Philosophy Hammer
Philosophy, Economics, Politics & Psychology Tested with a Hammer

21: Philosophy of Science:
Science vs. Other Kinds of Knowledge

Summary by: Jeff McLaren

         In the modern world we seem to take scientific knowledge as the highest and most important kind of knowledge. For example we often defer to scientists to tell us what is best for our health, how to treat mental and physical disorders, why we do the things we do and to explain technology to us. Often if an argument brings in a scientist or scientific information on its side we capitulate and end the argument. In essence a scientific reason seems to carry much more weight than any other kind of reason.
         Having looked at whether this bias is justified and if so to what degree, now it is time to consider 'why do we seek to know?' and what kind of knowledge will best give us that 'why'.
         Some basic reasons to search for knowledge:
         Avoidance of something (such as fear, death, hunger, intimacy)
         For itself
         Other: ____________
         1) Are there any other reasons why we would seek to know? If so, what are some other reasons?
         2) Which reason is best and/or worst? For your well-being and for society's well-being?
         Other kinds of knowledge:
         Other: __________________
         3) While all forms of knowledge are important, today it seems that scientific knowledge is the most important, which kind of knowledge is most important for you? And Why?
         4) Which kind of knowledge do you think is most valued by your society?
         5) What would be some consequences, for you and for society, of putting the highest premium on each one of the kinds of knowledge mentioned?
         6) Which kind of knowledge do you think ought to be valued MOST by society?
         7) Which kind of knowledge do you think ought to be valued LEAST by society?

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