The Theory Of Knowledge 2/8

3 kinds of knowledge:

  1. How?.. to ride a bike
  2. By acquaintance: Berlin- have been there, ‘acquaintance of/knowledge of’ Berlin
  3. By description: facts; not direct knowledge; have read about it

Knowledge as the representation (a reliable copy) or a grasp (how good?) of how things (how can we be certain it is real) are.

Plato’s Theory of Knowledge

Plato’s epistemology is supported by his metaphysics.

Epistemology: theory of knowledge

Metaphysics: nature of reality

Plato – 5th Century B.C.

  • Truth in singular: believes in 1 form of knowledge
    • the forms
    • the original for of the good
    • single form gives life to ourselves
  • Metaphysics of life
    • lights makes things visible and gives growth without it being a process
  • The simile of the cave
    • cave is reality but there is something bigger above it – God
  • Techne – doing things well
    • an essence, original/higher transcendence

Opinion – seeing what lies between ignorance and knowledge

Knowledge: what is

Ignorance: what is not

Art descieves: it irraticates – art is simple a copy. Memesis: imitation;representation

Art is a form of deception – it tricks the eye; adds to appearances; misrepresentation of reality – could mistake art for reality.

The art of representation is therefore a long way removed from the truth. Art is only painting appearances; not attending to beyond that or the truth.

Designers: manufacture, further along the path of true knowledge – they have to listen to someone of relevant knowledge to create an object. Artists do not open themselves up to knowledge, only approach things through appearances so only have opinion; knowledge is a function and you must look beyond appearances for knowledge.

Question 1: What is knowledge? How does is differ from opinion? How can you be certain that you know what (you think) you know?

  • Opinion: what you think, not alway what is true
  • knowledge: what is fact, what has been researched to prove is truth – keeps changing

Ideas stretch through time, even if the idea is old it can inform our thinking today.

Plato calls arguments dialectic:

  • how one idea supports another
    • form relationships
    • weak and strong relationships are formed
    • stronger relationship = higher truth

Nietzche’s Theory of Knowledge

Apposes Platos

Nihilsm: denial of the forms and any of God

Living beings construct truth

Plato is: idealist

Nietzche: nihilist

Darwin’s theory was written around the time as Nietzche’s.

Both philosophers have a theory of knowledge shaped on their nature of reality, just each person’s nature of reality is different:

  • Plato
    • Believed something bigger, shaped by God
  • Nietzche:
    • We are humans; order and chaos
    • art is one of the highest forms
    • always moving, always shifting

Nietzche attack on Plato:

  • No leaf is the same, they are ever-changing
  • Perception is metaphorical
  • What is the correct interpretation of sound?
    • vibration: a sound we here? or a shape made out of sound?
    • (Chlandi: scientist made sound shapes through vibrations)
  • can never hope to know what things are in reality
    • we are apart of this reality
    • no separate of humans and world
    • we are a cluster of forces
    • art is the highest knowledge – always leaping from ideas

Translations: taking a thing through an image or a human eye

Nietzche’s idea: metaphor translation, ideas or chaos

Knowledge is an idea of what someones thinks it is: theorised. Knowledge isn’t one thing.

Question 2: How do Plato’s and Nietzche’s theories of knowledge differ? What are the consequences of conflict between them?

Plato and Nietzche offer different theories of Knowledge.

[explain the theories] [they are opposites] [time periods] [idealist v. nihilist] [one truth v. forces, translation, transformation]

  • when writing imagine writing to a young person – e.g. 14 year old

Question 3: How do Plato and Nietzche affect what or how I think?


Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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