To what extent do the concepts that we use shape the conclusions that we reach? A straightforward approach to comprehend this question would be to look at the labellings on food packages and comparing the assumptions that we draw from them. These deluding labels such as “sugar free” and “fat free” would purposely allowing us to misinterpret and expect that the product must be healthy or won’t make us fat.
The different ways of knowing can be unconsciously implemented in determining our actions.The commonly used concepts are established as the ways of knowing which include reason, sense perception, emotion, faith, language, intuition, memory and imagination. They are a set of ideas or rules that we use to understand the world around us.
The WoK are used to influence and aid in our decision making by building up our viewpoints in the different areas of knowledge which include mathematics, social sciences, human sciences, the arts, language, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems and indigenous knowledge systems. Knowledge question 1 : Does reasoning shape the conclusions that we reach.Mathematics is one of the AoK which is the study of science of logic of patterns, numbers and arrangement to describe nature. In mathematic, there is only right or wrong, nothing between. For example, 2 + 2 = 4, this statement is recognized internationally as correct. Both inductive and deductive reasoning are used in mathematics.
Deductive reasoning is arriving at a conclusion logically from statements that are valid. We are told that squares have four corners of the same length, being 90 degrees on each angle. If shown a picture of a shape with four corners with 90 degrees on each angle, we are able to deduce from the facts that the shape is a square. On the other hand, inductive reasoning is establishing conclusions based on sets of observations. For example, using mathematical induction formula S(n) = (n (n+1)) / 2, with S being the sum of all positive integers including n. When the value of ‘n’ is equalled to 1, the equation deduces n is equalled to 1. ( 1 (1+1)) / 2 ) We know that the sum of 1 is 1, therefore this formula is proven to be true. It is assumed that it will be true for the sum of k + 1.
If it true for k + 1, then it must be true for k + 2 and so on, which means it is true for any given positive integer. Using these two examples, we are able to presume that logical reasoning is used to shape the conclusions that we reach to form absolute correct or incorrect answers. Knowledge question 2 : Does emotion shape the conclusions that we reach. Social sciences are the studies of human society and social relationships. Psychology studies mind and behavior of individuals. Using biological and cognitive aspects of behaviorism, emotion acts as an important role when shaping conclusions. The Kin Selection Theory of Altruism hypothesized that individuals have a larger contingency to sacrifice themselves for relatives than non-relatives as it augmented into the survival of our genes.
An experiment was done to prove this derivation by investigating kidney donors. Out of the 39 potential kidney donors, 86% of parents agreed to donate, 47% of the siblings were willing to donate. 27 of the 39 donors were emotionally attached to the donor while only 8 of the non willing donors were emotionally close to the recipient. This study recognizes how emotions may intercede with reason as donating a kidney will jeopardize our own health and the risk of hypertension, hernias and possibly death. However, not every action revolves only around relatives.
Therefore cognition aspects such as the Empathy-Altruism theory can be applied. The theory elucidate altruism in terms of cognitive level. Beneficial actions may not be truly benevolent and galvanized by genuine eagerness to increase other’s well-being. However, it also states that altruism does not exist unless the benefit to the helper outweighs the cost in that specific situation. When a friend is asking you a simple homework question that would take you 5 minutes to explain afterschool, would you offer to help? Most people would say yes. This is because the benefits outweigh the cost. It only takes you may need that person to teach you something else in the future and your friendship bond would be tighter.
Therefore, considering two theories regarding altruism, we are able to conclude that emotion can influence our actions.In short, we are persuaded by reason, however moved by emotion. The laws of logic are the starting point for all our reasoning, and thus shaping our conclusions but we cannot prove them in terms of any more fundamental laws. If we are asked to justify logical questions such as math questions, most would say that they are intuitively and pragmatically obvious. Reason is used to justify our actions or answers to ourselves and to others. However, emotion may be a more educational choice of shaping conclusions at times. Think about talking to children about their fears of the dark, or phobias of snakes.
It is useless to use logic to persuade them that their thoughts and actions don’t make sense. They are still convinced that there is a problem. Therefore, emotions will drive our actions in this situation.
In most situations, our decision making are purely based on emotion, and the conclusion we devise will be justified with reason. When a conclusion is completely based off emotion, it may not be an fitted concept and may even be irrational. Therefore, reason will be needed to modify and reflect upon the thinking and guide us back to a more cultivated and civilized conclusion. A balance between emotion and reason is already established in order to create the perfect conclusion that we finally reach.However, some may argue that the WoK are debatable and are only agreeable to a certain extent as they do not include and encounter for personal knowledge. The eight branches that make up the WoK may also be limited and restricted to all the other possible ways of knowing found in humankind’s vast combined knowledge throughout history.
Some may argue that universality of concepts of both the areas of knowing and the ways of knowing can mean that conclusions are ‘assumption neutral’, meaning that we assume that all assumptions are very similar. A rational externalised objective reality can not be measured without the bias of pre-conception. Concepts are not stable nor consistent across the areas of knowledge therefore it is impossible to predict their influences upon the conclusions reach.
Lastly, there may be many more factors are not included in the ways of knowing that involve the motivation of the knower, the methodology of the areas of knowing and the context of investigation et.c.