Knowing in Dictionary

According to DigoPaul, knowing is one who knows or can know. The knowing subject, therefore, is the one who performs the act of knowledge. This concept is developed by various branches of philosophy.

The belonging of the individual to the reality he knows and its characteristics are a matter of debate for epistemology. It is often debated whether the reality to which the subject accesses is the true reality, a part of it or a reality constructed by the person.

Some philosophical currents maintain that the knowing being does not have access to reality, but can only perceive a phenomenon or a manifestation of it. The positivism, for example, states that the subject is knower outside reality, with the knowledge extraction contents. The constructivism, however, believes that the individual knower generates its own reality, so it is not external.

In general, it can be said that the knowing subject interacts permanently with reality to generate some kind of knowledge that allows him to adapt to the environment. The psychic apparatus of the person is made up of different cognitive systems organized as logical structures.

The person, therefore, bases his actions on his own thoughts. The thoughts arise from cognitive fact, that is the result of the interaction of man with reality.

By becoming a knowing subject (who has knowledge), the human being is free because he can decide what to do according to his thinking. This does not mean, of course, that knowledge is exempt from social interactions.

The allegory of the cave

Plato had an extremely interesting vision about the access that the knowing subject has to knowledge and reality; argued that the human being can only know the shadows of reality, which is in the so-called World of Ideas. In his allegory of the cave, a very crude point of view is narrated about our relationship with wisdom and truth, and his words are dangerously valid.

The narrative begins by presenting four men who were chained to the bottom of a cave from birth, with chains that hold their limbs and necks so that they cannot turn their heads and look in a direction other than towards the wall. Behind them and just before the entrance of the cave is a bonfire, which casts shadows in the field of vision of the prisoners.

The shadows show the silhouettes of people passing freely carrying various objects, and the chained men have no other information about them than their trembling monochrome representation on the wall at the back of the cave. They have never seen the skin of a human being, nor the materials of their utensils or the fiber of their clothing. They have never felt the sunlight on their faces, nor have they enjoyed a full moon night. They have only seen shadows and they do not believe that anything else exists.

What would happen if one of the men were released and forced to leave the cave, to contemplate everything that until then did not know? For Plato claimed that he would discover a reality belonging to the intelligible world, which can only be reached through reason, while until then he had access to the sensible, which can be known through the senses. As a knowing subject, he would incorporate new data that would serve him to support what was known until then (the shadows).

Plato concludes by assuring that if the liberated man entered the cave again to tell his experience to his former companions and offered to go with him, he would receive ridicule and end up being killed by them, that they would prefer to stay with the shadows that cradled them.