Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Word From Huck, for your consideration

Epistemology:"The study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity" Merriam-Webster

My favorite reference that communicates my understanding of this word is a quotation from Hamlet:"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V

Philosophy being the study, collection, and/or pusuit of all learning, wisdom, beliefs, and ethics; Shakespear was telling us that there are limits to what we do and can know. So we should not be surprised by what is new (to us) or mysterious. Nor should we instantly doubt that which is not within our personal experience.

I extend this thought a bit to say that embracing that which is outside our philosophy is the nature of inquest (inquisitiveness). However, we must be aware that there is the most common of traps amongst humanity--predisposition. For if we color our inquest by denying our epistemological limits--or worse, by only extending our limits where expedient in economy or pain--we interject fallacy into our philosophy and gain not. This is the better definition of prejudice.

Be Well.

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