Oct 3, 2018 in Philosophy

Ways of knowing refers to an aspect of personal epistemology, which defines the speed, and ability of a person to learn. There exist multiple ways of knowing, the main ones being separate and connected knowing. These two types of knowing relate the modes in which people based on a particular environment learn within their context. In this regard, the understanding of the way to know depends on the place, time, or the gender of an individual. It is has been realised over time that the distinction of the two types of knowing emanates from the educational background or gender of an individual. This has necessitated the analysis of the way in which students or individuals of a particular gender depict the way of knowing (Brewer 254). As a result, the mastery of an individual’s way of knowing assists him or her during the period of imparting knowledge or skills. At times, the ways of knowing of individuals influence their negotiation or relationship with others.

Shermer and Sacks theory

Shermer clearly analyzed how an individual depicts himself or herself as being a separate knower. In this regard, it is possible to understand how a separate knower views things and learns. A separate knower instils in himself or herself independence and problem-solving skills. These skills enable him or her to strengthen the level of knowing by perceiving that what he or she knows is worthwhile unless proven otherwise. In this regard, separate knowers observe that the authority or the people who supervise them are not always the best. This implies that these supervisors cannot give them adequate solutions to all their problems. On this note, separate knowers develop personal respect and self-confidence in their ability to analyze, understand, and manipulate challenges. An example of such scenario would be an individual who uses his logic to defend himself or herself against any controversial knowledge (Shermer 54). For such an individual, he or she is usually critical of new ideas and beliefs, unless they are proven as facts.

On the other hand, Sacks outlines how a connected knower engages in the knowing process. He depicts that a connected knower has trust and confidence in a third party and thus creates effective rapport to get more knowledge. In this regard, a connected knower is very empathetic using his or her feelings and emotions. This implies that he or she likes to ask questions while listening keenly in order to create a connection with his or her personal view of points (Sacks 46). Meanwhile, connected knowers like to share their experiences and the knowledge they have acquired from other people. This helps them to create a relationship between the various situations that they have witnessed. Additionally, a connected knower will always avoid confrontation with third parties during argument sessions by using logical suggestions. This means that he or she uses her mental understanding to define ways in which he or she can make the other party to think in his or her line of reasoning.

Notably, the analysis of separate and connected ways of knowing is attributed to the gender of an individual. Most males depict separate ways of knowing where they are judgemental and defiant on other people’s ideologies unless proven. Repeatedly, they believe in themselves and use their self-confidence as expected by culture to indicate how independent and robust they are in reasoning. On the other hand, women depict characters of a connected knower. This is demonstrated by the manner in which women display empathy and emotions. Consequently, they use their reasoning in considerate and rational manner to present any view during dialogue sessions (Eisner 214). They listen and follow keenly other people’s views in order to learn while exposing their experience. However, on multiple occasions both men and women use the different forms of knowing interchangeably. Therefore, this is an indication of how effective and collaborative learning is facilitated by the two types of knowing.

Effectiveness of connected knowing

In my opinion, while referring to the two types of knowing, connected knowing is the most preferable. This is because it involves a series of developments from the initial stage of knowing to the structured level of knowing. Some of the steps involved in the realisation of connected knowing include silence, receive knowing, subjective knowing and constructed knowing. This type of knowing is appropriately elaborated since it is prevalent in women. The influencing factor of such scenario is provided by the fact that most women are empathetic and submissive. This implies that a woman within the silence stage is not adequately knowledgeable (Belenky 128). In this regard, they are forced to remain silent and fearful. In this stage, they do not see themselves as being able to learn since they lack strength and self-confidence in their characters. Additionally, most women are force to remain in the silence stage due to the fear of exposing their ignorance. For those who succeed in this stage, they progress to the received knowing.  

Received knowing is an important stage of realising connected knowing. For most women, the transition to this level is facilitated by the need to acquire knowledge so that they can raise their children accordingly (Belenky 305). At this stage, an individual can take the initiative and risk of learning new information. Nevertheless, individuals in this stage are still respectful and submissive to the authority since they are not knowledgeable enough. Therefore, it means that an individual has to be patient to listen and learn from the counterparts while avoiding arguments on areas she has little knowledge on. A continuous mastery of this stage of knowing prompts one to become more knowledgeable thus pushing her to the next level of knowing called subjective Knowing.

In subjective knowing, an individual realises her potential to acquire diverse knowledge and the possibility of applying it. This is influence by the inner voice within her in defining the validity of the knowledge presented to her. At this point, an individual is forced to be judgemental about the information she obtains as either being good or bad which builds up her self-esteem and confidence in her knowledge. Repeatedly, an individual is forced to realise how some information, which is correct or incorrect, could be the opposite even before being proven. Nevertheless, an individual may not be fully convinced about her judgement until she obtains the facts (Eisner 321). After this stage, she attains the constructed knowing immediately after realising connected knowing.

Constructed knowing is the peak of knowing. This defines an individual’s knowing means as either being connected or separated. At this stage, an individual can reason in a flexible and sophisticated manner. Consequently, they understand about the validity of the information that they have. Nonetheless, they admit the fact that the information, which they have or are finding out more about, is beneficial to them. This is usually referred to as a remodelling mode (Lindemann 244). In this regard, an individual respects the views, feelings, and opinions that he or she possesses. Additionally, an individual accepts the opinions and ideologies of other people in a constructive manner.

In relation to my preference for connected knowing, there exist numerous underlying benefits to the individual possessing it. This is because it assists one to develop knowledge that supersedes the knowledge acquired through facts and proves. Additionally, most individuals are forced to be respectful and considerate of others while in any learning scenario. This fact is enhanced by the empathetic and rational nature of individuals. Nevertheless, in case of any group work, connected knowing facilitates unity in reasoning because it encompasses respect for the authority. On the other hand, if one possesses separate knowing, it means that they provocative with regard to any information. Therefore, the chances of improving their knowledge level are minimal. At the same time, for individuals with separate knowing, the fact that new information has to be proved always creates the barrier for learning.

Weakness of the framework

The distinction between separate and connected knowing using the framework of Sharmer and Sacks does not clearly outline its validity. For Sharmer, he notes how defiant and provocative an individual could be, which outlines his or her nature of knowing. A thorough analysis of an individual’s nature of knowing should be evaluated in the manner one progresses while learning. This implies that at the transition period of knowing should reflect the real knowing nature of the individual. At the same time, for any individual undergoing the knowing process, learning is facilitated by the need to identify the validity of the information one acquires rather than how it is acquired (Lindemann 325). In this regard, it is significantly beneficial to realise the need of any knowledge rather than the determination of the misleading or misguided information by the authority. Therefore, for one to indentify the knowing nature of an individual there is a need to identify the various situations one is undergoing and the nature of the information being imparted to the individual.

On the other hand, Sacks define his approach of defining a connected knower based on an illustrated example of an indentified girl who lost her grandmother (Cross 60). The story of the girl reveals how some individuals could be emotional and empathetic in some scenarios. Nevertheless, this does not reveal the truth regarding how one becomes a connected knower. In this regard, an individual with connected knowing can be demonstrated using the concept of how an individual acquires knowledge from the informer. Presumably, most individuals are respectful to any authority and thus have loyalty and trust regarding the information they obtain as being valid and genuine. This means that the authority influences the information they acquire and share with their counterparts. In this regard, one should base the knowing nature of an individual on the capability to relate effectively with the authority. Additionally, the initial knowledge possessed before a session determine the knowing nature of an individual. Therefore, it implies that Sacks explanation of connected knowing is not considerably ideal with deeper understanding regarding the reality.

Considering the controversial characteristics of individuals with either separate or connected knowing, it is essential to understand the process of acquiring each type of knowing although in reality there could be misunderstandings regarding the two types of knowing since they are used interchangeably. In this regard, the process of establishing the difference between the two elements of knowing is complicated and cumbersome. Nevertheless, the knowledge generated by Shammer and Sacks helps in defining some of the identifiable differences. This implies that the real character of an individual illustrates the appropriate identification of the knowing nature of the individual. Moreover, at some point, the gender of an individual plays a key role in explaining the nature of knowing (Brewer 324). Despite the fact that individuals can alter their character depending on their flexibility, the real character can always be indentify which helps in elaborating the knowing nature of an individual. This implies that mastering the art of establishing one’s nature of knowing facilitates easier passing of information through the learning process.

The need to understand the way of knowing of an individual has been considerably beneficial in most fields. Notably, connected and separate knowing has been very crucial in understanding personal epistemology, which assists either in schools or on individual basis as for women.

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