In the Way of Inquiry • Obstacles

The discussion in this Chapter addresses a set of conceptual and methodological obstacles that stand in the way of the current inquiry, threatening to undermine a reasonable level of confidence in the viability of its proceeding, all of which problems I think can be overcome.

Often the biggest obstacle to learning more is the need to feel that one already knows.  And yet there are some things that a person knows, at least, in comparison to other things, and it makes sense to use what one already knows best in order to learn what one needs to know better.  The question is, how does one know which is which?  What test can tell what is known so well that it can be trusted in learning what is not?

One way to test a supposed knowledge is to try to formulate it in such a way that it can be taught to other people.  A related test, harder in some ways but easier in others, is to try to formalize it so completely that even a computer could go through the motions that are supposed to be definitive of its practice.

Both proposals for testing a supposition of knowledge invoke the critical notion of putting knowledge into a form that is communicable or transportable from one medium or system of interpretation to another.  If the knowledge is conceived to be residing already in one form or another, then this requirement simply points to a “reformation” or a “transformation” of knowledge, otherwise it demands a more radical metamorphosis, from a wholly disorganized condition to an incipiently communicable facility or an initially portable formulation.

This entry was posted in C.S. Peirce, Inquiry, Inquiry Driven Systems, Inquiry Into Inquiry, Intelligent Systems, Peirce, Semiotics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In the Way of Inquiry • Obstacles

  1. egoboyness says:

    It is more and more frequently experienced that, even though I have knowledge of the shape and function of my house keys, I fail to identify and locate them because my knowledge of their shape and function fails to function as a conscious recognition of those objects. Reviewing my memories of last contact with the desired items often fails to aide in their discovery.

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