How can we recognize when we have made progress in the search for knowledge? Consider two contrasting areas of knowledge.
The search for knowledge is a constantly ongoing process. So how are we to know if we have made any progress? Progress is development, advancement, and moving forward. In this case it is the progress in the search for knowledge in an area of knowing. Within the areas of knowing the strongest contradiction is between human science and natural science. Human sciences are also known as the social sciences which include anthropology and psychology. Natural sciences on the other hand include sciences such as biology and pharmacology. As we are in the quest of knowledge in these two divergent areas of knowledge, the type of knowledge we are searching for is important to determine. If one is to make progress in a subject that represents what he or she has learned then it as helped them to move forward. Progress can be defined through positive and negative experiences as long as growth is achieved. Progress in human science is usually a long process. Take, for example, the human science of psychology. In psychology there are numerous disorders that require therapy to help alleviate the severity of said disorder and to help the patient afflicted cope with the symptoms and difficulties therein. For instance, a phobia is an intense and irrational fear a stimulus. In order for someone to deal with the pain and suffering of their phobia, they would need to undergo sessions of therapy to overcome their fear. The duration of therapy would be dependent on the intensity of the phobia. This is where the “long process” comes into play. To achieve any progress a form of therapy called systematic desensitization is commonly used to break a phobia. Systematic desensitization is a behavioral therapy process where the person suffering from the phobia or anxiety disorder is first taught relaxation skills and ways to cope with...
Cited: 1 Ludorf, Mark R., James W. Kalat, and Eric Bohman. "Anxiety and Avoidance Disorders." Introduction to Psychology. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth, 2005. 261.
2 Woolman, Michael. Ways of Knowing: an Introduction to Theory of Knowledge. Melton, Vic.: IBID, 2006. 107.
3 "Human Genome Project Information." Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 3 Feb. 2011. Web. 01 Mar. 2011. http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/ home.shtml
 Introduction to Psychology by James W. Kalat pg. 621
 Ways of Knowing: An Introduction to Theory of Knowledge by Michael Woolman pg. 107
 Human Genome Project Information http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/home.shtml
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