Knowledge and Understanding

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by A Cup Of Tea, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Since I just lectured donnann in another thread about sticking to the topic, I'll try and follow my own advice and move it all here.

    I have an idea of the difference of Knowledge and Understanding but I have never explored it enough to be able to put it in words for others to know or understand. Here I'll try to explore and understand their relationship, but it is not my thread, I want you all to teach me what you see.

    I'll start of with a text from Bushido, the Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe:

     
  2. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to reflect on these of course.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I look at it as lower case and uppercase situations....

    There is something I know. (smoking is bad for me, yet I continue to smoke) and I don't really understand this.

    But when I Understand it, when it has become part of my being. Now there is someting I Know, that smoking is bad for me, therfore I do not smoke.

    Lower case, I don't really know, I have a knowledge of it, but I don't Know it.
     
  4. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    wil-

    Guess my usage is closer to the opposite. Knowledge is limited (I use the hard sense, like a mathematical proof). Understanding (per donnann above) is deeper, beyond, and relational.
     
  5. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    radar, I'm thinking that your usage reflect mine.

    wil, so for you knowledge and understanding are synonym, but there are two different levels of knowledge/understanding?
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    all things to me have a lower case and upper case level of assimilation in our life....when something is knee jerk like we assume Ghandi or MLK were with nonviolence...or Jesus or Bhudda were with peace...were they..or were they avatars for this is another thing...but when it is so ingrained in you to be your natural response in any situation....upper case....

    as to knowledge and understanding.... I have an understanding of how a internal combustion works, I do not have the knowledge to build one, or put one together.
     
  7. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    This makes no sense to me, I don't understand at all the difference you prescribe to them, what you wrote could just as well been:

    I have the knowledge of how a internal combustion works, I do not have the understanding to build one, or put one together.

    ...for me
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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  9. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Lots of text! Thanks.

    I want to point out that since this is my second language I will lack the depth of English that all of you possess.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Me thinks your grammar is much better than mine.

    but if english is your second language....how many words do each of these...knowledge and understanding translate into for you?
     
  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    As far I know our two words hold the same meaning as yours, but thats it, I could be translating my understanding of the words and miss something unique in your usage. We'll see, I have this thread to find out.

    But for now, happy midsummer! Today is a day of celebration and time with those you love (mostly it's a time for drinking but I choose love). Feel the joy everyone!
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    midsummer? for us the equinox is the beginning of summer....and only our pagans get a lot out of it...but the moon...the moon...
     
  13. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    It's apparently connected to the birth of John the Baptist, but is celebrated in all it's pagan glory.
     
  14. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    @ ACOT: I had no idea that English was a second language since you use it with grace and are adept at the vagaries of the language. If you don't mind, what is your primary language?

    @Wil: If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear, and this weak and idle theme, yielding no more than a dream...
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    If we actors have offended you, just think of it this way and everything will be all right.

    You were asleep when you saw these visions, and this silly and pathetic story was no more real than a dream.

    Ladies and gentlemen, don’t get upset with me. If you forgive us, we’ll make everything all right.

    I’m an honest Puck, and I swear that if we’re lucky enough not to get hissed at, we’ll make it up to you soon.

    If not, then I’m a liar. So good night to everyone.
    Give me some applause, if we’re friends, and Robin will make everything up to you.
     
  16. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    :)

    Somehow, the original sounds better. I recently saw a version in which Puck's soliloquy was cut short, and I thought it very strange. Anyway, happy Midsummer!
     
  17. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    We have those which combine knowledge and understanding - Jnana or Prajna. There is no word for knowledge alone. Knowledge includes understanding (otherwise there is no knowledge).
    Today, the sun begins its journey southwards - 'Dakshinayana' - inauspicious half of the year for the believers.
     
  18. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I generally speak Swedish, the same linguistic roots so it very translatable. I'm thankful for spell check though, in any language.

    Is there an important distinction between Jnana and Prajna that is relevant to the topic? I will have to think on the fact that 'without understanding there is no knowledge', it feels like there is something to know there.
     
  19. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    To help you, this (Wikipedia)

    Jnana/Gnana: "Famous mantra in this relationship says: "Om ajnana timirandhasya..." (I was born in ajnana, agnosticism, but my spiritual master opened my eyes with fire of transcendental knowledge, jnana). .. In Vedas it means true knowledge, that one's (jiva's) self, or he himself as soul (atman) is identical (in quality sense) with Ultimate Reality Brahman. It is also referred to as Atma Jnana which is frequently translated as self-realization.

    Prajna/Pragna (rhymes with pregnant): Prajnanam iti Brahman (Aitareya Upanishad, RigVeda) - Wisdom is the soul/spirit. Prajnanam refers to the intuitive truth which can be verified/tested by reason. It is a higher function of the intellect that ascertains the Sat or Truth in the Sat-Chit-Ananda or truth-consciousness-bliss, i.e. the Brahman/Atman/Self/person [...] A truly wise person [...] is known as Prajna - who has attained Brahmanhood itself; thus, testifying to the Vedic Maha Vakya (great saying or words of wisdom).

    If I were to translate it, I would say 'Knowing makes one realize that the universe and all contained in it is non-dual and constituted by one entity, physical energy, and that person becomes it'. This idea is repeated in Mundaka Upanishad, which says 'Brahma Veda Brahmaiva Bhavati' (One who knows Brahman, verily becomes it). Why do I add this, because I am an atheist and I do not believe in existence of a Supreme God or soul.

    When one understands fully, then it is Gnana or Pragna. Otherwise, as books say, it is a repetition by a parrot. Common pronunciation: Gyana, Pragya. http://spokensanskrit.de/
     
  20. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Correction: Not agnosticism. 'ajnana timirandhasya' means 'in the darkness of ignorance'. The one who made the entry in Wikipedia is a hindu theist adding things which are not there.
     

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