How Can the Different Ways of Knowing Help Us to Distinguish Between Something That Is True and Something That Is Believed to Be True?

4. How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true?
“We create knowledge ourselves, through the four ways of knowing;” (Dombrowski, 91-92) sense perception, language, reasoning and emotion. These ways of knowing are also the means by which knowledge claims are judged for their credibility, validity and most importantly, their likelihood to be true. When a knowledge claim is made, three scenarios are presented with the least problematic being that the claim is false based on the four ways of knowing coupled with past experiences. A claim is not said to be true just because it is false. The aim of this essay will be to illuminate how certainty, confidence and the convincing nature of claims distinguish between claims believed to be true and claims that are known to be true.

“True” and “false”, in simplicity, can be viewed as divisors for separating knowledge claims or beliefs but in reality, we view “true” and “false” as the extreme boundaries of a scale that determines with reason whether or not claims should be accepted as true or not. In history, where we make value claims, “Claims that embed evaluations on a scale that is not calibrated in measurable units” (Dombrowski, 106), there seems to be a lot of subjectivity as these claims themselves are subjective. They hold some truth because they are actually made from observational claims. In the story of Nazi Anschluss with Austria, where a plebiscite was held to ask whether Austria wanted to become a part of Nazi Germany and the Nazi’s “claim to have received 99.73% of the vote” (“Anschluss”), two value claims that could come out will be that the Austrians loved Nazis and wanted to be a part of it or that the Austrians feared Nazi Germany and did not have any other option than to be part of Nazis. These two opinions show the subjective nature of such areas but these statements cannot be taken as false. The fact that there is...