Amidst the dawn and the dusk lies the day, amidst the sky and the earth lies the world, amidst birth and death lies life and amidst knowledge and ignorance lies the human mind. The quest to know it all is centuries old, yet the pursuit seems never ending. Each question demands answers to be found while each answer leads to another question. Anticipating human brains work endlessly to gain, gain knowledge or wealth but the wants remain ever unsatisfied. Desires can never be quenched. What we know only makes us realize what else we should know. It is not what we see but what we cannot see that keeps the quest going that keeps us thinking. The human characteristic to classify led to coining the term philosophy, from the Greek term philosophia meaning ‘love of wisdom’. It is the study of fundamental nature of existence, reason, values and knowledge. All branches of academic studyhas an indirect association with it and it is no surprise to know that specialized fields of academic disciplines like Economics, Psychology, Astronomy and even Physics once came under the category ‘Philosophy’.
To boundary the course of study for this field is an impossibletask to accomplish as the areas that practices the principles of Philosophy is as vast and varied as the human mind.Moreover, the demarcation between what is real and what is not is a thin one and susceptible to any amendments with advancement in research and new more convincing theories being put forward. Nevertheless it is only a matter of time that plays a crucial role in supporting the justification of a possible explanation along with substantial evidence.
The tools that help us dig deep into the subject are منطق and Reasoning. The ability to reason comes from a sound knowledge about the basics or ‘universally accepted facts’ based on which one justifies its argument to reach a conclusion. A rather easy example to demonstrate such a practice could be-
- All humans are mortal.
- Socrates is human.
- Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
The connected series of statements is known as ‘premise’ and the proposition as ‘conclusion’ which as a whole constitutes an argument. In the above example the first two statement are premises while the third is the conclusion.
Although a simple one, this example do illustrates how reasoning works. Such a methodology also helped the greatest scientist in history to discover one of his most famous theory on relative forces–‘gravity’. A fallen apple gave Sir Isaac Newton the start that he required, curiosity. He not only contemplated why the fruit fell down and not go up but also derived a scientific proof to support his reasoning which were once only theories. A series of statements led to the conclusion that every object pulls another object towards itself with a force proportional to its mass.
The complex human brain can better understand things that are simpler. It searches for links to connect the puzzle and get the whole picture. The ability to reason and find a logical connection grows with age but it is not completely absent during the initial stages of life as an infant. Even a toddler is able to distinguish between its mother and a stranger. His reason to differentiate is based on its prior knowledge about the person who takes his care, who has been with him for a long time.
It’s amidst the extremes of knowledge and ignorance where the power of deduction finds its existence. So to think that ignorant is foolishness is a folly. Many of the great discoveries and inventions have found their way to us in the sweetest of oblivion. Archimedes principle to test the purity of gold of his King’s crown was realized while he was bathing. Eureka!
One may never know when the true knowledge of a fact will him like a thunderbolt and change his life or create history. So the mysteries of human knowledge continue to find us and leave us puzzled as the quest shall never end.