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Why Study Knowledge

To study knowledge is to search for knowledge about knowledge. An important branch of Philosophy is the search for knowledge about knowledge in general. In a more focused way, the study of a discrete part of knowledge that is needed in order to allow a specific task or operation to be performed is still a search for new knowledge. This time, the search is for an understanding of the knowledge needed in order to know how to carry out a task.

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People constantly apply knowledge in their lives, whether at work or pursuing a personal interest, people apply the knowledge that they hold. Seeking to understand the nature of applied knowledge can be a search for a better understanding of the task itself.

A better understanding of applied knowledge can lead to the development of new knowledge that would allow a task to be completed more effectively or efficiently. A better understanding of applied knowledge can lead to the identification of knowledge that may be at risk and may therefore need to be protected. A better understanding of applied knowledge can lead to more effective human development, as people learn to carry out new tasks. A better understanding of applied knowledge can also lead to a better understanding of the task itself.

A task that requires knowledge in order for that task to be carried out by a person could be many things. The task of knowing how to run a country and the task of knowing how to change a bicycle wheel are very different, but any human attempting either of these tasks requires knowledge that is appropriate for that task. Understanding what this knowledge is has many potential benefits.

It is interesting to note that knowing about knowledge that is needed in order to carry out a task is not the same thing as knowing how to carry out that task. People that carry out tasks need to have the knowledge necessary to carry them out. People wishing to understand the nature of this knowledge may have other objectives such as the management or development of task completion. If I were to become a bar keeper, I would need to know all of the things necessary to run the bar. How to order drinks, how to serve and charge for them, how to keep drinks, how the employ staff etc. If I were the owner of a set of bars that were each to be run by managers, I may need to understand what the managers will need to know, but I may not need to know those things myself or how to do them. However if I don’t know what my managers should know, how can I employ the best managers, how can I develop my chain of bars and open new successful ones. How can I know what makes one bar successfully and another fail if I don’t understand the knowledge needed in order to run a successful bar?