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Several different methods of gathering and constructing knowledge, from the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, human sciences, history, and art were presented and evaluated. In summary, knowledge constructed in the domain of mathematics and natural sciences seem to be more reliable than knowledge constructed in the human sciences and arts.
In mathematics, knowledge is constructed via proof, combining logic and calculation which is indisputably true regardless of emotional interpretation. Similarly, in the natural sciences, knowledge is constructed through the scientific method: experimentation and data collection under extremely controlled conditions, concluding with an interpretation of the data which can be refuted or supported directly by objective observation. In these two fields, there is usually a very clear line on what can be right and what can be wrong.
In the human sciences, on the other hand, constructed knowledge is subject to great change, given the difficult-to-control nature of the objects of study. Theories which apply can be refuted as society changes or as new data is collected: Keynes’ economic theory is such an example. In particular, some experiments cannot be reproduced as subjects and environments change, so their validity and applicability becomes questionable.
Historical accounts may also be biased; “history is written by the victor,” as they say. Furthermore, different interpretations of historical evidence are to a degree, causing them to vary from person to person. Similarly, interpretations and emotional responses to different pieces of art will vary depending on one’s background, economic status, gender, and so forth; thus, our knowledge of these fields is unreliable, as it is changing constantly.
The nature of some fields of study makes it harder to construct reliable knowledge than others. However, all of these subjects are indisputably important to humanity’s self-understanding, providing us with new lens from which to see the world.