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The dichotomy between Knowledge and Practice

The dichotomy between Knowledge and Practice

Here’s a tale as old as time, the tug of war between knowledge and practice continues!

But what is the dichotomy all about? The process of practice first situates us at the end of the phenomenon where we can only notice the external relations between things not the intricate inter-webs they form. For example, when we take off and reach an unknown city, within the first couple of days we can only see the topography of the new space, its streets, the houses they inhabit, et al.

First stage of cognition: Perceptual Understanding

We might even get the chance to meet many people and attend parties to get the vibe of the place, attend mass meetings, gatherings, talks and discussions, but still at this stage these will only help us create a basic understanding of the phenomenon, and unless we take the understanding to the next level, we’ll all be stuck at this juncture. This stage is called the perceptual understanding in the process of cognition. In this stage we can see sense perception and impressions playing a major role. These depend majorly on the sense organs and work by evoking sense perceptions. This is the first stage in the process of cognition.

Final Stage of Cognition: Universal Knowledge

In practice, as in while doing it practically, the doer first observes the phenomenon and only the apparent aspects get revealed to them, separately, externally, their inherent relations are still to be uncovered at this point. So far, whatever truths have been revealed to the doer is fragmented and it cannot totally form a concept at this stage. For that they need to compare this initial experience with other experiences and see if the same results have been repeated every time the situation has occurred. If the answer is yes, only then we can come to a logical conclusion of something definite, otherwise our concepts will be incomplete. So only repeated practicing and comparing results can make our initial experiences and learning from those experiences contribute to the building up of universal knowledge. This situation forms a curious dichotomy between knowledge and practice.

How are concepts created?

As our social practices continue, and we start to understand the patterns of events, our sense of perception as well as impressions takes a sudden leap. The repetition of events exposes the pattern of events which helps understand the phenomenon better, from an inside perspective, taking into account its inner works. This is how concepts are formed within our minds. At this juncture concepts are no longer limited by the subjectivity of the phenomena. The fragmented separated aspects and their external nature do not matter, rather the internal relation of all things involved in the phenomena, shape the concept.

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