Theory of Knowledge

There are 3 types of knowledge –

  • HOW – bodily, tacit knowledge
  • BY ACQUAINTANCE – by being with, e.g. knowledge of Berlin comes form being there.
  • BY DESCRIPTION – facts, previous learning, can happen without the others.

Plato’s Epistemology

Is supported by his Metaphysics – nature of reality
Plato suggests that truth is singular and everything is a form of God, there is a higher real occupied by templates or perfect forms of everything  e.g. all leaves come from the 1 perfect form. One form generates all other forms.
Plato’s metaphysics – sun, light and growth. Everything is controlled by a higher realm
Techne – doing something well – how best to do something.
Plato suggests that behind everything there is a higher transcendent form.
Opinion is not a true form of knowledge, is partial and only surface deep.
Art is the lowest form of knowledge – artists can deceive people, copying.
Idea of memesis = imitation/ representation.
FOR EXAMPLE – tv/films; violent behaviours copied, templates on how to live?
– Pornography – women as objects of male desire so people act accordingly
A maker is an expert.

Neiztche – 19th Century OPPOSES PLATO
Neiztche was a nihilist meaning he denies the existence  of any ‘higher realm’, was around at the same time as Darwin so you can see the correlation between the two’s ideas.
Works alongside his Metaphysics which also differ from Plato’s – Reality is Order and Chaos and we as humans are just a part of this.
In contrast to Plato Neiztche suggests that art is the highest form of knowledge as it SHOWS this order and chaos
DOES NOT BELIEVE IN A SINGULAR – one thing can have many differnt perseptions e.g sound is audio but vibrations of sound can create image of sand on a speaker etc Thus perception is a translation of information, there is no “true” representation as in Plato’s theory on knowledge. FOR EXAMPLE an image of an object from the eye is different to an image of the same object through a microscope – the images are different perceptions BUT neither is “truer” focus on the dispaly of change – knowledge is always evolving.


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