Getting the difference completely

The field of epistemology studies how we know whatever we know. A flawed epistemology yields our thinking that we're in the know when we don't know half of it yet. For instance, we know we're different from the other person but not how to get that difference completely. As far as we can tell, it only takes one to come up with what we know and that someone is outside ourselves. "They got it bad and that ain't good".

Our world is filled with teachers, trainers and instructors who know of many differences between them and their students. Their descriptions of students usually point out those differences objectively. The learners may be obviously less smart, knowledgeable, informed, experienced, confident, motivated, or creative. The observed difference characterizes a polarity between haves and have-nots or superiority and inferiority. The teachers are in power-over students getting over-powered. This is only half the difference or a single circuit that lacks another frame of reference. There appears to be no way the evidence-based description of the student contains numerous self-references and reciprocal arrangements. It's inconceivable that it "takes one in the same to know the other one at all" or "it takes two to tango" like this.

An epistemology is complete when it comes full circle. Closing the loop on an objectively identified distinction explores its reversal and context. When someone appears less smart, we know who's smarter than that. We then consider an opposite distinction where being less smart is better than being smarter. That might include situations where:
  • being too smart for our own good says there's one right answer and we're the one who's right
  • being right is not effective because it frames others as wrong or deficient in some way
  • being smarter comes across as condescending, arrogant and offensive
  • being less smart appears vulnerable, accessible and authentic
  • being less smart relates well to others who also feel put down by holier-than-thou types
  • being less smart is a sign of continual learning and openness to disconcerting alternatives
When the distinction and it's reversal both seem valid, knowing is no longer about the distinction. The complete understanding depends on the situation. The distinction is context-dependent. The applying the distinction also sends a message, conveys an impression and sets up an ongoing relationship. It's a wonder how the distinction will apply: in forward or reverse formation. The mystery of the moment undoes feeling over-confident, exclusively in-the-know, or rigid about only applying the distinction to others.

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