The basic understanding, or, fact-based theory

Dave Ferguson, EDITing in the Dark, Jun 03, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I like this post. Not because I agree with it, necessarily - I don't really think the answer to "do you understand?" is "let me demonstrate". But I think there's a sense to be made of the idea that knowing is about doing rather than some mental state. I've often said, "to know is to recognize" - but recognition isn't a mental state, like a belief or an idea. It is a physical state - quite literally, the organization of connections - which is manifest as a disposition, the propensity to respond appropriately in an authentic environment. To do, in other words, rather than to know. Theories and concepts can help associate different perceptual states and make us better recognizers. But they are an aid to learning, not the objective.

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