowledge that does not play an important part to human life and to know the exact number of stars in the sky is not appealing to everyday life. ...read more.


Nevertheless, the knowledge has an affect on the person and thus, a confirmation needs to be addressed in order to appease the mind. However, the knowledge pertaining to the number of stars in the sky creates problems in the ways of knowing. How can we know for sure the exact number of stars in the sky? If an outside source were to inform a person that there are 300 billion stars in the sky, that person will believe him. Furthermore, if another outside source informed that same person that there are only 299,999,999 stars in the sky, the person will also believe him. The person will accept both truths because he has no means of proving or disproving the knowledge. In fact, he could care less because the knowledge does not affect him in anyway. To disprove or prove the knowledge addressed to him is inconvenient and thus, both truths are accepted. The same concept can be applied to the different categories of knowledge. In mathematics, for example, a teacher can tell his student that 2+2=4. The student will not have any doubt with the knowledge simply because the teacher can prove his claim by showing him with pencils. Although mathematics is merely an invented science made to appease the knowledge that occurs in nature, it has given humans a certainty. The knowledge of mathematics that is presented to many individuals at an early age is accepted as truth, because it has been able to satisfy the claims that humans have pertaining to nature. ...read more.


Since man is uninformed about the historical events between the US relations with the French, British, and Filipinos that has prompted the person to make the comment, he might or might not accept the truth because he has no means to back the man's claims. The truths may or may not be prioritized, depending on how it affects the individual. Therefore, as prisoners of learning the truth about the past, the validity of knowledge in history is obscure and is up to the individual to accept the biased truths. In conclusion, the types of knowledge present different outcomes for the process to justify the knowledge. Knowledge that is far-fetched such as the number of stars in the sky is accepted as truth because a person has no means to justify the knowledge and acknowledges the given fact as truth. In contrast, knowledge that can be easily proven such as touching the bench to see if it has wet paint and counting the number of pencils to see if 2+2=4, is justified by means of experimentation. As observed by the behaviors of humans, knowledge that affects lives directly will provoke curiosity and therefore, an approach to satisfy the curiosity is executed. The knowledge that does not have any immediate affect in humans is often ignored and is readily accepted as truth without any means of justification. By order of importance, humans categorizes knowledge with truths that will affect their lives the most as a priority to truths that are not going to be applied in their lives as ignored knowledge. ...read more.

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