Social Aspects


Social Ramifications of the Current Understanding of Knowledge - Generally treats negative aspects but positives are below (see also link to positive/negative strain)

Knowledge as truth encourages intolerance

There is still no epistemological justification for truth yet it is used to justify all sorts of viewpoints.

The concept of truth overly concretizes belief in everyday usage (what passes as "real" is used as a currency for the latest idealization. This engenders both truth-bashing of others and indifference to differences between specific items.)

The era of truth as dominant form of knowledge has seen a period of ideological intolerance.

We live during a proliferation of unread books and journals; even the style of this website suffers from interaction by the look-at-my-truth gambit.

Science as pragmatic research with claims bounded by past experiments when combined with the faith in truth takes on scientistic even dogmatic strains.

Creation of rumors and construction of social beliefs are open for abuse by pretense of trafficking only in truth.

There is no account of being known

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The Known are Ignored

No Room for the Cultural & Political

Either/Or Authority is Careless

Pushes Relational Living to Margins

Command type communications

Gap to Nature

Undermines the interpersonal

Ill-prepared for hyperreality

Positive Aspects

Objects are considered to be independent of observation yet knowing things routinely destroys, distorts, domesticates, exploits, enhances, spreads and reproduces them and spawns imitations and hybrids. Beyond specific cases the overall effect is that landscapes are routinely turned into human constructions, ecologies are destroyed and man-made objects litter a meaningless and boring environment.

Leaves no room for the cultural (nomos) or the political

Knowledge is power and knowledge masks institutions.

Truth is the the realm of the good and politics of the bad.

There is no connective between reality and humans other than agency or arbitrary conventions like laws so that social life becomes a mere collection of individuals turning to thrills or self-aggrandizement.

Knowledge as objective accuracy leads to humans as mere instruments/slaves and or consumers of objects, hence production and consumption are strictly separated into times and phases of life.

Innovation and mental and speedy operations such as gadgetry are prized over interpersonal, communal and participatory forms of living

Propositional knowledge does not translate into political will (Knowing that civilization is playing Russian roulette with the earth by expanding the population/wealth-based-footprint impact does not translate into action.)

Relegates values (and many other cultural facets) to the arbitrary and hence incidental.

Glorifies its complements, art, music and nature, even as these are pushed to the edges of the social sphere.

Knowing with its foundational and centrist bases destroys islands of culture.

Beauty is consigned to the decorative or the useful when agency runs away from connectivity.

Geographical distinctions disappear so that every place resembles any other as familiarity cedes to the abstract

Understands various categories like roles, reputation/standing, etc. as incidental

Understands character attributes like arrogance, defensiveness, stubbornness as between incidental or problematic.

Can only approach whole concepts such as teamwork, the group, nation from an individual game-theoretic perspective or from a deified whole perspective

Proliferation of expert fields exacerbates the problem of authority

To claim truth is to invoke an authority that stops dialogue

Knowledge as truth treats rhetoric and persuasion as irrelevant

Expert fields are marginalized in public dialogue because as soon as they are seen to conflict then their claims to certainty are exposed

Pushes spiritual aspects to personal god and psychological aspects to the isolation of therapy

Without any type of external connectivity religion shrinks to interior relationship to god.

Emotions are considered as irrelevant hindrances of a slightly embarrassing kind

The self fades before the great drama of objectivity as irrelevant and irrational subjectivity

The self, personal character, cares, emotions and values are relegated to the superfluous.

The cornered self with pared or repressed emotions has little chance to move gracefully within its knowledge rather than continue to operate the handles of logic from its lonely tower with Machiavellian and increasingly stressful cunning.

Although enjoying a popular albeit largely frivolous return in some areas especially in public entertainment, the absence of emotions from public life is cogently summarized in Gregory Batesonís Double Bind (Donít notice any emotions and donít talk about noticing or not-noticing anything - which can be crazy-making).

Psychological repair is conducted as an oscillating polarity where the everyday valuation of life in which real is everything and self is nothing yields to the isolation of therapy which finds personal meaning by putting the real at bay only to jump back again to a world where personal relations disappear in the adulation of the real.

A sense of self and self-esteem are swallowed up in the drama of the real truth which allegedly does not need selves except workers and the pantheon of discoverers.

Knowledge as truth encourages command type communications

Communication prizes the prototype of statements of information and commands in a world conceived of additions to truth while completely ignoring human processual and choreographable trajectories such as humor, love, negotiation for pleasure or connection weaving.

Communication today is a setup for failure because it continually presumes that both parties operate with high and impossible degrees of sameness: same background, same interests, same meanings, same one-and-only truth, etc. - the well-meaning continually stumble and the unscrupulous play the others like fools.

Communication is more often than not measured in terms of performance rather than satisfaction.

This century has seen a rash of communication disorders - doublespeak, disinformation, dysfunctionality, propaganda, media manipulation, neighborly distrust, etc. as well as the personal distrust characteristic of poor communication with oneself.

Keeps civilization divided from and in conflict with nature

The gap between ecologies and economies, spawned by a knowledge conception enamored of its own ideal, is abrupt enough to trample the former and to propel the latter like a runaway train.

Expansion of knowledge into deterministic areas of human motivation has increased the power of the knower to the point of undermining the interpersonal

Studies of socio-economic and psychological factors of unconscious factors of motivation turn subjectís interiors into more knowledge for others and into more control by others.

Knowledge of unconsciousness, paralanguage, body language, etc. empower knower to trust the idiosyncratic channels at the expense of the explicit channels thereby turning interpersonal life into a type of wizard hunting (who is doing this behavior since it is certainly not the conscious being in front of me).

Is not prepared to deal with the advent of hyperreality

Proliferation of hyperknowledge (photoediting, surfeit of media, information overload, etc.) will increasingly strain the presumptive uniqueness of the truth concept.

The attempt to have individuals keep up with knowledge as pyramid and with databases leads to swings to attention overload or to depression.

Advertising and politics by media manipulation are scandals without hope of redress.

Positive ramifications

Used the power of the law of the excluded middle to aggressively refine distinctions

Allows social cohesion around best knowledge

Fosters social industry of knowledge refinement - science

Gives incredible technical power in harnessing natural materials and processes

Keeps the door always open for refined truths and allows for a democracy of facts without ideological, cohesive control


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Page updated 5/22/01