January 16, 2010

Get Knowledge

Some speaker I listened to said there are three types of knowledge: knowledge by acquaintance, propositional knowledge, and skill and know-how.

Skill and know-how go without saying.

Knowledge by acquaintance means that you know a fact because you're exposed to it. For example, you acquire the knowledge that oranges are usually orange-coloured and that dogs chase cats. You take this sort of knowledge for granted and haven't thought about the facts much, and you probably don't associate what you know with a specialized vocabulary or attribute any causality to the colour of oranges and such.

Propositional knowledge is knowledge you can talk about and think logically about. Someone probably taught it to you.

For most of my life, I was at the knowledge by acquaintance stage regarding knitting and yarn, and I was barely acquainted with spinning. I knew that yarn looked twisted, that sweater cuffs were usually ribbed, that the rest of the sweater was usually made of little v's, that woven wool was usually flat and smooth or napped but knitted wool was usually lofty, and so on. I couldn't tell you why or how, and didn't know the names of stitches.

What a change, becoming a handspinner and moving to propositional knowledge and skill and know-how.
"When a wise man is instructed, he gets knowledge."
Proverbs 21:11b NIV

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