What is Knowledge? Essay

What is Knowledge? Essay

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Knowledge is “the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject” (Oxford Dictionaries). Many scientists and philosophers have studied the way in which knowledge is acquired, and how academic and scientific disciplines make sense of the world (McAllister). Three different categories or groups of sciences which produce knowledge have been established: natural sciences, humanities and social sciences (McAllister). This essay will serve to analyse the main distinctions between the three groups of sciences. To contrast these differences it will focus its' attention on how knowledge of the three categories makes a contribution to the field of International Studies in a broad sense. Finally, the example of the Sociolinguistic discipline will serve to indicate how both natural sciences and humanities can play an important role in the form and content of a certain discipline.
Despite the fact that knowledge is acquired through natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, these groups present many differences. Natural sciences emerged in Babylonia in 1200 BCE, following the discovery and circulation of astronomic methods (McAllister). Nevertheless, the modern concept did not develope until after the Scientific Revolution which took place in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (McAllister). Currently natural sciences include disciplines such as biology, astronomy, physics or mathematics (McAllister). Natural sciences are categories of knowledge which are interested in universals and regularities. Therefore, the study of these sciences tends to focus on classes of events in contrast to individual events, as studied in humanities. Additionally, natural sciences offer the possibility to acquire knowledge in co...


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...knowledge acquired through humanities.




Works Cited

"Knowledge." Def. 1. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014
Kwa, Chunglin. Styles of Knowing: A New History of Science from Ancient Times to the Present. Pittsburgh, Penn.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011. Chapter 1, “Introduction: The Six Styles of Knowing”, pp. 1–11.
McAllister, Dr J. W. Ways of knowing. University of Leiden. Lecture 1. Diligentia Theatre, Den Haag. 6 Feb. 2014.
Mesthrie, Rajend, et al. Introducing Sociolinguistics. Second edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000. Print
Patrick, Peter L. Formal linguistics vs. Sociolinguistics. Web. 21 Feb. 2014
“What is Linguistics?” University of California - Santa cruz. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2014

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