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HISTORY How do we define a discipline? Argument: A discipline is an academic subject, such that can be taught or studied, that has been formally recognised by an institution or authoritative body, for example a university. There are a number of ways in which the origin of a discipline can be traced, for example when a subject was first taught, when academic literature was first published in the discipline or when the first professor in the discipline was first appointed. Counter-argument: The history of gastronomy pushes this definition further; once a discipline has been given a name, it can be considered established, as it will likely have been defined and/or discussed. When disciplines arose they separated ares of knowledge into subjects, whereas before academia came under the umbrella term of philosophy, a term coined by ancient Greeks. At the time, philosophy included elements of subjects we now class as separate disciplines, such as maths, physics and also philosophy in itself. Some difficulties have arisen due to the categorisation of subjects, such as a divergence in the terms used to describe theories/ideas, processes, or the way in which they are described.

TRUTH Truth is , in many ways, a paradox; at one end of the spectrum truth can be taken very objectively, as evidence based on proven fact, but at the other end it can be very subjective, as philosophical, or rather abstract theories are hard to define and even harder to prove. Subjective truth is therefore vulnerable to personal bias: while objective truth can of course also be influenced by human biases, it is perhaps less common due to its evidence-based origins. This is quite a black and white categorisation of truth, a further view classifies truth into three schools of thought; positivist, interpretive and constructivist. Positive can be classed as the most objective, classing things as truth only if they can be proved by something that can be measured. This has great importance in a lot of subjects as the quantitative/empirical factor, in fact some scientists and researchers identify as solely positivist. Interpretive is more subjective, in the fact that it is based on (human) experience. This can be interpreted through the phenomenological perspective - that truth can only be discerned through on the lens of human experience and consciousness. Constructivist is no doubt the most subjective, as it comes from the idea that everything we encounter have some chance of being a purely social construction, in which case the world and its events can be seen as concepts, or experiences, rather than concrete evidence.

EVIDENCE Evidence is similar to truth in any ways, as it proves equally as difficult to discern between subjectivity and objectivity through evidence in a discipline. It is hard to say whether truth precedes evidence, or evidence precedes truth: evidence is often required in order for something to be perceived as true, however can evidence correctly be provided before any concrete facts are established? Additionally, the way in which evidence is perceived within and among different disciplines varies, which in turn can provide a source of debate. The ways in which evidence is used depends largely on the discipline; in social sciences evidence is often gathered in interpretive and even constructivist ways, where the focus is on the qualitative data, especially the human experience and consciousness, whereas in maths and sciences evidence (like truth) is something positivist, because it can be proved either physically or through the laws of mathematics.


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