To understand something you need to rely on your own experience and culture. Does this mean that it is impossible to have objective knowledge?

Essay by raul4High School, 12th gradeA, January 2010

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Our understanding of the world and acquisition of knowledge is dependent on sense experience, culture and personal interpretation amongst other factors. While providing a scope of possibilities these factors also impose limitations in our acquisition of knowledge. Naturally the first thing one does while learning something new is to connect the knowledge to their own experience in attempting to justify its validity. People generally gain knowledge through sense experience while interpreting the knowledge based on their personal cultural backgrounds and attempting to validate all knowledge with their past experience(s). Experience and culture are inherently integrated in our process of acquiring knowledge and understanding concepts therefore adding a varying degree of subjectivity to any knowledge acquired.

For the purpose of this essay and to avoid misinterpretation I am compelled to establish a definitive understanding of the word objective so that it can be used consistently to represent the same concept. Knowledge can be considered objective if it is 'mind-independent' implicating that it is free from any judgments made consciously or unconsciously by human beings.

Objective knowledge is elusive to us and for that reason two diverging points must be made clear in order to have an invariable understanding of it for the purpose of this essay. For example saying something like 'objective knowledge does not exist' is very different from saying 'it is not possible for us to gain objective knowledge'. The first statement refers to an ontological argument which deals with the nature of reality and existence. The second one refers to an epistemological argument dealing with what we as humans can know. Since the title states 'to have objective knowledge' I am justified in considering the epistemological point of view in light of this essay.

As stated in the title that 'to understand something we need to rely on...