I’ve decided that I’m knowledge agnostic. According to Gunzenhauser & Gerstl-Pepin, epistemology is “a theory of what gets to count as knowledge”. I’ve been reflecting upon the different epistemologies and how similar the ideas of epistemology are to the ideas of learning theories (some have the same names after all).
In an earlier post, I reflected on the relationship of learning theories to the definition of learning. I think the relationship between epistemologies and knowledge can be described in a very similar diagram. The solid outer square represents the bounds of knowledge. Each circle represents an epistemology.
Unlike learning theories, each epistemology attempts to describe every version of knowledge – that is each attempts to be a complete lens – but in reality none of them do. I believe there is an aspect of knowledge that is unknowable. In in that way I am a knowledge agnostic – I don’t believe we can all know or define knowledge in any give way that will cover every corner of the box that is knowledge. There will always be room for the unknown or unknowable.
I’m pretty sure that my view on this matter isn’t going to be static. Even as I write this, I’m not even sure I really believe what I’m writing – and yet I had a strong urge to document this idea. I suspect that as I progress further into investigations into the different epistemologies, my ideas will change and grow. But this is where I am now – agnostic about knowledge.
So my question for you is, what do you think should get to count as knowledge? Do you think it is possible to describe knowledge in a way that fills the corners of the box? or is my diagram just flawed?
Gunzenhauser, M., & Gerstl-Pepin, C. (2006). Engaging graduate education: A pedagogy for epistemological and theoretical diversity. The Review of Higher Education, 29(3), 319-346. doi:10.1353/rhe.2006.0008