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Knowledge and Management

Must discuss the following:

o Your justified views on the nature of knowledge
o The purpose of knowledge and the means by which it is acquired
o The application of knowledge to the tasks of leadership and management in the organization or profession in which you work
o Whether your individual epistemology agrees or disagrees with the implicit or explicit epistemology of your profession

Note. Must reflect your familiarity with major epistemological themes and concepts and do justice to traditional philosophical epistemology and insights of organizational epistemology.

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Dear Student,
Hello and thank you or using Brainmass. The solution below is based on my own studies and work on the subject matter. To access the listed references you have is difficult on such short notice although I have acquired some and related works to them. I will assume however that you have studied this particular subject matter and that while the nature of knowledge and knowledge acquisition is focused on pure epistemological discussion, the latter set of questions are about organizational management theory concepts. If you have any questions regarding this solution, you can leave it via the feedback section. I have also listed the references used for this solution so you can expand on the information provided. A word version of this solution is attached for easy download and printing. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

On the Nature of Knowledge

Traditional epistemology (epistemology being the study of knowledge) is a view on the theory of knowledge that harkens back to the viewpoints of Classic thinkers like Plato and Socrates and ideas on knowledge by philosophers from the Enlightenment like Immanuel Kant and Rene Descartes. Questions that the traditional theory of knowledge asks are much the same as that of post-structuralist viewpoints and they are the following:

? What is knowledge?
? How is knowledge manufactured/acquired/realized?
? What do we know and how do we know?

For Plato, there are 2 levels of awareness - opinion and knowledge as could be gleaned from his work 'The Republic' via 'the myth of the Cave'. Opinions for him are transitory while knowledge is secure. This is evidence by his dialogue in 'Meno' -

"True opinions are a fine thing and do all sorts of good so long as they stay in their place, but they will not stay long. They run away from a man's mind; so they are not worth much until you tether them by working out a reason. . . . Once they are tied down, they become knowledge, and are stable. That is why knowledge is something more valuable than right opinion. What distinguishes the one from the other is the tether."

'True' knowledge is arrived at via an account, a justification of that knowledge. We know by questioning, by observing, by going beyond what is expected of us while 'in chains'. By 'freeing the mind' and allowing one to question the truth about the world, we gain knowledge. It is said that this viewpoint was taught to Plato by his mentor Socrates whom he allows to 'lecture' via his many works. In philosophy, these shared views of knowledge by Plato and Socrates is known as 'the Traditional view' regarding what knowledge is especially in philosophical studies.

Personal View on Knowledge & Knowledge Acquisition

When Rene Descartes declared 'Cogito ergo sum' - 'I think therefore I am', the world at the Age of Enlightenment started to embark on what would then establish reason as the basis of ascertaining the truth. Prior to this, the Divine Circuit of Knowledge was the standard - what was true was ascertained according to the rules of religion. The Cartesian idea that existence happens because of the mind has led us through generations of thinkers and paradigms to the now accepted norm that what is true about our world and reality can only be arrived at via the scientific process - following the scientific method allows for verifiable knowledge that establish certain 'truths' about how reality works. Theories universal or specific borne out of the scientific method has helped man 'tame' nature and via scientific knowledge develop better working technologies and innovations that lead to more discoveries, realizations and answers to many questions. The biggest critique of scientific knowledge is proposed by many as institutions that are belief-based, i.e. religion. By faith, there is no need for proof to prove the truth behind a claim. But is faith and science really exclusive? Thomas Kuhn argued that some scientists 'hold the scientific method' to be the only ascertainer of truth, yet, in practice, it is possible to 'corrupt' and 'cook' results and data for the purpose of making certain claims achieve the status f scientific theory. By doing so, scientists ignore the ethics of research for personal belief of the truth of certain phenomenon despite lack of verifiability. Philosophers employ critical enquiry to 'know of the world' and the use of philosophy in scientific methods imply a paradigmatic process whereby via the rules of certain schools of thought certain 'knowledge claims' are produced. Richard Rorty believes that all schools of thought in all fields whether scientific or not are by themselves produced only via 'language games' - in science all beliefs are justified only by other beliefs and they are produced within the rules of the 'language of science' - by association to established beliefs. What if however, the very foundation of an epistemology itself can't be proven? Rorty also decries that currently, philosophy, the humanities and other academic disciplines have modelled enquiries after the scientific method only because the scientific method has become the 'norm' - the 'language game' that is used to establish 'truth'. The thing is, truth is situated and that ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an extensive 3,099-word paper on the nature of knowledge, its purpose and application in management and leadership of organizations. References are provided. The paper follows the APA format. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.