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Knowledge and Education

  • Thread starter pivoxa15
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  • #51
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Please, give me a break.
The fact that this is the philosophy forum suggets I am giving people including myself a break. There is nothing specific in my coment. But is not false. The theme of the thread has always been knowledge and education of the general population. Especially the ones who has finished high school and maybe an undergrad degree. The point was that an educated person should have at least the equivalent of senior high school sciene education so they understand the principles of science and the power of it.
 
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  • #52
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The fact that this is the philosophy forum suggets I am giving people including myself a break. There is nothing specific in my coment. But is not false. The theme of the thread has always been knowledge and education of the general population. Especially the ones who has finished high school and maybe an undergrad degree. The point was that an educated person should have at least the equivalent of senior high school sciene education so they understand the principles of science and the power of it.
I think your second sentence here nails it right on the head. You haven't said anything really specific this entire thread. It seems like every time you post something you change the topic slightly. The "Theme" of the thread has been on knowledge and education, but your arguments certainly haven't been:
But the thing is with the knowledge of the sciences, maths and logic, one can literally learn anything else with confidence.
Biased being only capable of thinking from the human experience or a humanistic thought which naturally arises from using human languages like English.
For a physics student to learn the pure humanities, they may not be able to apply the physical principles directly so it would take hard work. But they are logical thinkers and good detector of patterns which would help in learning any humanity subject as well. At least there would be less irrational thoughts by someone without any science training but also learning the same humanities subject.
Well if you use maths to analyse something than your own emotions won't affect the conclusion as much ... as if you use English to analyse something. With the latter your own emotions on the day may alter the results but you can't say it is wrong if someone else got a different conclusion. So using English is more subjective.
I am also saying maths is more precise than English. And should be the tool of choice if you want some precise, objective results that are indisputable. i.e. HUman language is frequently ambiguous:
It could be that the more you study physics and other sciences the more inferior the humanities become.
The only thing all your arguments have in common is that in some vague and general way, sciences are superior to humanities.

Here's your original post:
When people speak about getting an education, I think of science, maths, logic as the key foundations to an education. However there are many who supposeddly have an education but may not have done any science beyond year 10 and are very ignorant about maths. Should these people be labeled as educated and or knowledgable? If they are than they are certainly missing on some very important and useful knowledge.
What exactly do you want to figure out with these questions? Are we discussing the idea of 'education' and what kind of knowledge is essential or beneficial to the average human being? It seems to me your more interested in discussing whether humanities university students are smarter than science university students, or which kind of knowledge is more useful, or which one better reflects reality. These are all completely separate questions.

An extremely important part of any intellectual discussion is defining exactly what you want to discuss, and sticking within that definition. I think your inexperience with the humanities shows by your disregard for his and other basic practices in debate. Granted, you had a hard time from most of the other posters here, who didn't make it easy on you, but let me tell you something: You know when your watching a politician get interviewed on the telly, and the politician ignores the questions he's asked and answers almost completely different ones? There's a very very good reason why they do that (and they're all coached by experts on how to do this), it's because interviewers ask really really bad questions, and if they tried to answer them they'd look horribly confused. So they stick with the message they want to get out.

Have you ever heard the saying, that half of philosophy is asking the right questions? I think you need to spend a lot more time on your questions. But hey, if you want there's plenty of people here to help. Finding good questions is most of the fun sometimes. What happened here is everybody got frustrated and antagonized by each other. Gotta stop that happening if you want a constructive discussion.
 
  • #53
radou
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(applaudes, and then bows to Smurf)
 
  • #54
baywax
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(applaudes, and then bows to Smurf)
The best education is the "well rounded" education. Concentration in one field will always lead to deficiencies in many other, "useful" fields. The synergy created when diverse educational subjects interact is invaluable as a means to better the human experience.

Diversity rules. That's the way its been for a number of billions of years.
 
  • #55
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I think your second sentence here nails it right on the head. You haven't said anything really specific this entire thread. It seems like every time you post something you change the topic slightly. The "Theme" of the thread has been on knowledge and education, but your arguments certainly haven't been:
I am not a professional in education nor have I finished by undergrad degree so as Von Neumann puts it 'its better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong.'
 
  • #56
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The best education is the "well rounded" education. Concentration in one field will always lead to deficiencies in many other, "useful" fields. The synergy created when diverse educational subjects interact is invaluable as a means to better the human experience.

Diversity rules. That's the way its been for a number of billions of years.

One of my main points is that students learn all subjects but come away with the impression that the sciences are more 'powerful' and appreciate it not just as a technical subject but also its influence on society and the history and philosophy of it.
 
  • #57
Moonbear
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I am not a professional in education nor have I finished by undergrad degree so as Von Neumann puts it 'its better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong.'
If your premise is that a scientific education should be more highly valued than other forms of education, then this statement would be a direct contradiction of that premise. In science, it is better to be precisely wrong than vaguely right. Vagueness gets one nowhere; it cannot be tested. Something precisely wrong can be shown to be wrong, and leads to progress. Better to be clearly disproven in order to move forward than to have an entirely untestable claim because it is overly vague.

One of my main points is that students learn all subjects but come away with the impression that the sciences are more 'powerful' and appreciate it not just as a technical subject but also its influence on society and the history and philosophy of it.
When you say this is one of your main points, do you mean that is what you desire to happen, or something you have observed among your acquaintances, or are you asking if this is true on a broader scale?

Going back to the original post here, the two primary qualities of one's education are generally described as breadth and depth of knowledge. And there is a challenge in assessing this. I think each field has a pretty good handle on the criteria that need to be met to consider one's depth of knowledge in that field sufficient to call it an area of specialization, and the level to which one has specialized (undergraduate major, or Ph.D.), but breadth of knowledge is much harder to define. How much depth of knowledge do you need in fields outside your area of specialization in order to consider your breadth of knowledge adequate? The original question seems to be essentially asking this...how much education on science and math does a history major, for example, require in order to consider themselves to have an adequately broad education in subjects outside their field of history? One can turn around the question as well to be: "How much education on history or literature does a science or math major require to be considered to have a sufficiently broad education?"

I think the only way to even begin to answer that question is to look at how one will use their specialization, and how much impact the lack of breadth of knowledge would have on what they will do with their lives. For example, if a political science major is going to be influential in decisions that affect science policy, they better know enough about science to at least understand what the experts are telling them about the pros and cons of a particular policy, even if they are not able to study the field in depth.

Nobody can study all subjects in great depth. That's the assumption I'm going to start out with here. Which means the focus of an education, and one's knowledge base outside their own field cannot be to provide a sampling of every subject out there; there is simply not enough time to do that and still devote adequate time to your specialization. Rather, I argue that the focus of education is to learn how to learn independently, to know how to pick up a textbook, use the index, and know how to read for facts in a way that you acquire an accurate understanding of what you read without a teacher there to guide you. (I think many do not succeed in this area.) One should learn how to cross-check facts and references, how to use a library, to be aware that books can be wrong or quickly outdated, and to inquire into the most current information, or even how to locate experts to ask. Taking courses in a sampling of subjects outside of your field will allow you to see how to apply these skills in fields outside your own. If you can do that, and have a curiosity to continue learning throughout life, you will have succeeded in your education, and can always continue to acquire knowledge.
 

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