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To what extent is rational analysis important in obtaining useful knowledge?

I am dealing with ToK as an IB student. May there be an answer that perhaps focuses on the knowledge aspect of the question? #ToK #Philosophy

Thank you comment icon Could you clarify your abbreviations? Carla Tam
Thank you comment icon I'll add to the question by asking whether rational analysis is possible without useful knowledge? Eleanya J. Onuma, MS

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stefan’s Answer

Hi Nicholas,

This won’t answer your question but something to philosophize…

What is knowledge? What is useful? If knowledge is not useful, is it useless? Could knowledge be useful to some but not to others? If the knowledge is not useful now, but has a possibility to become useful at a later time, should it be obtained now? What is rational or when is something rational? Is analysis more useful than knowledge?

Good luck and keep learning.
Thank you comment icon I'd agree. It requires philosophizing and is a question with no clear answer. I would consider the method of rational analysis. Does the knowledge stem from inductive or deductive reasoning? Can the knowledge in question be formulated in such a way? Additionally, a major part of philosophy is Greek philosophy. An interesting example that may help you question your "answer" is Meno's paradox: If you know what you're looking for, inquiry is unnecessary. If you don't know what you're looking for, inquiry is impossible. Therefore, inquiry is either unnecessary or impossible. Tsui Ying Ng
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Will’s Answer

Depends what you mean by 'rational analysis' and 'knowledge'. Abstract notions such as these have vague/fluid/fuzzy meanings. Be careful not to get dragged into verbal disputes were philosophers are talking past each other because they have different definitions. This type of philosophy, were correctness depends on definitions, is not substantial. Personally, I would avoid this type of philosophy at all costs. Suggest reading some Wittgenstein (both his earlier and later stuff), which details the problem with this type of philosophy. He is difficult to read, but there are many people that have provided simpler explanations of his stuff.
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Rebecca’s Answer

I think that rational thinking / critical thinking is essential all the time, not limit to obtain knowledge.
Nowadays, there are a lot of information and news online. However, a lot of this information may not be correct or even fake one. We would need to have own rational analysis to interpret this information.
Going back in the process of obtain knowledge, in learning process, you would need to acquire and analysis. Not all the information from your teacher or in books are correct. You need to have a good rational thinking to analyze. This can also help you to acquire better understanding on the knowledge as well. So, learning includes the process to ask the quality questions.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Tine’s Answer

Hi there,

Interesting and curious question. I first think of useful knowledge as being based on facts, data, accurate information and then experience and observation. Knowledge is only useful if its based on facts and logic, even emotion if it is comes from a rational base. If we are not exercising rational analysis - but operating on false assumptions or inaccurate facts, or worse, our biases, then the knowledge we acquire is flawed.

It is important to question (analyze) and verify before 'logging' anything as useful knowledge, else you are blind to truth (or informed knowledge).

I will leave the emotional quotient (EQ) of this out response and save for someone else, as I focused only on the IQ side of the equation.

All the best,
Tine
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