the Three Category System
I came up with an epistemological framework to critique educational methods. My idea is like this; knowledge should be taught according to its nature.
The difference between facts and opinions is decisive, but confusing. Frequently "facts" are mere opinions stated in an authoritarian manner, but facts do exists in theory. So what exactly belongs here in category one?
Logic is the strong arm in opinion formation and analysis because in general logic calls upon us to be honest about the evidence we are using to support our case. With logic however only three conclusions can be reached (1) necessary, (2) possible, or (3) impossible. Facts we say are anything that can be shown as necessary or impossible, everything else which is less than definite belongs in the second category.
Somethings must be experienced to be understood, even though some science may exist or be developed to support it. This is the third category
(1) Fact > Lectures w/ Q&A
(2) Opinion > Conversations
(3) Experience > Mentoring
As for matters of fact, a proclaimed knower should be allowed the chance to explain is understanding. Listening attentively, taking notes, and preparing follow up questions most befits the student of such a discipline. We are all fallible, and some of us just process information different, but we need to allow ourselves to be led sometimes.
As for matters of opinion, the one which isn't stated cannot be tested, therefore taking turns putting forth ideas in a process where mutually interested people work towards sounder conclusions is the best way to approach opinions.
As for any activity, you must learn by doing. For this a mentor gives you tips or basics for you to be mindful of while doing. The physics teacher may be able to explain how curve-balls work, but there is a big difference between him and a pitcher who can actually do it.
(1) Fact > Lectures w/ Q&A > Purity & Sincerity
(2) Opinion > Conversations > Wisdom
(3) Experience > Mentoring > Excellence
When we allow ourselves to be open and submissive to others, we get a chance to take in stuff which argumentative types might miss out on. Red Herrings crop up frequently if allowed to, so we let the case be spoken before we summarize our understanding in the form of questions, if necessary. It is the act of a person genuinely interested in learning to sit and pay attention.
In spite of how confusing things may appear, those who can connect dots and form sound judgment are the ones we label as wise. To make clear the muddy waters is to be a person qualified to judge which we practice by judging with fellow judgers. This is done most effectively when the 1st quality is being practiced: cognizance of Logic.
To act with presence and soundness of mind is to perform excellently. Trying is the means to perfection, so the best of us are those who practice.
(1) Fact > Lectures w/ Q&A > Purity & Sincerity > Logic & Basic Math
(2) Opinion > Conversations > Wisdom > the Humanities & Sciences
(3) Experience > Mentoring > Excellence > the Arts
Rules are what they are, and so how we evaluate things objectively is learned in the first category. Although physics is a science, gravity is a fact, so lets be careful how we position that ladder. These are those things that you simply receive and classes make sense for these subjects.
The oxford method is probably the best where you simply work on whatever subject you want to research and your professor just meets with you now and again to check and guide your progress. Reliance upon secondary sources can be problematic however since new questions frequently require original research, which is most definitely an Art.
Anything which is done should be taught by one who has. They should make their best effort to turn their Art into a science but should also have the humility to realize that expertise kinda doesn't exist here.
You approach something you want to learn about in this way: Figure out how each part of that subject fits into which category and treat it according to its nature. Find out how "the Facts" of the subject are obtained and critique them if necessary. Form opinions with others of the same interests. Make an effort to obtain new information and add it to the discussion.
Purity is to Believe only that which deserves it.
Wisdom is to follow only the Opinion which makes the best use of evidence.
Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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