Theories Of Shared Knowledge

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In order to effectively answer the question in hand, one must firstly define both terms. Shared knowledge is generated by a large number of people that have an overarching, similar belief over what is ‘right’, and thus what is ‘true’. Personal knowledge on the other hand, is what may be true to a single individual, without taking in account what ‘we know’ but much more what ‘I know’, thus posing a paradox between social conformity and individual beliefs. I have decided to tackle the knowledge question by analysing two areas of knowledge, the Human Sciences and the Arts, investigate the way in which shared knowledge shapes personal knowledge, how personal knowledge prevails over shared knowledge, and, finally, how both these beliefs of truth…show more content…
In sociology, positivism, a theory developed by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in the early 19th century agrees with the claim above. Comte argued that society works the same way as the sciences, meaning that every rationally justifiable assertion can be verified through science, logic or mathematics . This means that, we, as humans, cannot attain knowledge in any way other than by commonly accepted facts as positivism disregards the ideas of metaphysics and theism as ways of acquiring personal knowledge. Furthermore, French Philosopher, Roland Barthes discussed the way in which shared knowledge constructed certain ideals which thus altered personal knowledge. In his studies of semiotics, Barthes explored the way in which the bourgeois society at the time affirmed different values. An example for this is how the consumption of wine was portrayed as a healthy custom by the social class, even though it went against the realities of negative impacts such as inebriation for example. Barthes classified the cultural myths such as wine-drinking as ‘second-order signs’, meaning that the image of a wine bottle connoted certain ideals. This suggests that the ideal of the wine bottle became a shared knowledge that was symbolic of status and well-being, which thus shaped the individual’s knowledge of acceptance as…show more content…
As stated by Da Vinci’s contemporary, Luca Pacioli, “Without mathematics there is no art”, highlighting the above claim. Similarly to Barthes ‘five major codes’, in the arts, there is a convention of aesthetically pleasing ratio, which is called ‘The Golden Ratio’. This was made famous by Da Vinci in 1509 in his dissertation ‘Divine Proportion’ which analyzed the perfect proportion for the human anatomy that he used to paint ‘The Last Supper’, regarded as one of the most beautiful paintings of all time. This shared knowledge of what is regarded as the most aesthetically pleasing has lead many painters to utilize this, and thus it can be stated that not only painters, but also interpreters regard this as attractive, thus leading to a individual knowledge of
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