In needed in producing knowledge, particularly robust knowledge?


            In the process of seeking knowledge,
various methods are used, including through consensus and disagreement. They
are two important elements that should be taken into account when considering
whether certain knowledge is robust or not. However, are they really needed in
producing knowledge, particularly robust knowledge? What I classified as a
robust knowledge is the knowledge that can be proven true and can stand on its
own against falsifications as well as criticisms. This knowledge is accepted by
the whole researchers in a particular field and has not been falsified anymore.
While consensus conceptually defined as
agreement achieved by the researcher community at the same conclusion. In
contrast, disagreement in my perspective
is when the researchers have different opinions from one another and do not
accept the knowledge that is opposed to his or her. In this essay, I will discuss
about whether or not these two elements
are needed in requiring robust knowledge in the two areas of knowledge,
Natural Science and Arts.

the process of developing robust knowledge in the Natural Sciences field, both consensus and disagreement are needed.
In order to increase the quality of knowledge, there is a must to have
consensus because within the intellectuals, every each of them may have
different point of views. This is where the researchers find any lacks or
unacceptable results in their research and will improve on it, hence leading to
further research regarding certain science issues. In natural science, reasoning
is very important. That is why every theory proposed must go through times of
experiments and if the results are constant with the previous experiments, then
it is considered as a truth. In the case of robust knowledge, it must survive against
falsification and criticism throughout its production. An example on this
matter is Plogiston Theory, which
was proposed by Johan Joachim Becher in 1667. It
explained about the plogiston element that released from any combustible
objects when they are burned. The theory has become the basis of chemistry for
most of the 18th century, only until 1772 when Antoine Lavoisier found that the mass of burned
metal was actually increasing, instead of decreasing as the plogiston was
released. The finding then falsified plogiston theory with Lavoisier’s theory
named as oxidation. Plogiston’s theories that do not survive against
falsification are then eliminated from being a robust knowledge as well as an
acceptable theory. As for the oxidation theory, it is still being used nowadays
after going through a lot of consensus among chemists from now and then. It is
clear that in the Natural Science field, robust knowledge is produced when
there are disagreements that will lead to falsification and consensuses are
also present throughout its development.

However, it is not compulsory for all robust
knowledge to be developed from consensuses and disagreements. Without disagreement itself, robust
knowledge can also be produced by consensus alone. It refers to the
knowledge that was produced by many researches over a certain time period
without any disagreements between them, instead using the previous knowledge to
discover more. Quantum Theory took 62 years to be developed completely, with
having 7 most dominant intellectuals producing it, involving two disciplines of
natural science which are chemistry and physics. Started in 1990, Max Planck
was the pioneer researcher who suggested that radiation is quantized, or simply
comes in discrete amounts. Followed by Albert Einstein five years after that,
he proposed a quantum of light specifically photon, which behaves like a
particle. The other five main researchers in the process of developing this
robust knowledge are Niels Bohr, Werner
Heisenberg, Erwin
Schroedinger, Max Born and Paul Dirac. There are many other researchers involved but what
I am highlighting is that all of them having this one similarity where they do
not falsify each other instead proceed to extend the research. I believe that
not every new founding need to be argued because is not it will only cause
complexity in developing new knowledge? Therefore, it is said to be a robust
knowledge because they do not face disagreements and falsifications from another
scientist, as well as criticism, hence proving it to be parallel to the
definition of robust knowledge itself.

               In the perspective of Arts, robust knowledge can be identified if the application of the arts itself is beneficial and at the same time it is physically beautiful. They still need consensus and disagreement to increase its quality and appearance value. This refers to the architecture discipline, where architects need to take into account not only the design, but also its function and how it will benefit its users. As an instance, in building a house, the very first thing will happen is the interaction between the architecture and his or her customers. They need to come out with the plan together, before selecting the most preference design to be used. This phase will include consensus and disagreements like when the customers are really into design, without considering the safety and proper house structure, the architecture need to refuse preceding the idea while briefly explain its drawback. The way of knowing –  reason – plays a vital role here as the architect need to ensure the customers can logically deduce the relevance of rejection of the idea. Thus, it is considered as robust knowledge in the area of arts because of its reliance on consensus and disagreement as well as the fact that the arts are beneficial and beautiful.               Different from the Arts in the form of architecture, robust knowledge in visual arts do not even rely on consensus and disagreement in any condition. It is an abstract and cannot be judged fairly as everyone would have different ways of looking and interpreting visual arts. The artists’ intentions in doing arts are to share his experience and emotions, to appreciate beauty as well as to educate and moralize people. They are the only ones who know deeply what they want to deliver, yet other individuals may appreciate the arts only for the value of beauty, but not for the message that come along with it. Banksy, an anonymous famous England-based graffiti artist who his identity just revealed a few years ago, he used arts for communication. Instead of, people know him just because of his mysterious identity and the talent itself. Only some people who managed to receive what he try to deliver, which one of them is to utilize kindness through a piece of art showing a protester throwing a bouquet of flower, not a grenade or harmful device. Do we need a discussion on this art? Of course not, according to ethics, it is individual rights to interpret it the way they want it to. Disagreement is also invalid because it only happens due to the different individual perspectives. Hence, consensus and disagreement are not relevant in the context of robust knowledge in visual arts.               Consensus and disagreement also present in developing robust knowledge related to both Natural Science and Arts, specifically music. Music is not only for the purpose of enjoyment, but it is also useful for medical purposes and even is widely used in Anglophone countries as a type of therapy. As we listen to music, are not we feel more peaceful? That is one of the usages of music. Its functions have been discussed for decades and arguments arise throughout that whole period. Musicians discovered that music benefits people by giving tranquility and even help in treating neurological disorders in children as well as old folks since it is closely related emotions and sense perception. What happened in America was musicians went to the Veterans hospital to play music for the patient who suffered from the World War II. Artists may assume its benefits, but in order to prove it, they must go through sets of experiments and the results came out to be undeniably true.  Since the use of music in therapy purposes is no longer be denied nowadays, as well as the fact that they went through consensuses and disagreements, it is agreed that this knowledge is robust.

            Emotion is one element that exists
everywhere, and involve in any areas of knowledge. In Natural Science, it is the
emotion which triggers curiosity that leads to founding, at the same time it is
the one which interfere with the motivation and loss of hope. While in Arts, emotion
creates arts and also judges the art piece. This leads to a knowledge question,
is emotion actually a good element in the process of developing knowledge or
vice versa? In my opinion, emotions can be both good and bad, depends on how
the person manages the emotion and not be controlled by it. Emotion must work
together with reasoning as it will produce the best knowledge.

            To summarize everything, robust
knowledge in both areas of knowledge, Natural Science and Arts, rely on
consensus and disagreement to an extent, which only applies to falsified
knowledge and architecture. Some robust knowledge in Natural Science,
specifically revolutionary theories such as Quantum Theory, needs consensus
solely, with no disagreement involved. Contradictory, visual arts need none of
them because it is an individual preference and rights in interpreting the
piece of work. Last but not least, robust knowledge of music therapy, which
involves in both areas of knowledge, depends also on both consensus and
disagreement. These aspects are important elements to be taken into account in
considering certain knowledge, whether or not it is robust, according to their
classes of area of knowledge.


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