I don't use those silly smilicons, so just
assume that I'm interested in a friendly
dialogue with someone that seems to be on
my side of the fence, philosophically. I
used the title only to emphasize the wide
gap that exists between us. I'm a worn-out
construction lineman with a grade school
education. (And don't call me "Joe Sixpack").
In the beginning of your dissertation, you
explain social constructionism as a belief
system wherein, knowledge is never true
per se, but true relative to some conditions.
In your last paragraph, you seem to get a
little wishy-washy in what I thought started
out as a condemnation of that belief.
Let me tell you my version of knowledge and
thought processes in general. I am guided
in my belief system by a catch term called
psycho-epistemology, first used by a Dr. Barbara
Branden. You understand it, but so you'll
see my use of it, let me explain. I won't go
into detail, just assume that I have a moral
code that justifies my existence. I have an
identity I'm proud of, and a measure of
self-esteem that probably needs deflating.
Having said that, my position on knowledge
is simple. I gather data with all the
perceptive devices I have. I conceptualize
that data by a screening process empowered
by my moral code, my full acceptance of
reality, my logic and life experiences.
Having separated the TRUE knowledge from the
extraneous garbage, I store what I don't
need at the moment, in what I call long term
memory. What I need to have readily
available goes in short term memory.
Now the psycho portion of the term
psycho-epistemology comes into play. I have
to focus on a subject. That's called
thinking. Using whatever degree of ability
that I garnered, through genes, environment,
mentoring, tutoring, family discipline,
etc., I have to retrieve the necessary
knowledge from my memory, apply the tools of
logic, realization, awareness, etc. to it
and tada, I'm thinking.
I take anyones assertion that knowledge per
se is untrue, and can only be found with
certain strings attached, as wrong.
Knowledge and reality cannot be separated.
If it isn't reality, it isn't knowledge. I'm
sure that all of the above would wither
under the microscope of superior education,
but I also have to think, and I should be
allowed to know how and why in my own
vernacular or jargon.
Therein lies a problem. Why would someone of
your caliber write a book that only someone
as smart as you can understand. To use my
favorite defense retort. You can't tell them
nuthin', they know it all. But you can tell
me, just speak my language. Am I tying a
string to the knowledge I ask for, to make
it true? I have no knowledge of your writing
a book so realize I was making a point. I
wanted you to know how people like me have
to look at these deep subjects or just sit
in beer gardens and talk baseball.
I hope you'll respond in any manner you
choose and if I came across as anything
other than a pleasant mannered individual,
I offer my apologies, sincerely.
Jan... (corrected spelling)
(corrected Barbara Branden spelling)
To answer the unasked.. I am an individual, as you
are. I am an individualist, nothing more, nothing
less. I search for truth and reality. I don't
identify myself with any social doctrine, such as
objectivism, individualism, or any other "ism".
I am not an atheist by Webster's definition. I am
not a believer in mysticism or superstition. I am
not searching for identity or havens. I am under
educated and extremely well read. Handling the
knowledge I garner has always been a chore, but
one I accept. I have a moral code that allows me
to function in society, yet retain my identity. I
am not a sociopath. If I find myself affected by
cognitive dissonance, I remove the cause of
the dissonance. I do not adjust to it.(kissing the
Masonic Order goodbye as a 32nd degree Mason
instead of kissing the bible is a fair example) I
have two primary rules of existence. Other entities
in society are viewed by me as assets, liabilities,
or invisible. I never initiate force, I always
retaliate. My chosen life style and occupational
hazards demand of me, all of the above. I am often
alone. I am never lonely. Having answered the
unasked, let me say that I don't intend to match
wits with you or anyone else as I will surely lose.
I just want your thoughts on true knowledge and how
to recognize it as such. I think that's where we
started. Having put my business in the street,
which rubs like sandpaper, let's continue.
[This message has been edited by KwiatMan (edited 05-21-2001).]