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Compare and Contrast Our Approach to Knowledge About the Past with Our Approach to Knowledge About the Future

Autor:   •  January 6, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,240 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,305 Views

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Compare and contrast our approach to knowledge about the past with our approach to knowledge about the future.

"These days people seek knowledge, not wisdom. Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future" this quote by Vernon Cooper emphasizes that what happened in the past can be called knowledge but what is going to happen in the future is only a wise prediction. This implies the importance of the knowledge about the past and how the knowledge about the future is built upon that knowledge. Each knowledge is linked to the other. But, our approach to knowledge about the past contrasts and differs from our approach to knowledge about the future in many ways and at the same time some factors about each approach are similar.

Knowledge about the past is easier to obtain and reach as it already happened, it is history. We can look back at historical evidence such as old newspaper articles, journals and fossils. But such evidence cannot be truly trusted as it may be missing some important factors and information. For example, a dinosaur fossil may miss a very important piece and therefore the incompleteness of the fossil will affect the concluding knowledge on the dinosaur and its type. As well as some knowledge about the past is based on peoples' opinions, this means that the knowledge given may be biased as it's what one thinks and believes and might not be the right knowledge. It is very difficult to obtain the correct knowledge of the past as it is believed that in order to obtain true and accurate knowledge, one should have lived at that time and historians cannot possibly rerun massive historical events such as famines, conflicts or battles to review them from different perspectives and to fill in the gaps and answer the questions they carry. On the other hand living during the historical event still does not secure a fully accurate and truthful knowledge, as humans tend to forget certain points which may therefore affect the accuracy of the knowledge or evidence. Language is another factor that must be taken into account while approaching the knowledge about the past. This is because many historical records are translated from many different languages and each time the record is translated, some information and details get lost or the details may be poorly translated which results in producing a false historical account. It is also very difficult to find historical accounts that tell the neutral record of the event exactly as it happened therefore this means that the knowledge of the past is speculative. Although the knowledge about the past is speculative, it is very important as it is used to predict futuristic events, thus the base of the knowledge of the future is the knowledge of the past. This emphasizes that the knowledge about the future is speculative as well. But as there are many accounts that clarify previous events, but none that clarify futuristic ones, then

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