C-93. Two kinds of knowledge

Consider two kinds of knowledge about particulars (App. VI; C-86): KF and KT. The first is about the orderings we find, which we can test predictively. (Do other observers and further observations confirm?) The second is about the orderings we try to make, which we can also test. (Do they work?) Outcomes provide a test for both, but there is difference here as well as similarity. Both are kinds of experimenting, but they experiment in different ways.

The first is applicable to a working hypothesis of an underlying order of things, the second to a working hypothesis of the Nature of Things (III). The Nature of Things subsumes the first in, and as part of, one of three general persisting conditions (GPC): partial order. With partial order, KT can use KF in its making of orderings – giving evidence to the subsumptive relationship. And orderings we must make, in the presence of consequentiality (the second GPC), which otherwise promises hard collisions for behavioral entities (our discontinuity being the third GPC) in the absence of complete instruction for behavior. (“Underlying” must thus promise less than complete determinism? Given incomplete instruction for behavioral entities, all behaviors are questions – whether framed interrogatively or not [C-91]. Focal attention asks about collision potential, to be avoided or arranged ..and likely consequences. Points ABOUT [e.g., assertions] are subject to test. KF can be seen as a special case of KT [see XII, the diagrams especially] … or, at a minimum, just as much in need of HAS discipline.)

However, that the Nature of Things subsumes the order of things is not the focal point here. We want to talk about the capabilities involved in the two ways of knowing, about how they can be developed and exercised more interdependently (App. VI, VIII; C-86). Not enough has been said about KT. The behavioral architecture differs here (C-90). For one thing, it starts with a problem, not a question– which KF “research” too often does (XII). (The oft-cited distinction between “applied” and “basic” research looms here. But “applicable” research is what realization makes a point of, does it not? And it is the realization of knowing that we are talking about [App. XIX; C-85].)

Development and research as a strategy for knowing, as contrasted with research and development, expresses the KF-KT difference. Another such contrast is provided by Augustine’s “knowledge via faith.” But not enough of the relevant behavioral architecture comes through with these – perhaps because they say too much about the contrast and not enough about the architecture, perhaps because the hardness of the resultant knowledge (C-44: e.g., “certainty”) is in question (e.g., “personal vs. public,” “subjective vs. objective” … focusing on these as though the observer and the observed were the only material conditions [C-78]).

How are we to make much sense of – i.e., come to realize – what we are talking about beyond the vague conceptual notion of knowing if, for instance, we cannot introduce the metastrategic consideration of whether ADOPT, ADAPT and/or ADEPT behavior is invoked for KT’s problems? Augustine’s ADOPT may apparently solve the behavioral problem (I: Pbeh), albeit not in accord with the Nature of Things, but what does it offer for the variety ofsituational problems and the differing demands they place on aspects of the behavioral problem – i.e., needed capabilities?

Two kinds of knowledge because they need to be brought into accord with the Nature of Things, more fully realized by developing them in balance and by emphasizing the potential of a more productive interdependence (C-71, C-80). More emphasis to the architecture of behavior (C-90) will strengthen KT … and this will, in turn, strengthen the contribution of KT to KF.

“Trial and error” and “learning from experience” allude to KT, but neither comes close to a full realization. The first does not see the need for, nor the promise of, a HAS discipline (App. VIII), of the contributions that humanism and art can bring in partnership with science. Seen as a way of knowing, KT is, after all, the other arm of science. KF can hardly justify claiming Science as a label for itself alone. The second confounds learning with knowing, in addition to letting experience glom and glob over the entirety of molecular architecture involved in behavioral effort and consequences.

What we try changes what we have tried. What we find changes what we have found – as in Kuhn’s paradigm change. Both are about knowing … and about knowing more. Both can give new meaning to “experience.” Knowing always starts over.

“An open mind” says too little. Exposure is but the first of minding’s needed capabilities. Knowing, when minding is developed as a HAS resource, begins to say what needs to be said here. When knowing is fully realized. Most of what has been said in this comment has been said before. But how well has it been understood?

(c) 2013 R.F. Carter