Understanding 'The New Knowledge Management' LO30455

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 08/08/03

Replying to LO30444 --

Dear Organlearners,

Mark McElroy <mmcelroy@vermontel.net> wrote:

>I still very much disagree with the positions being taken
>here, mostly because of your failure to deal with the truth
>versus falsity issue.

Greetings dear Mark,

Thank you for your passionate reply because it helps me to understand the
KM (and NKM ;-) people better.

I have studied on my own formal logic and all its vlavours continually
since 1968. If you detect me failing to deal with truth, then i owe you an

Sentential logic (that which we use in discussions) is based on
categorising a sentence as either true or false but not both. In this
sense the values "true" and "false" are considered as static entities,
i.e., "beings".

But late in the eighties i became deeply aware of "make true" and "make
false", i.e, of the dynamical character of truth. This "make true" leads
to "true", but should not at all be confused with a logical inference. For
example, to increase in wholeness (holism) is some aspect of this "make
true". Since then i began to use "true" less and rather tried to fit the
pieces together of the life's gigantic puzzle.

I also began to use the word epistemology (study of "episteme"=knowledge)
less. One of the silent assumptions of many epistemologists is than
knowledge is a "being". They then come to the conclusion that knowledge is
ontological and not ontogenical.

>According to your 'knowledge = capacity to act' or 'to take
>effective action' (as is so often cited in OL circles), false
>knowledge, or falsity, is just as likely to "emerge" and be taken
>for knowledge as true knowledge is. All of this talk of learning
>and emergence seems inalienably tied to the assumption that the
>'learning' and 'knowledge' experienced is necessarily true. Where
>in your epistemology is the all-important distinction between truth
>and falsity, and if nowhere, how can you have an epistemology,
>much less a definition of 'knowledge,' without attending to this
>question? If we cannot turn to notions of 'knowledge' in our quest
>to differentiate truth from falsity, then what's the point of it all?

All experiences are real and thus part of the truth. But to say that an
experience is true or false, is way of the mark for me. What i do, and i
wonder how many fellow learners also do it, is to fit with my knowledge
new experiences into it. Sometimes i have to modify my knowledge for such
experiences to fit in, i.e to keep on increasing in wholeness.

A few years ago i read to my greatest surprise that Goethe had very much
the same viewpoint. The truth for him is the interaction between the
"inside world" (subjective world many would say) and the "outside world"
(objetcive world).

Is my knowledge true? It is certainly more than a single sentence which
can be subjected to a logical analysis. Am i concerned about the truth of
my knowledge? Yes, but not to the point of a logical analysis. I also
follow the cycle of the scientific method which consists for me of four
steps:- reflect => observe => speculate => falsify
But most of all, i let my tacit knowing develop freely because of exposing
myself deliberately to new experiences rather than suppressing it with
"objective knowledge".

>Next, knowledge is NOT the capacity for effective action.
> In order to take effective action, one must also have
>(a) the desire or will to take it, b) the power or authority to
>do so, and (c) the means or resources required. Without
>these three things, all of the true knowledge in the world
>will get us nowhere.

It seems to me that you exclude (a), (b) ans (c) from true knowledge. As
for me they have to be part of my knowledge. For example, i have written
several times that "free energy" is a major facet of (a). If i have
insufficient "free energy", the (a) cannot happen. This "free energy" has
bodily and mental dimensions. For example, when the concentration of
magnesium ions in my blood is too low (i actually have a disease of which
it is one symptom), the burning of glucose by oxygen in the mitochondria
of my cells is too little. My mental will is still there, but my bodily
will gets suffocated so that i fall asleep.

>Thus, knowledge CONTRIBUTES TO effective
>action (i.e., true knowledge), but it NOT THE
>SAME AS action.

Thank you for the example which followed the above.

I agree with you on the "not the same as". But disagree on the
"contributes to" since for me that action is part of knowledge.

>So when you conflate knowledge with action, you necessarily
>preclude us from recognizing knowledge held in objective form.
>This is a fatal flaw in your argument, I think, because how else
>are we to share or communicate our knowledge with others if
>not in objective form, such as in writing or through speech?

If i have to conform to "recognizing knowledge held in objective form" so
as not to make a fatal flaw, then i wll really make a fatal flaw. I see
that which we communicate with each other as information, resulting from
that part of my knowledge which enable me to formulate what i know.

It is clear to me that what you call "objective knowledge" i will call
"information". But it need not be an unsurmountable obstacle because
whenever you write "objective knowledge", i simply "translate" into
"information" and then try to follow your line of thinking further.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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