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Tools in the Pursuit of Knowledge Essay

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Updated: Aug 7th, 2019

“When the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems begin to resemble nails”. [1]This statement has many applications and perspectives. The pursuit of knowledge is primarily accomplished through senses. With the advances of the modern world, technology has come to human aid in order to heighten the “registration” of information by senses.

There are several levels that lead to knowledge. The first one is the acquisition of knowledge, the second level is retention and understanding, and the third is usage and application in the real world. The tools that are used to gather knowledge relate to genetics, environment, established truth and morals. As such, the abilities that people have are the limitations in the purist of knowledge.[2]

Historically, people have been gaining knowledge rather slowly. The “tools” that were used were rather primitive, and thus, it could be supposed that people had little development in knowledge. At the same time, there are cases of significantly evolved civilizations that have shown great amounts of knowledge. Its source and truthfulness have been under question for a long time. People wonder what constitutes fact and if there are any defining laws that can be attributed to all knowledge or information available in the world.

Many philosophers defined and speculated on how information can be interpreted according to its falsity or fact but have reached no definite conclusion. The division being made is that people can comprehend anything or any entity in two ways: one way is “through itself” and the second is “through its effects.” To know something “through itself” means to understand and know the entity in the fullest way and everything that makes it real.[3]

It is claimed that this sort of knowledge is unattainable by human beings because they are not evolved enough to understand anything fully. Only God is able to know “something” in its whole and to the last detail. For example, when a person looks at a tree, it is clear that it’s made of smaller units that together make up a tree.

A person can know its function—production of oxygen and absorption of carbon dioxide and the way it achieves this function, the process of photosynthesis. People can understand how the tree’s system works—absorption of water through roots and then the transfer of water molecules all over the tree. The functions, purpose and the mechanism of the functions of the tree is the secondary understanding that humans possess of the entity, which is the tree.

People can only perceive the tree through its physical attributes, which people can see, feel, smell, touch and hear—the basic human senses. But there is no possibility for anyone to know the eternal mechanisms of the tree because humans are physically part of all objects; they are an extension of Nature while God is Nature and so, only God or anyone “allowed” by God to know the true meaning of things can really understand something that exists.[4]

As such, human tools are extremely poor in gaining any eternal knowledge because there is too much information for human brain. It is possible that with evolvement of people’s organisms there will be better “instruments” to study life and all its aspects. This argument is reasonable and logical because it is obvious that no human being can physically get inside the atoms and molecules and comprehend the functions and source of all the nano or even smaller particles of the microscopic entities.

People did not create the idea of a physical object, they did not make Earth out of nothing, and they just found it as it existed, even before there were any humans to see it. The idea of the concept has already existed before and this means that there must have been some force that placed the object there, and made it function in the specific way that it does function.[5]

So, everything people see and do came about through the extension of the eternal law. But, in reality, it can be doubted that our perception of the tree is not the same as the way a lion perceives a tree or the way an ant does. This begs a question—if different species see and know eternal world differently, is it really a part of the universal truth or maybe each living thing has its own universal knowledge and understanding?

It is clear that knowledge is not information it is comprehension and so, the higher it is the greater are the tools of a person who is developing and evolving. Maslow’s statement very much relates to his other ideas, such as the theory of motivation and the hierarchy of needs, which explicitly explains why people are motivated to do certain things.

It went as far, as to create strict needs that people are driven by in a lifetime. The theory of reasons for communication by Maslow states that people are genetically predisposed to act in a specific and concrete way that is centered on satisfying physiological and psychological needs.[6] Knowledge is a great part of life that enables people to function and come to new realizations.

External factors or the surrounding environment and the internal needs and wants or personality of a person, set out criteria that guide how a person behaves and what goals they strive towards. The hierarchy sets out the specific criteria by which people operate, according to their needs and wants. At the bottom of the pyramid-shaped diagram are the basic needs. These are the primary attributes that are needed for survival, like food, shelter and water.

These are characterized as physiological requirements of all people, independent of their age, race or life goals. At this level, a person has little tools for knowledge because their primary needs are not satisfied. The most basic and primary instruments are raw and uninvolved. The next division of needs for a person is the security and protection from any external stimuli. This comes with more advanced tools as a person starts to think and use previous knowledge as a defense system.[7]

Just as important are the needs of the social aspect, such as belonging to a certain group but most crucial in this division is the love and affection of the close relatives and people. Here, a person is helped with the tools of others. It comes in a form of experience, advice, support and information.

It has been proven that everyone, especially children, need to feel wanted and loved, in order for them to grow up confident and healthy individuals. It is understandable that physical survival is vital to a person in the continuation of life but on the other side of the spectrum is the psychological need and want of any person. From these needs stems a great part of the pursuit of knowledge.[8]

It has been supposed that a person has unlimited potential, so it is possible to assume that reasons for knowledge storage can exist in many forms or psychological extensions. One explanation is the amount of times someone was presented with a certain situation or quality which psychologically determined how much they became used to this sort of concept.

In turn, this makes it necessary to become a part of knowledge and the resulting behavior. It is undeniable that people are psychological beings and everything that happens in a person’s lifetime, gets recorded in genes and gets passed down through generations in a form of genetic code known as DNA.[9]

This is where Abraham Maslow has acknowledged that people have an internal and individual need, specific to their character and genes that require them to search for specific knowledge and in an individual way, according to their morality. The next steps in the pyramid relate to psychological needs and start with self-esteem, recognition and status.

People must have a form of understanding of themselves and respect that allows them to feel confident in everything they do. If someone is not sure of their strengths, they will not be able to pursue their goals and dreams, being satisfied with the minimum that they have. The final stage of reasons for people to be searching to evolve is the goal to realize what defines a person, who they really are and self-search and actualization become dominant throughout the character.[10]

An idea that knowledge bases itself on a universal truth is part of the immaterial world. It is not a physical object, it is a piece of information that can be received by the brain but not created. Even though tools can be physical and immaterial, morals and person’s brain is the greatest tool.

People simply absorb knowledge, they do not create it, it is God or Divine Force that create this knowledge. The only way people can understand something that is eternal, is by using their souls and emotions and not thoughts and logical reasoning. It is critical to learn how to connect the physical manifestations of ideas, morals, truth and everything else that takes place on the Earth.

Bibliography

Banyard, P. (2005). Ethical issues and guidelines in psychology. New York, United States: Routledge.

Brose, A. & Schiedek, F. (2011). Daily variability in working memory is coupled with negative affect: The role of attention and motivation. American Psychological Association, 12(3), 605–617.

Engelmann, J. & Pessoa, L. (2007). Motivation sharpens exogenous spatial attention. American Psychological Association, 7(3), 668-674.

Goble, F. (2004). The Third Force: The Psychology of Abraham Maslow. Chapel Hill, NC: Maurice Bassett.

Hughes, M. (2011). Emotional Intelligence in Action. San Fransisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010. Web. <>

Malmberg, K. & Annis J. (2012). On the relationship between memory and perception: Sequential dependencies in recognition memory testing. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 141(2), 233-259.

Maslow, A. (2013). Maslow’s Motivation Theory and its Application to Education. Retrieved from

Rouse, B. & Boff, R. (2011). Human representation and reasoning about complex causal systems. Information Knowledge Systems Management, 10(1-4), 85-99.

Footnotes

  1. Maslow, A. (2013). Maslow’s Motivation Theory and its Application to Education.
  2. Smith, J. (2012). Social Psychology: Revisiting the Classic Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2012.
  3. Malmberg, K. & Annis J. (2012). On the relationship between memory and perception: Sequential dependencies in recognition memory testing. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 141(2), 233-259.
  4. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010. Web.
  5. Brose, A. & Schiedek, F. (2011). Daily variability in working memory is coupled with negative affect: The role of attention and motivation. American Psychological Association, 12(3), 605–617.
  6. Hughes, M. (2011). Emotional Intelligence in Action. San Fransisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
  7. Engelmann, J. & Pessoa, L. (2007). Motivation sharpens exogenous spatial attention. American Psychological Association, 7(3), 668-674.
  8. Banyard, P. (2005). Ethical issues and guidelines in psychology. New York, United States: Routledge.
  9. Rouse, B. & Boff, R. (2011). Human representation and reasoning about complex causal systems. Information Knowledge Systems Management, 10(1-4), 85-99.
  10. Goble, F. (2004). The Third Force: The Psychology of Abraham Maslow. Chapel Hill, NC: Maurice Bassett.
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IvyPanda. "Tools in the Pursuit of Knowledge." August 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/tools-in-the-pursuit-of-knowledge/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Tools in the Pursuit of Knowledge." August 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/tools-in-the-pursuit-of-knowledge/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Tools in the Pursuit of Knowledge'. 7 August.

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