Search
  • Paola Napolitano

To know or not to know? That is the question.




Information, Learning, Knowledge – where/when does the process happen?


Are we serving ourselves teachers or learners?


My friend suggests to listen to the podcast ‘How to do what you love and make good money | Derek Sivers’. The presenter introduces the guest, mentioning a long list of many different job titles he has. The guest says that was an old biography, now he IS something else. He says words do not define what we are and what we do.

I remind of someone who at our Sunday’s discussion said he has always associated his CV’s titles to his knowledge, giving to his experience the meaning of knowledge.


My question is, if learning changes continuously, how can words best represent our evolving Self? How can our changing architecture of learning be expressed through a limited conventional system of verbal communication?


In explaining the limitation of semiotics, in Philosophy and Human Movement, David Best, an English philosopher, observes most of times, we attribute symbols and meaning to movement, and other situations, objects, etc. By doing that, we look at things through a Dualistic vision.

Best argues that humans think and act simultaneously, even when they think they are not. Body and Mind can not be separated, hence the intrinsic connection between thoughts and actions.

The tendency to decide on whether to recognize ‘this or that’, ‘right or left’, ‘in or out’, is a metacognitive choice, therefore it is subjective. If we follow this route, then we are separating the mind from the body, but consistently, we should not be able to differentiate their representations.

How can you describe something that does not belong to your phenomenological world, if does not exist?

It results that viewing the intellectual and physical representation of one person not only may be deceptive, but also exclusive. However, Best explains the subjectivity of knowledge, our individual perceptions, and the non-subjectivity of knowledge, the innate inseparability of mind and body in all beings exist at the same time.


So where does knowledge sits within all this meandering non-sense stream of words?


Factual versus relative knowledge.


If we see knowledge as Moon's (1999, 2004) generic view of learning, ‘building a brick wall’, then we believe in the ‘Determinateness’ of learning-knowledge (Hegel): since I learn, then I know. By setting this stone, the process of ongoing acquisition of data, information, learning, explored by Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory may be impaired.

The ELT sees individuals and their environment involved in an endless process of learning.





In Science of Logic, Hegel states “The final unity of essence and being it is the being in all being; it is neither the unreflected immediate, nor an abstract being standing behind Existence and Appearance, but it is immediate actuality itself and this as absolute reflectedness-into-self, as a subsisting in and for itself”.


So what is it delivered to students, knowledge or experience of knowledge? Knowledge may be biased to what we have learnt, if we agree with vision of the mind and body unity.


According to Kolb’s view personal knowledge can not exist by itself. It is made visible through relationships.

Open communication with students is crucial to assess how information/knowledge has been shared within a relationship.

The role of an educator and student is reciprocal and in nature, including a circularity of knowledge.

We can talk of transactional/exchangeable rather than transmissible knowledge. Knowledge is learning. It is openness to change, to new cycles of learning. It is a process.


These personal observations increase the likelihood of a relative nature of learning, and an elusive definition of knowledge.


Things are always changing.



*Table of Contents for Hegel's Science of Logic (marxists.org) accessed on 26/02/2021

Recent Posts

See All
Featured Posts
Posts are coming soon
Stay tuned...
Recent Posts