Recently, I’ve found myself struggling with the nature of knowledge. Whether this be reflecting on something someone else has said, or something I myself have said or thought, I’ve been trying to navigate what is fact, how one knows something, how reliable a piece of knowledge is, etc.
Sometimes people pick up on new knowledge in error by misinterpretation. Sometimes people misremember information. Sometimes people intentionally or unintentionally pass on false information to other people.
Additional complexity in knowledge lies in its apparent dynamic nature. We may believe something now, but it may prove to be completely wrong in the future. Perhaps we think something is true now, but it’s an incomplete theory or an oversimplified explanation of the truth.
But how many times do we question sufficiently whether something we learn is actually true or not?
I’ve been spending some time how to navigate this problem. Should I be more critical about the information I interact with? Should I treat everything as a hypothesis and evaluate how well it fits in with my web of understanding of the world? Or…?
What are the best options to interface with reality? Does the same process apply when you’re more distant from the source of the knowledge, or does that become more difficult/out of reach?