Addressing Limitations of the Current Knowledge Systems
Addressing Limitations of the Current Knowledge Systems
People have always been interested in understanding the world. Over time, researchers have attempted to establish effective ways of understanding the world. The findings of the researchers have influenced the aspect of knowing among people. Usually, people tend to hold the information presented by the researchers to be true, especially because their studies are presumed to have followed the appropriate approaches to establishing knowledge. While information offered by researchers has been important in understanding the world, their findings are claimed to be associated with a wide range of limitations. This allegation challenges the authenticity of the findings from research. In particular, the established systems that determine how we know what we know are biased. This claim is because they exclude specific social groups from participating directly in the design, production, and dissemination of knowledge. Such kinds of limitations can be addressed effectively by encouraging inclusivity of people from different social backgrounds in research and utilizing the appropriate approaches in developing knowledge systems.
It is arguable that findings obtained from biased studies cannot be accepted as universal knowledge. According to Barbour (2004), such knowledge could be developed by individuals and communities as opposed to being universal and as a result, exposing the knowledge to criticism. Barbour further explains that the knowledge regarding the issue of feminism is built on ineffective dominant epistemological and dualism of the West. The author explains that the West has influenced people across the world to have the conviction that their way of understanding feminism is the most appropriate. However, relating to the realization that the Western understanding of the issue of feminism is founded on profound ignorance about and fear of the body, which results in mind/body dualism, the knowledge of the Western culture is not appropriate. It is observable that the West wants people from other parts of the world to embrace their way of knowing. This objective by the West cannot be achieved as it neglects important aspects and excludes views of other groups of people. Barbour insists that people should refrain from accepting Western understanding as universal knowledge.
Western knowledge is manipulated to favor a certain social group. As a result, it should be rejected. Barbour (2004) observes that traditionally, the knowledge system of the West is based on the views of the dominant group: the male. The author highlights that, traditionally, the West viewed knowledge as information possessed through reason. Considering that women have always been discriminated in the Western society, men were the only group of people considered to be legitimate holders of knowledge. They were viewed as the only group capable of establishing the truth through reason. Subsequently, the society accepted their reality. Barbour also notes that men, especially on the issue of feminism, manipulated the truth to maintain male dominance. In particular, they approached the issue with impartiality and were not objective in their approach in expressing the truth about feminism. Arguments raised to counter the views of the majority of the dominant group were usually dismissed as baseless and unreasonable. Therefore, embracing their views to be true would be inappropriate as they ignore the actual knowledge.
The West has over the years exploited the fact that they are the dominant group in the world to dictate what should be accepted as knowledge. According to Locke (2012), people have the freedom to possession. This right implies that people are free to live as they wish and accept or reject ideas in the society. However, those who hold much power tend to manipulate the freedom of possession of others, forcing them to believe in their views. The West has always been recognized as the dominant part of the world and holds more power over other parts. As a result, the rest of the world is forced to believe in the views of the West and hold their knowledge as the truth. However, the fact that the West knowledge may be inauthentic but accepted by all parts of the world does not mean that it is the truth. There is the need to reject the views of the West that have been established by excluding particular social groups such as women or minor racial groups.
The above limitations can be addressed by a system that incorporates all social groups in the design, production, and dissemination of knowledge. Specifically, the new system of knowledge should ensure that it does not lean towards a certain belief, despite being untrue. As explained earlier, the knowledge established in the West promotes patriarchy and excluded women in its establishment. The appropriate approach to improve on this limitation is incorporating the views of women in developing the appropriate knowledge on the various issues such as feminism. Barbour (2004) notes that she discovered the ineffectiveness of the views regarding feminism through personal experience. Consequently, the already established knowledge found to be untrue should be replaced with the appropriate views. The approach of including all social groups in establishing truth will ensure that there will be no areas that can be criticized in the new knowledge system.
Another effective approach of addressing the limitation of the current knowledge system consisting of biased truths involves restoration of ways of thinking suppressed in the approaches used to establish the current ineffective views. Research indicates that often, people may avoid countering established truths out of the fear of persecution. Klein (1946) explains that during the early life of a person, first five months to be particular, individuals are overwhelmed by anxiety, which is experienced through fear of persecution. This observation makes a person paranoid and may thereby avoid engaging in matters that can lead to persecution. These feelings of paranoia may persist in adulthood: an aspect that may explain why people may refrain from challenging existing views despite knowing that they are unauthentic. Encouraging people to express their ideas freely will facilitate the establishment of new techniques, consequently improving the knowledge system. Besides, the approach will empower social groups that were suppressed when the current knowledge system was developed. The groups will provide their views and ideas and thereby establish an acceptable and truthful universal knowledge.
Overall, it is worth noting that the current knowledge system was established by excluding particular social groups from participating directly in the design, production, and dissemination of knowledge. Notably, the West’s version of knowledge is the widely accepted. However, the knowledge was established by excluding women and minor racial groups making the knowledge of the truth biased. This limitation of the current knowledge system can be rectified by ensuring that the social groups excluded in its development are included to have a holistic and truthful version of knowledge. Another approach of addressing the situation is encouraging the particular social groups to provide their views regarding the current knowledge system to rectify the areas that are unauthentic.
Barbour, K. (2004). Embodied ways of knowing. Waikato Journal of Education, 10. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v10i1.342
Klein, M. (1946). Notes on some schizoid mechanisms. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 27, 99-110.
Locke, J. (2015). The second treatise of civil government. Peterborough: Broadview Press.