Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something, which can include facts, information, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic. In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology; the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as "justified true belief." However, no single agreed upon definition of knowledge exists, though there are numerous theories to explain it. The following quote from Bertrand Russell's "Theory of Knowledge" illustrates the difficulty in defining knowledge: "The question how knowledge should be defined is perhaps the most important and difficult of the three with which we shall deal. This may seem surprising: at first sight it might be thought that knowledge might be defined as belief which is in agreement with the facts. The trouble is that no one knows what a belief is, no one knows what a fact is, and no one knows what sort of agreement between them would make a belief true. Let us begin with belief."
Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.
Famous quotes containing the word knowledge:
“All schools, all colleges, have two great functions; to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)
“A knowledge that people live close by is,
I think, enough. And even if only first names are ever exchanged
The people who own them seem rock-true and marvelously self-sufficient.”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)
“The thief steals from himself. The swindler swindles himself. For the real price is knowledge and virtue, whereof wealth and credit are signs. These signs, like paper money, may be counterfeited or stolen, but that which they represent, namely, knowledge and virtue, cannot be counterfeited or stolen.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)