KnowledgeIf you do now look for the unexpected, you will never find the truth and to be able to do this you need to call into question all presumed knowledge.
From Eraclito to Gadamer
Knowledge, from a general point of view, is the starting point of any form of thought: the quantity and quality of the things we know, which is to say our cultural patrimony, that permits us to think. …we think based on the concepts that we have in our mind. The consequence of our thoughts are our actions, and this meaning our behavior. I will summarize it like this: our knowledge conditions our thought and our thought conditions our action, therefore our knowledge conditions action.
One of the weak points of this system is that our mind, once it has learned any concept, will always consider it true. The issue is complicated and will be addressed in other contexts. Here I can only say that it is regarding a great intellectual limit that I would try to bypass in this way, which is to say passing from the Cartesian concept “cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I am) to the concept “dubito ergo cogito” (I doubt therefore I think) and “dubito ergo sum” (I doubt therefore I am).
It is required therefore to bring doubt as the base of knowledge. Eraclito said: who does not expect the unexpected will never find the truth. Gadamer said: You need to call into question all presumed knowledge. My synthesis is: “if you do not look for the unexpected you will never find the truth and to be able to do this you need to call into question all presumed knowledge”. Given that on an intellectual level the truth does not exist, the search for the truth can be definable only through Kant’s “regulative idea” concept: it is an end towards which we reach, without ever reaching it. We must not look for the truth or certainty, we must look for knowledge, because the truth and certainty are static while knowledge is dynamic and it is the only thing that brings us to an evolution or a personal growth.
I believe all now explained as important, since the greatest part of the knowledge that we hold to as absolute truth has been instilled in the mind when we didn’t yet have the capacity to judge, so to say during our primary or secondary socializations: we have accepted them as good and now we automatically reproduce them as true. In reality, this principally regards stereotypes and often prejudices, arguments that make our thought free of criticism.
Such knowledge therefore must possess curiosity as its fundament, the launching pad for continuous research. Yes, this is the behavior of a child, who asks oneself the reason why for everything! …even children are capable of teaching! The only problem is that “knowledge is a door that you open from the inside”, and this door is closed with a double lock.
Dante writes in the Comedy * – Canto XXVI:
Call to mind from whence ye sprang:
‘Ye were not form’d to live the life of brutes,
‘But virtue to pursue and knowledge high.
…he who says it is impossible must not disturb he who is doing it.
*An example of what I am trying to put into discussion. To all of us it was taught that Dante wrote The Divine Comedy. In reality, the term Divine was added by Boccaccio referring to its content of religious nature (examine in depth). But if Dante, the author of the summa work, called it the Comedy, on the base of what right did Boccaccio change the title? The principal question however is not this, but the fact that for 7 centuries we have continued to call if The Divine Comedy, without anyone, first and foremost the intellectuals, posing the issue. …the concept of doubt as an instrument of knowledge and from today on, as far as I am concerned, it is The Comedy instead of The Divine Comedy.