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Knowledge - its nature, value, and relationship to action.

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Education: Apollo's University

Joined: 17 Aug 2015
Posts: 3
Location: Riverside, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:55 am    Post subject: Knowledge - its nature, value, and relationship to action.  Reply with quote

This post arises out of a Twitter exchange I had with @DNUpdate regarding the value of knowledge in relation to action.  Although it seems that our conversation strayed from the purpose of my original post, @DNUpdate's responses prompted an interesting convo.  As the philosopher that I am, I cannot let a philosophical discussion go so incomplete.  

Here was my original post, which was a retweet a Benjamin Franklin quote:

🌊Mike Ortiz  🔱
Just like money invested grows exponentially, knowledge does too 🙌🚀 #Philosophy #selfeducation #Entrepreneurship #mastery 🌊Mike Ortiz  🔱

Retweeted Jesse Torres
Verified account @jstorres
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

@DNUpdate responded:

Domain News Update‏
Knowledge alone without application can be a pleasure but can never be useful, if 1 keep accumulating knowledge, it & Life both get wasted!😜

The following exchange ensued:

 🌊Mike Ortiz  🔱‏
Agree in theory. But I think it materializes in intuition. So, better to hoard knwledge bc it will inevitably help in ways we can't foresee

Domain News Update‏
Used to think so, knowledge without implementation will ultimately be useless, add finite productive life to mix, time becomes more precious

 🌊Mike Ortiz  🔱‏
Well, the macro character of this convo makes it tough to substantively discuss. I may have a forum for this tho 🤔  😉

 🌊Mike Ortiz  🔱‏
Short answer tho, I wholly disagree. I contend knowledge is an end in and if itself for humans. Interesting stuff for sure, tho.

Domain News Update‏
As long as you do not link knowledge to actions, I will not continue 🙂, as knowledge alone is not ultimate, it is a tool to get to ultimate.

 🌊Mike Ortiz  🔱‏
Knowledge is necessarily linked to the action of living. 😜

Domain News Update‏
Then it is two or more "biological (may be transhuman in future) neural networks" 👊 each other in past present future‼️

So, as you can see, this convo went from zero to metaphysical real quick!  Twitter is not conducive to productive substantive discussion, so I brought it to a place that is: TrendyPhilosophy Wink

As a preliminary matter, we see here with @DN an example of an attempt to impress a normative theory of ethics.  @DN might not know this, but saying that knowledge without action is "useless" or "wasted" is saying that you are not valuable if you do not do things.  This type of normative authoritarianism is the reason so many people are depressed in this world today.  People are valuable even if they choose to live a life as a monk, or a hermit in the woods, or a philosopher in an ivory tower.  Your value is not dependent on your products.  Your value is dependent on what YOU value and staying true to that.

@DN also seems to be taking a dualistic approach: that the mind and body are separate entities.  That knowledge is the mind and action is the body.  

I wholly disagree.  Bringing it back to the meta-meta-physical, your existence is essentially and necessarily to gather knowledge.  If you did not gather knowledge, you would not "know" that you were thinking, and would not know you exist.  See Rene Descartes.

If you did not gather knowledge from your senses, then you would not be able to organize that information (your sensations) spatially and temporally to orient yourself in this reality.    We are, therefore, essentially knowledge gathering machines.

We are also necessarily actors. I cannot think of an example of the absence of action.  Except, maybe, a brain in a vat.  

As such, not only are we necessarily knowledge gathering machines, but we are also necessarily actors.  Hence, there is no practical separation between knowledge and action as @DN seems to argue.

Therefore, attaining knowledge will always result in an increase in our effectiveness as actors in this reality.   The more knowledge we gather, the more fit we are to act, the better our intuition and ability to predict how our actions will affect reality.  

Of course, if I wanted to learn how to surf, I could read millions of books on how to surf, but only going out and surfing would make me better at it.  But, were not talking about surfing, were talking about life.  And knowledge, no matter learning certain skills, listening to a pleasant song, or reading a story will always provide value.  

That value is exponential, as well--the more things you already know, the easier it is for you to understand newer things.  Your knowledge compounds upon itself and shows you patterns in unrelated fields.  As Robert Greene noted in his book, Mastery, your distinct fields of knowledge will naturally intersect and result in knowledge unique to you.  

Finally, with knowledge comes self awareness.  Self-awareness is not dependent on action.  Fore example, If I learn that my happiness comes from reading books, then why is it "useless" or "wasteful" for me to sit and read books for the rest of my life?  Need I "do something" or else my life will be valueless?  I think not.

@DN - If you're out there, please respond with your thoughts.  Smile[/img]

Thrive in uncertainty. Excel in chaos. Embrace adversity.
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