Can we know only what we are prepared to know?

Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 05:17 am
Can we know only what we are prepared to know?

If an individual has never learned to add and subtract that individual cannot learn how to divide and multiply.

Our American educational system, K-12, attempts to teach minimum fundamentals that prepare an individual to function within our high tech society. Our colleges and universities generally augment these fundamentals with some form of specialized knowledge that will make it possible for graduates to obtain good jobs.

Few graduates from our American educational system are prepared to comprehend the very complex type of problems our society encounters. In a democracy such as ours the citizens can choose the politicians to act as their representatives in government. In a democracy such as ours the citizen can veto any public policy that they do not comprehend even though it might be necessary for the survival of the American culture and perhaps even of the survival of the human species.

Under such circumstances is a democratic form of government adequate?

If not what form of government is adequate?

Is it possible for us to educate citizens to the higher level of sophistication that is required to manage a sophisticated high tech society such as ours?
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Reply Wed 1 Apr, 2009 04:44 am

I am convinced that we cannot "see" that which we are not prepared to "see"; metaphor ‘know is see’.

It is like walking in a forest such that we are unable to see very far because the trees restrict our view. We can use the analogy of walking in the forest, which to see beyond the surrounding trees we must have the means to climb a tall tree to see a bit further.

Perhaps we might extend the analogy to say that we must have some means to raise our self above the surrounding clutter before we can see a bit further. Only when we find a hill with tall trees and climb one of those trees can we see the mountain ahead, which we might climb and see a mountain range in the distance, which we might travel too so that we can see even further. But as long as we do not climb some trees we cannot see beyond the mundane appearances of our little world of trees that surround us.
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