What are the Field, Scope and Limits of Knowledge?

What are the Field, Scope and Limits of Knowledge?

June 28, 2021 Off By Felso

For a philosopher who thinks that knowledge is obtained only through our senses or observations, the field of knowledge is limited to what we can grasp with our senses or perceptions. That is, for this philosopher, knowledge of something that is not sensory is not possible.

On the other hand, a philosopher who thinks that the human mind is independent of the senses will have no trouble accepting the existence and knowledge of a non-sensory field. This field is, for example, the field of metaphysical beings. These beings are beings and fields of existence such as god, spirit and future life.

In general, no philosopher and philosophy itself in the sense of “pursuing wisdom” will not want to set limits on human knowledge and limit knowledge; because the limitation of knowledge would also be the limitation of philosophy.

In this context, philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Farabi and Hegel  argued that human knowledge has no limits and supported philosophy.

According to these philosophers, human beings are in a position to make philosophical explanations of subjects such as god, spirit, the essence of the universe and destiny with their knowledge abilities. Man can reveal the principles of truth and beauty. In the light of all these, it can be said that “metaphysics is possible” according to them.

In response to these, some philosophers such as Kant, Comte and Peirce said in different ways that it is not possible to know everything, but only certain things.

A group of philosophers, on the other hand, argued that philosophy does not have a specific field of knowledge, but only “to clarify the meaning of propositions”. These philosophers are known as the “Vienna Front Movement” in the history of philosophy. The origin of this name is that these philosophers developed their views around Vienna in the 1920s. Some of the philosophers involved in the Vienna Front Movement are contemporary philosophers such as Carnap, Schlik and Ayer . This movement is also known as “Logical Positivism” or “New Positivism” by another name.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer Yıldırım’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook; prof. Dr. Ahmet Arslan – Introduction to Philosophy Book