Knowledge

By Donald Clark of Big Dog and Little Dog’s Bowl of Biscuits!

Knowledge is the perception of the agreement or disagreement of two ideas — John Locke (1689).  BOOK IV. Of Knowledge and Probability. “An Essay: Concerning Human Understanding.

Locke gave us our first hint of what knowledge is all about. Since that time, others have tried to refine it. Davenport and Prusak (1998, p. 5) define knowledge as, “a fluid mix of framed experience, contextual information, values and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.” Notice that there are two parts to their definition:

  • First, there is content: “a fluid mix of framed experience, contextual information, values and expert insight.” This includes a number of things that we have within us, such as experiences, beliefs, values, how we feel, motivation, and information.
  • The second part defines the function or purpose of knowledge, “that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.” Notice how this relates back to Locke’s definition — we have within us a framework (one idea) that we use for evaluating new experiences (the second idea).

Knowledge is information that changes something or somebody — either by becoming grounds for actions, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action.” — Peter F. Drucker in The New Realities

Achterbergh & Vriens (2002) further write that the function has two main parts. First, it serves as a background for the assessment of signals, which in turn, allows the performance of actions. As to the first part, they write, “To determine whether a signal is informative, an observer has to ‘attach meaning to it,’ e.g., to perceive and interpret it. Once perceived and interpreted the observer may evaluate whether the signal is informative and whether action is required.” 

Proceed to read here.

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