• What is a way of knowing?
We can refer to domains of belief in cultural and personal paradigms as ways of knowing. For instance the categories of science, art, common (aspecific), religion and vocation represent distinctions between commonly accessible traditions that we can refer to in the abstract. ‘Science’ as such, cannot reasonably be said to exist separately from human knowers. It exists only as a set of agreements amongst individuals and groups, and it exists uniquely and (relatively) dynamically within any given person or group, both as ‘knowledge’ and as ‘the seeds of action or relation’ (knowledge of science may change one’s relational perspectives, actions, values, and reactions). Each ‘way of knowing’ is like this.
They are actually traditions which we may model as tripartite. They have an abstract existence (as when we refer to ‘science’ as though it were a single existing thing when it cannot be this), cultural existence (the pool of knowing and acting which exists as the sum of participants in this tradition, and perhaps records), and personal existence (the unique collections of knowledge or understanding in a given individual at a given moment).
The common ways of knowing we are exposed to essentially comprise methods for establishing identity and value in waking reality. They largely and usually invisibly prescribe our angle of approach to evaluation, as well as determining which dimensions of consideration we will include or credential as valid. As such, they are cognitive tools, and function by limiting our relational abilities in order to provide unique ways of focusing.
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