23 October 2020
Word Count: 497
Are there Ways of Knowing that are Closer to Truth?
The eight ways of knowing will be broken down into two groups for this essay; memory, sense, reason, intuition, and language will be to referred to as facts-based WOK, while faith, imagination, and emotion will be referred to as emotion-based WOK. In reality, there are no ways of knowing that are closer to the truth, because each way of knowing has their strengths and weaknesses.
The both fact-based WOKs and emotion-based WOKs have their respective strength and weaknesses. Fact-based WOKs are logical and fact based but are subject to fallacies and manipulation of facts; emotion-based WOKs can be extremely accurate the more experienced someone is but can be easily subjected to manipulations. This essay will provide an example relating to fact-based WOKs due to a limited word count. Statistics, for example, is a type of fact that can be easily manipulated. In order to attract investors, a company may claim that their size doubled in a certain year. Assuming that this statistic is correct, a doubling in company size is a very attractive statistic for investors, and fact-based WOKs would suggest investors to invest in the company, which can make the investors a lot of many money. However, the company may have been very small to begin with, meaning a doubling in size was not a significant improvement. In this scenario, all information used was correct; yet the information was manipulated to be misleading. This example demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of fact-based WOKs. Similar examples can be used to display the strengths and weaknesses of emotion-based WOKs.
Many may believe that fact-based WOKs are closer to truth because it employs logic and reasoning, which are generally perceived as more reliable than the “gut feelings” that emotion-based WOKs rely on. Essentially, fact-based WOKs are used more often than emotion-based WOKs because it is perceived to be more reliable. For example, when picking between school courses, a student can either pick courses according to his or her feelings or pick courses based on an analysis of his or her strengths and weaknesses and passions. A typical student will pick the latter, because they believe it is more accurate. However, emotion and feelings may also play a large role in analysis. In general, “[emotions] [are] part of the mechanism of reasoning and inform even our most logical decisions. It’s not enough just to know what should be done; it’s also necessary to feel it” (the Drum). In other words, logic and reasoning is heavily affected by emotions, which suggests that humans may be using emotion as a method of knowing while being under the false impression that they are using logic and reasoning. Therefore, fact-based WOKs are not superior as they are not necessarily used more often than emotion-based WOKs.
Although emotion-based WOKs and fact-based WOKs can be extremely accurate, both are subject to manipulations, which includes manipulations of facts and emotions. Thus, there is no singular way of knowing that is more likely to lead to the truth.
Ellis, Chloe. “Why Emotion Plays a Critical Role in Decision Making.” The Drum, The Drum, 4 Feb. 2019, www.thedrum.com/news/2019/01/30/why-emotion-plays-critical-role-decision-making.