Knowledge is very important to all humans because it is what influences our actions. In the theory of knowledge the things we say and do are determined by the level of understanding we hold. This understanding comprises of the things we learnt a few decades ago as well as what we have learnt recently.
Human understanding has various areas that aim at explaining its origin. The areas include human sciences and natural sciences among others. This paper will explain these aspects and how they relate with our understanding in regards to the search for knowledge.
Natural sciences entails scanning the environments that we live in for us to understand why things are the way they are. In this category people monitor the events of their surroundings to solve the mysteries that would rather have remained unsolved. For instance, when people want to understand why the earth looks spherical they carry out research and find the truth. The sciences of nature are always different from each other because different geographical locations have different natural influences (Scott 1).
In natural sciences learners observe the events that concern them such as the gravity force and come up with their own theories in a bid to explain the reasons behind such events. The explanations provided by scientists vary because they conduct independent experiments with different materials.
For every theory provided there is objection from other scientists who do not see the sense in a particular theory. The theories incorporate mathematics in order to tell the history of events. For instance, when scientists collect rocks they observe them in laboratories and use mathematical formulas to discover when the events that led to their formation took place.
Physics plays a major role in natural sciences because it has the scientific laws that are thought to influence events. For example, we know that escarpments were formed due to certain forces on the surface of the earth that were exerting pressure in different directions. Apart from the theories that are provided by scientists, different communities have different myths that are based on their beliefs and traditions.
For instance, in some communities thunderstorms are thought to be fights between gods. The major difference between myths and theories is that myths are not actual facts but assumptions that are generated by humans while on the other hand theories are derived from thorough studies and analysis.
The world is full of mysteries that are yet to be discovered and hence natural sciences can never be exhausted because there are so many things in the world that still require explanations. This explains why there are new discoveries every other day because scientists are busy excavating the grounds to reveal the hidden truths.
Fortunately, the things that have already been discovered will be reserved for future generations because technological developments have made it possible unlike in ancient days when people did not have a way of storing information.
If mankind chose to ignore natural science his life on earth would be very stressful because the inventions he has already made were and are still successful because he observed the laws of natural science (Cherniss 2). For instance, airplane manufacturers know that there is force in the air hence they usually make the front side of the plane to be sharp pointed to overcome the force of wind. Again the people who make ships understand density of materials so that they can build durable ships.
With the knowledge of natural science, man has been able to identify things that could destroy his environment and lead to other dangerous scenarios like global warming. Man has therefore set out to protect his environment by implementing measures to make sure that people don’t cause any damage to the environment because his survival depends on it.
The progress in acquiring knowledge in natural sciences is manifested in the changes that man has introduced to ensure that the environment continues to meet his needs even after he is gone. Man has realized that if he continues to use the natural resources without renewing them they might get exhausted hence he has come up with ways of protecting these resources such as the recycling of used materials (IBO 1).
Human beings have become dominant on earth through their adverse knowledge. This is because they understand most elements of the ecosystem compared to other species. Through the studies of natural sciences, man has realized the reasons why there have been changes in climate and thus has resorted to use products that are friendly to the environment.
Moreover, man has been able to discover natural resources that are available for free such as the solar energy and wind energy. If humans did not carry out scientific studies such resources would not have been discovered.
The livelihood of human beings has continued to improve as more natural resources continue to be discovered. For instance, the discovery of wind power has enhanced industrialization because industries have reliable and cheap sources of fuel which does not cause any harm to the environment. Humans have gone an extra mile to launch expeditions in other planets in an attempt of understanding nature. Many people have died in the experiments but this has not stopped man from trying.
Human sciences entail the study of human beings by observing their behavior. Humans can only be studied by listening to what they say and also by monitoring what they do. Observation is the best method because people can say words that they do not reflect. When you want to understand someone you must spend some time with him/her so that you can tell what kind of a person he/she is.
Cherniss argues that natural sciences are related to human sciences because man behaves according to what his environment dictates (2). For instance, when it is dark, our mind tells us that its time to sleep and awakening comes at dawn. In addition to that human behavior is also influenced by our cultures and beliefs. This means that at times it is our cultures that drive us to behaving in a certain way.
Moreover, our interests play a major role in determining our behavior. This means that people do the things that they like doing and when an act is done routinely it becomes a behavior. Interests also boost our understanding because if we do not like what we are learning about chances of grasping anything are very narrow. When we have interests understanding becomes very easy because we do not see any hurdles as opposed to when we are not interested.
In a learning environment learners are quick to understanding subjects that are not boring. Understanding interests of the people around us is important because we are able to offer them things that make them happy and we can only do this when we know their likes and dislikes.
In human sciences the scientists try to understand the compositions of human body including human anatomy which is crucial in understanding why people respond to issues differently. By understanding ourselves we are able to tell how we can be pleased and what makes us angry. Human sciences have enabled man to discover his requirements in this world and they include things like food and water and that is why people are making efforts to protect these vital body requirements.
Furthermore, man has been able to identify things that can cause harm to his health and hence has made sure that his body is free from such organisms by eating clean and fresh food. Since man understands that the natural resources are scarce, he has developed artificial materials to make sure that the resources remain intact (IBO 1).
In human sciences there are still many obstacles to be overcome such as diseases without cure, but then man has been using natural resources to treat the ailments that affect him and other living creatures. By conducting studies in human sciences man has been able to foresee upcoming situations such as unemployment.
According to Chernnis, understanding human sciences involves analyzing the personality traits of people before making conclusions as to why they behave in a particular way (2). Understanding each other’s behavior has fostered harmony among communities and this has led to cross cultural marriages that were not acceptable before. Understanding cultural behaviors has enabled to solve the conflicts that were fueled by the differences of our cultures. This means that people can now co-exist peacefully by accepting their diversities.
Through natural studies man has been able to manipulate the environment to provide his needs faster than usual. This includes the hormonal injections that are administered to animals and plants to make them grow faster to address the issue of food security. Moreover, man has been able to use natural resources to improve his wellness by discovering things like cosmetic products which are derived from the environment to manipulate his beauty.
In essence, gaining knowledge is determined by the means by which human beings can search and store the information relevant for knowledge acquisition. As explained in this paper, different areas of knowledge enable us to realize our progress in the search of knowledge. The contrasting areas discussed are: natural sciences and human sciences – they are dependent on each other.
This is because man can destroy the environment without knowing which can diminish his supply of resources from the environment. Both sciences can never be ignored because without them our livelihood could be doomed. It is therefore important to consider the different approaches used by scholars or individuals involved in the realization of knowledge in our quest to gain knowledge.
Cherniss, Joshua.”Isaiah Berlin: Distinction between Natural and Human Science.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010. Web. 8 March 2011.
IBO. “Areas of Knowledge.” Theory of Knowledge – Guide. 2006. Web. 8 March 2011.
Scott, Ammy. “Areas of Knowing: Human Sciences.” Theory of Knowledge: International Baccalaureate. 2011. Web. 7 March 2011. < http://www.amyscott.com/human_science.htm>
Scott, Ammy. “Natural Sciences.” Theory of Knowledge: International Baccalaureate. 2011. Web. 7 March 2011.