What is General Knowledge, and what is it for?

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  • Author Monzur Hossein
  • Published November 30, 2021
  • Word count 665

The usefulness of general knowledge mainly consists of two macro-sectors. First, it represents the attitude of the individual. The possession of knowledge of general Knowledge demonstrates a tendency that pushes a specific subject to obtain information or information, perhaps even superficially, on what is happening around him. In the same way, it emphasizes his ability to learn basic knowledge, (from compulsory schools) recognizing its value and, therefore, not forgetting them once they have finished their studies.

The second macro sector, on the other hand, takes into consideration the fact that the possession of notions of general knowledge is useful for the formation of the civic and professional sense of citizens. Knowing the fundamental mechanisms of the world around us allows a better understanding of reality. This factor also causes noticeable repercussions on the professional branch. We all know, some lawyer, engineer, historian, or economist who, to the detriment of the training received, shows that he is unable to understand the fundamental mechanisms of current politics, science, or economics.

The lack of general knowledge, therefore, indirectly can also damage the professionalism of an individual.

Unfortunately, it is good to recognize that these are hard times for this kind of knowledge. The culture of our time is essentially specialized and almost closed. It is a widespread idea that it is really necessary to know only what can be useful immediately, possibly through work activity. It is necessary to know everything we need to be able to "do". External reality is not an object of knowledge, but pure interpretation. In full post-truth, there is nothing to know and there is nothing to know. There are no basic mechanisms and, if there are, they must not be "known" but deduced.

The one culture that is often accepted is entirely subservient to professional growth and development. The "know-how" is a synonym of "knowledge", forgetting the need to know something else: everything that allows the critical and reasoned analysis of reality.

"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, it will spend its entire life believing that it is stupid"

We have all heard this phrase, attributed to Einstein. Here, this sentence, carefully misunderstood, represents the emblem of the context in which we find ourselves and which I have tried to describe above. It is suggested that one should judge the intelligence of a fish by its swimming in water. Its intelligence would then be demonstrated by its very nature and its swimming. In this way, however, we forget what intelligence is, even if understood in a purely practical sense.

In fact, in everyday life, intelligence is the faculty that allows us to understand what surrounds us, providing answers to the problems and situations that arise. Intelligence, therefore, arises from a relationship of exchange between us and the surrounding reality. A reality that, often and willingly, presents issues that go beyond our " sphere of competence ". To understand: judging the intelligence of a fish by its being soaked in water is like judging the intelligence of a man by his staying on the sofa.

The fish, in fact, perhaps would never be able to climb the tree. But when faced with the problem, it could put in place various behaviors, some more functional and others less.

Here, it is precisely these behaviors that demonstrate intelligence and, indirectly, general knowledge. Returning to the world of men: If Tizio throws the ball on the roof he can certainly take a ladder to go and retrieve it. On the other hand, however, Tizio is also free to perform other actions: throw heads at the wall, steal the neighbor's ball, sue Adinolfi, and so on. The choice made by Tizio to recover the ball is a clear indicator of his intelligence and, therefore, of his ability to understand the world and its concrete problems.

So yes, the intelligence of a fish is also judged by its ability to climb trees, just as that of men is also measured outside their "context of belonging".

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