To what extent do personal attributes affect Ways of Knowing and why, if at all, does answering this question matter in the first place? Personal attributes affect Ways of Knowing is a large way, however answering this question is still important. Personal attributes are traits or characteristics that make people individuals. Personal attributes can be both physical and mental or physiological. This means that an individual’s traits could be anything from the shape of their hands to how kind they are. The ways of knowing include: Perception, Reason, Emotion and Language.
These ways of knowing can all be directly affected by a person’s personal attributes. Perception is the mental and physical awareness of the world through our five senses. Personal attributes affect perception due the varying ways that the five senses can be damaged and therefore change the way that they interpret a situation or thing. Reason is a way of coming to a conclusion by using a deductive or inductive argument as well as logic. Personal attributes affect reason through their ability to trap us in our beliefs and not allow us to sort through our traits to derive better logic.
Personal attributes affect emotion in a vast sense as they have the ability to determine how we use our emotions. Likewise, language is also affected greatly by our personal attributes as both mental and physical expressions of language can be interpreted differently through our physical and mental characteristics or traits. The following examples and explanations will depict the above situations of how personal attributes greatly affect the knowledge that we gain. Language is directly affected by personal attributes as they can greatly affect the way that people understand us through our verbal or physical communication.
Language is derived from culture. In different cultures and different countries, different languages are spoken and the way that these cultural differences affect the way that language is learned. Last week I had a conversation with my step grandmother who is from Israel. My first language is English whereas her first language is Italian and English is her fourth language. When I was talking to her I was telling her about the summer job that I was going to have during the summer. I was also telling her about how I was going to be going to prom and a Fall Out Boy concert on the weekend. We talked for approximately fifteen minutes.
At the end of our conversation she told me that she was shocked that I had grown up so fast and that it was very good that I was going to be taking my dog for a walk. The whole time that I had been talking to her, I had thought that she had understood and I had tried to make sure that I used simple words and gestures that would make sense to her so that she would definitely understood what I was talking about. When I realized that she had no idea what I had said, I realized that her personal attribute of having come from a foreign country had completely affected how she had understood what I said.
Because her background meant that she did not completely speak the same language as me, it made me realize how much personal attributes really affect the way that people think and use language to communicate. Another way of knowing, emotion is also greatly affected by personal attributes. The six major emotions, sadness, happiness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust are said to be recognized in all cultures and countries. This week in my theory of knowledge class, I was shown statistics on how different countries thought of different emotions.