Forms of Knowledge: Problems, Projects, Perspectives

  • Günter Abel
Part of the Knowledge and Space book series (KNAS, volume 1)

This chapter systematically describes different forms of knowledge and their roles at the interface of human cognition, communication, and cooperation (CCC triangulation). A distinction between a narrow and a broad sense of knowledge is made. The notion of forms of knowledge is explained as different ways of knowing. It is impossible to individuate contents of knowledge independently of signs and practices of articulation. There is no knowledge without signs. The author focuses on the relation between information and knowledge, following Kant in differentiating between “opinion,” “belief,” and “knowledge.” In epistemological respects the chapter is an attempt to gain a foothold beyond the dichotomy of absolute knowledge and arbitrary relativism. The function of rules in knowledge acquisition and knowledge justification is shown to be particularly important. An object-oriented level is distinguished from a metatheoretical level, and it is shown in what sense second-order rules are embedded in and guaranteed by a world view. Hence, the power of world views, models, and systems of symbols in knowledge acquisition and knowledge dynamics is underlined. The dynamics of knowledge are brought into focus and internally correlated to symbols, time, situation, context, and creativity at the CCC interface. The role of nonpropositional, nonverbal, and implicit/tacit knowledge at the CCC interface is emphasized. The author outlines the internal relation between “knowing how” and “rationality,” stressing that the rationality of knowing how is not algorithmic or calculus-guided; it is of a different type. An outline of a unified theory of knowledge and action is given.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günter Abel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PhilosophieTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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