Comm102 – Notes 2 – 1.16.14
• Ways of knowing
o Common sense or Folk Wisdom
o Senses and experiences
• Common sense or Folk Wisdom
o Something is true
Because it is “selfevident”
Or it is widely known.
o Folk/wisdom/proverb is loaded with some “truth” sometimes and
considered “accepted knowledge”
Ex. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” This is actually true..
Ex. Don’t cut your nails at night
o However, folk wisdom not ALWAYS valid
o Ex. Fivesecondrule… research shows zero second rule. Just as dirty if it
was sitting there for 10 seconds or 20 seconds..
• Senses and Experiences
o Learning from personal experiences and their own observations
Empiricism – refer to one senses and experiences
o Casual and unsystematic
o Could reach a conclusion that is solidly wrong.
It may be valid just for oneself
One’s impression might be just wrong.
o (Ex. With visiting Nebraska and it was 70 in December but it’s not that
warm usually… so overgeneralized).
o Ex. Duck/rabbit pick
o Truth is established through a trusted source such as religious leaders,
governmental officials, and experts.
o Authority can clarify controversies.
Blind allegiance to authority could have debilitating results on our
search for reliable knowledge.
Experts may not always have the “expertise” with which we credit
The supposed authority figures could have various interests to
• People often respond to…
o Symbols of authority (badge for police)
o Rather than the substance of authority
Such as knowledge and expertise o It is difficult to see authority. We only see “symbols” of authority, and
these symbols are easy to counterfeit.
• Science (Main c