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Theory of Knowledge

Reconstruction of Qur’anic Thoughts with an Attempt to Unify Rationalism and Empiricism

By S.M. Zakir Hussain (Bangladesh)

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1. Introduction


In this paper, efforts will be made to give a working definition of knowledge. The following definitions of knowledge have been given in the Concise Oxford Dictionary:

1.     a.   Awareness of familiarity gained by experience
              (of a person, fact, or thing)

                 b.   A person’s range of information

2.     a.   A theoretical or practical understanding of a
              subject, language, etc.

                 b.   The sum of what is known

          3.          (In Philosophy) True, justified belief; certain understanding, as opposed to opinion

The elements of knowledge, from the above definitions, can be summarized as follows: awareness, information, understanding, and experience. For the time being it can well be hypothesized that awareness is mainly related to the senses, understanding to the logical or thinking process, and experience to the use and establishment and acquisition of knowledge through physical activities. Thus it appears that the senses, the memory, the logical or relational structure of the brain, and behavior¾all are related to the acquisition of knowledge. Again, from the dimension of activities it appears that the processes of acquiring and of applying knowledge are also part of what is being termed knowledge. Moreover, the philosophical definition (No.3 above) includes the concept of belief, which is not very easy to define, not even in philosophical terms. Thus it is clear that it is not easy to give a conceptual definition of knowledge without detailed analysis.


Continued ...



Author of:

Secret Knowledge of the Qur'an