Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By cuegis
Prompt: “The knower’s perspective is essential in the pursuit of knowledge.” To what extent do you agree?
Imagine, if you will, that you are sitting at a local café in France and happen to overhear the man sitting behind you say “He did it in cold blood.” As an American, the uneasy feeling of apprehension shoots through your body while waiting to sequentially overhear the dark deed belonging to this mysterious “he” the man behind you speaks of. Now, imagine that you are the friend to whom the Frenchman is confiding who also hears the same “Il l’a fait dans le sang froid.” As a Frenchman, your calm but curious ears wait to hear what the mysterious “he” has done with such grace. For though it may be the same idiomatic expression, “cold blood” takes on two drastically different meanings depending on the language and thus perspective of the person hearing it, consequently altering the tone of the subject entirely. To an American, a deed done in “cold blood” is a vicious deed done without empathy, however, to a Frenchman, a deed done in “le sang froid” is one done with self-control. The variation in the two languages is what causes the American to interpret negatively the words the Frenchman says in good spirit with the knowledge of his own language. Their two perspectives changed the meaning of the sentence entirely and it is for this reason why I would agree wholeheartedly that the knower’s perspective is essential in the pursuit of knowledge.
The challenges of understanding the meaning behind words or symbols do not solely result from the discrepancy in language and translation, but also in history and memory. Thousands of years before the Nazi Regime took power, the symbol of the swastika was used by many peoples around the world including the Buddhists. As a religious symbol the swastika was looked upon with reverence and joy (Black,John). Contrary to what a…...