Knowledge: “knowledge ≠ information.” Information processed through a thinking human
mind.” Knowledge is produced by humans. It is divided in to two categories of Empirical
Sciences and the Humanities. Empirical Science has two branches of the Natural Sciences like
Physics and the Social Sciences like Political Science. There the Humanities are subjects like
Purpose of a University: University is where information is stored and where knowledge is made.
Professors are a good example of this idea. They teach the information already gained and make
new knowledge with researching. “Teaching + Research.” However, “knowledge ≠ information.”
Critical Thinking: Process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing,
synthesizing and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation,
experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
Empirical vs. Speculative: Empirical in Greek means “Experience in trial.” It is gained through
practical (realistic of useful) and/or based on experience like taking surveys to gather data and to
process them. Speculative in Greek means “to look at.” This is through theoretical learning.
Representation: To represent/substitute or symbolize of something or being. “Representation =
Power.” Re-Present could also be interpreted as presenting something through representation.
This is selective so representation is always partial. Representation is an ongoing process by
“creating representations” and analyzing how we presented them. Because they convey ideas,
“they are ideological.” Issues regarding representation are between power and control on the way
it’s presented. Thus, representing something matters.
Ideology: The sets of beliefs underlying the customs, habits, and practices common to a given
culture. To members of that culture, the beliefs seem obviously true, natural, and universally
applicable. They may seem just as obviously arbitrary, idiosyncratic, and false to those who
adhere to another ideology. Within any culture, numerous ideologies coexist; some are
marginalized, others are hegemonic. All are inflected by power relationships, within and among
themselves. Ideologies may be forcefully imposed or willingly subscribed to. Their component
beliefs may be held consciously or unconsciously.”
Hegemony: Refers to one nation’s rule or dominance over another. It occurs within a pervasive
system of assumptions, meanings, and values that shapes the way things look, what they mean,
and therefore what reality is for the majority of people within a given culture. Cultural hegemony
is how dominant culture maintains its dominant position. It does so through persuasive and
coercive means. Meaning is constantly being produced and exchanged in every personal and
social interaction in which we take part.”
Signs: “Sign = Representation and a Representation = Sign.” Signs are identified with the
signifier which is the idea and the signified is the mental image of the idea with each varying
from person to person depending on their culture. Signs are part of a system governed by rules
and therefore the meaning of any individual sign is derived in part from the system itself.