Blackmon/ Theory of Knowledge p.7
30 September 2010
Ways of Knowing and their Importance
Experts such as athletes, musicians, actors, surgeons, etc. have obtained knowledge which is difficult to describe in words and by language. These other ways of knowing, like perception, reason, and emotion play more important roles than language in allowing these experts to perform in their respective fields by gaining knowledge which cannot be passed on by words through their senses, emotional inspiration, and reasoning. A way of knowing which is essential in these fields is perception, which allows experts to gain knowledge through the five senses, and learn by example, which in some fields such as music and sports it plays a bigger role than learning by language. A possible explanation for this is observational learning. Observational learning, also called social learning theory, occurs when an observer’s behavior changes after viewing the behavior of a model (funderstanding). In other terms, this is referred to as perception. In reference to sports, one can say that every aspect of the game is learned visually, although minimal verbal instruction is given through coaching. In order to gain knowledge through visual perception there must be stimuli from electromagnetic waves between approximately 400 nm and 700 nm which reach the eyes and the retina and provide what we call sight (dombrowski). As an athlete, ones primary way of knowing is perception because words cannot properly instruct motions such as running, catching, jumping etc. one can only perform and perfect these movements through observation. A primary example of this would be the sport of football. In football, one is required to make contact with other players in order to bring them down but to do this, one must learn proper technique which requires observation. After seeing the act being done, to master it one must practice it which requires the sense of touch. This applies to all learned...