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To understand something you need to rely on your own experience and culture. Does this mean that it is impossible to have objective knowledge?

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Introduction

To understand something you need to rely on your own experience and culture. Does this mean that it is impossible to have objective knowledge? How humans understand different events in their life varies. This topic suggests that people mostly rely on their experience and culture to comprehend their surrounding. They use subjective knowledge, which is based on personal opinion and a personal interpretation of events1, such as ethical issues. However, the question is if objective knowledge is possible. I would argue that it is. Mathematics, for example, can be understood through objective knowledge, facts and impersonal judgement, because the subject is not influenced by people's subjective desires or perception.2 Science, Art, and history, on contrary, can be comprehended by subjective or/and objective knowledge. In this essay I will explain with different examples that humans sometimes use subjective or/and objective knowledge to understand the world around us. People understand events in different ways. There are things in life that humans need to experience to understand it, for example not touching a warm stove. Most children, as I did, touch the warm stove despite their parents' warning, and after they have been hurt, they learn from their experience not to touch it again. Another way of obtaining an understanding is through culture. How people interpret events has been influenced by their culture. ...read more.

Middle

According to the Bible, to have an abortion, is to murder a human being. In that ethical issue I, as a knower, base my opinion entirely on The Utilitarian Theory, to achieve "the greatest happiness of the greatest number"11. My view on abortion, might have been influence by the culture I live in, the Swedish culture, where it is legal to have an abortion. It is also possible that I feel empathy, a part of kennen-knowledge, which is knowledge gained through conviction, introspection, empathy, practice and instinct12, towards my friend who thought she was pregnant. This is a subjective way of knowing13. She was only fifteen years old, with out any education, job or support from anybody. I am ashamed, probably because of my Christian faith as a Peruvian, to admit that I thought that the best solution was for her to have an abortion. In this case, the greatest number of people, my friend, the child and her family, will achieve the best happiness by not having the child. My perception about abortion is that it is a process of preventing a human being to be born. Therefore, I reason that the word embryo means an unborn child, which makes me feel guilty about applying the Utilitarian theory in this ethical issue. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mathematics in contrast to the other areas of knowledge is free from bewitchments, perception, emotion, does not belong to the natural world and as Bertrand Russell, the philosopher claims: it is pure logic and...has no subject matter"25. Humans need to reason, think logically and to rational to solve a mathematical problem26, which is not affected by subjective knowledge. Therefore, I would assert that objective knowledge is possible and that in mathematics it is essential to understand the subject. In this essay I have clarified that subjective and/or objective knowledge is essential to understand different events in our life. Art, history and science can be explained by subjective or/and objective knowledge. The area of knowledge that cannot be explained through objective knowledge is ethics, because it is based on personal judgement and opinion. Mathematics in contrast can only be understood through objective knowledge, since it is free from bewitchment, perception and emotion27. Objective knowledge is possible and is essential, for example, in mathematics. Words: 1599 Bibliography: Abel, Reuben. Man is the measure- A Cordial Invitation to the Central Problems of Philosophy. The free press, USA, 1997. Woolman, Michael. Ways of knowing- An introduction to the theory of knowledge Second Edition. IBID Press, China, 2006. Farmer, Alan. An Introduction to Modern Europe History 1890-1990. Hodder & Stoughton: 2000, Great Britain. ...read more.

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