Ways of Knowing

Ty Mosher

Throughout life, knowledge plays a significant factor to all people. Knowledge of situations that may arise in life will affect how people approach those certain situations. Since knowledge is such a broad body of information, we can break it down into 2 types, knowledge by participation and knowledge by observation. Knowledge by participation is obtained by doing something for your self, while observational knowledge is obtained by watching or hearing of another persons experience in a situation.

When doing my monthly budget, I usually begin by looking at my monthly expenses, my rent, electric and cable which are usually the same every month. I also have to account for unforeseen circumstances and saving for a trip I may be planning later in the year. Since I know how much I get paid each month, I am able to come up with a proper budget based on my bills and my planned activities. This is a type of knowledge gained by participation because I have experience working this out in the past, so I know what I need and how to plan my budget month to month.

Being a single guy with my own apartment, I do a lot of eating out at various places and I love ordering Chinese food. Unfortunately, I usually get the same thing every time because I am a very picky eater. But, whenever I feel like living on the edge, I ask somebody what they like to order. It does not have to be a friend of mine. It could just be a person in the line. I am always eager to hear about what they are ordering and why they enjoy it so much. Based on their experience, I can then decide to order it or not based on my observational knowledge.

I remember when I was still a freshman in high school, my mother caught pneumonia. She was in the hospital for about a week and I remember being worried out of my mind about her. Once during a visit, I spoke with a doctor about my concerns for my mother. The doctor assured me that it is not as uncommon as I first assumed and that she...