Is Doubt the Key to Knowledge? Essay

1772 WordsNov 26, 20138 Pages
“Doubt is the key to knowledge” (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge? TOTAL WORD COUNT: 1596 The statement “Doubt is the key to knowledge,” historically attributed to a Persian proverb, serves to espouse the use of uncertainty as a means of acquiring knowledge. However, one must examine and question the validity of the above statement in its practical application. Under the lens of history and ethics, there are a multitude of historical examples in which doubt was necessary to garner knowledge. In contrast, doubt may be undesired and actually prove to be a hindrance to knowledge, or at the very least not lead to knowledge. Therefore, although it may be true for certain areas of knowledge that doubt leads to knowledge, in other areas doubt may inhibit the path to knowledge. In the subject of history, doubt may be imperative in our pursuit for knowledge. Although, it may seem contrary to common sense to doubt the chronological foundation of mankind, there are multiple instances in which the use of doubt is applicable. Moreover, as fabrication or modification of historical accounts has become more rampant over the years, doubt has become a necessary tool to acquire knowledge. As reported by the New York Times on March 12th of this year, the Texas Board of Education approved a social studies curriculum that will “put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.”(A12) This measure was passed by a conservative bloc, promoting their biased ideological views that included diminishing the role played by African Americans and Hispanics in American History. Board

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