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Multiple Perspectives on Education and Society

Knowledge is ubiquitous and diverse. Its abstract form of interconnectedness helps us deepen our understanding, inquire and hence seek for what is to be true. Due to the omnipresent qualities of knowledge helping build a perspective that results in different interpretations, experts in the same discipline may have disagreements on the exact same data given. The potency of claims and counterclaims is often influenced by differences in moral values, culture and incentives which lead to contrasting perspectives. Contrasting perspective is a mental difference in the understanding of shared and personal knowledge, “representing a juxtaposition of different natures” and is often seen when acquiring knowledge.

This multiple hence varied perspectives at times contradict each other, resulting to overlapped knowledge building upon one another, helping to increase the knowledge of a discipline, however on the other hand it may also affect the accuracy of knowledge, resulting to more subjectivity, due to personal biases and uncompromising norms. With reference to Natural and Human science contrasting perspectives through both and reason and sense perception helps build better understanding of concepts furthermore questioning current knowledge in a way that discovers the unknown, however, we also need to recognize the limitations towards contrasting perspectives within a discipline and how it affects the accuracy and reliability of knowledge produced.

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Contrasting perspectives helps strengthen and add to our existing knowledge in the Natural sciences. “Very often different perspectives coexist to explain and construct concepts, theories, beliefs or an idea” All people encounter unique experiences during their lifetime that influence their understanding and perception of the world.

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Hence, due to their different viewpoints, contrasting perspectives arise which not only brings in new ideas, unknown perspectives into a discipline such as a biology but adds value to our current understandings and existing knowledge. When we encounter distinct differences between our knowledge hence what we believe, we question it and through this process build upon knowledge-creating an unexpected outcome. Contrasting perspectives may be considered a gateway between personal and shared knowledge, meaning we to an extent rely on differences in experience, perspective, knowledge people have helping led us one step closer to the existential truth hence the formation of a “well rounded” discipline. In 1655, scientist Robert Hooke made the discovery that all animals are made of cells, however, in contrast to his perspective the scientist Matthias Jakob Schleiden in 1839 observed that all plants are made of cells. Their difference in perspective and controversy resulted in one of society’s most significant discoveries of all time, the ‘cell theory’. It states “All living things are composed of cells”. Our empirical abilities help shape our sense knowledge and with the help of contrasting perspectives, it not only nurtures but adds value to our sense of authenticity within different disciplines, helping to assure the health of a discipline.

Contrasting perspectives in natural science with reference to emotion may limit the production of knowledge hence resulting to the inaccuracy due to subjectivity. Emotion directly influences action, and much knowledge a person has maybe heavily shaped by their own personal experience in life, as well as a culture even ethnicity. We need to acknowledge that personal knowledge and experience has its limitations due to interpretation moreover rejecting the idea of “universal truth”. “When claims and conflicting claims are based on underlying fundamental moral, religious and personal values” we form ethical dilemmas. Ethical dilemmas formed by contrasting perspective may limit not only societies knowledge, but knowledge within a certain discipline, in addition restricting knowledge presented to society due to the moral and ethical standpoints of scientists in addition resulting to a confliction in ethical dilemmas and this raises concerns of the reliability and accuracy of knowledge. Contrasting perspectives separate knowledge within a discipline and causes ethnocentrism. An example we can look is animal testing. Whether testing on animals is correct or not is heavily based on one’s emotion and perspective towards the issue furthermore their moral standpoint. Emotions may result to fallacious reasoning that skews knowledge and disconnected it due to personal biases.

In the Human sciences, it is contrasting perspectives that ensure the knowledge produced in a discipline is at it’s best quality. Knowledge acquired in the human sciences focuses on “external manifestations of human behavior” (RSS research) and is mainly based on the observation that can be measured ‘objectively’ though sense perception with reference to emotion. Arriving to appropriate methodologies and valid laws regarding human behavior between different disciplines is heavily relied on “the subjective element of human experience” (RSS research) and this results in the rise of contrasting perspectives and different opinions. Contributors host other views expanding their understanding and discussion to the topic, additionally making the purpose not being to repeat issues that have been debated for centuries but to raise awareness of fundamental questions concerning problems with existing knowledge and thus being able to formulate valid conclusions and methodologies regarding knowledge in a discipline. Joseph Nye an American political scientist who studies world politics and human behavior, believes in what is called ‘soft power’. This means in order to overcome current global issues such as climate change and gender equality, a collaboration between people and states is essential in addition to persuading others to rather than fore. His own values, ideas and beliefs shaped by his sense perception has lead to his liberal viewpoint the world. In contrast to his perspective another political scientist known as John. J. Mearsheimer believes in what is known as ‘hard power’ and realism. This means that society lives in an anarchic system, were all people and states are selfish. Discouraging collaboration, he believes in order for issues to be solved, violence and force is the most effective way. With reference to these 2 contrasting perspectives, the concept of ‘smart power’ was created. Soft power is a combination of soft and hard power, where both force and persuasion is used equally to solve and overcome global issues.

In the Human sciences contrasting perspectives may result in a better quality of knowledge however we need to recognize its limitations and how one’s inner subjective experience may be ignored due to the psychological event not being observable even measurable by others. “Limiting the scientific study of humanity to externalities simply because that lends itself more readily to observation has ultimately led many scientists to ignore or even deny the relevance of psychological experience to a proper study of human behavior.”( MSS research)

In assuring the health and well-roundedness of a discipline referring to the Natural and Human sciences contrasting perspectives may be essential to “entail deeper recognition and judgment instead of mere accommodation” (Mindpad), however, there are also limitations of the reliability and accuracy of knowledge produced due to personal biases and subjectivity. Scientific controversies may limit knowledge accessible to the scientific community and society furthermore breaking the sense of interconnectedness that knowledge holds, however, due to these strong disagreements based on interpretation of data and evidence supporting claims it may result to what persuades hence convinces the entire scientific community to what is considered to be the “true” and most reliable. Knowledge is the product of multiple perspectives, often contradicting one another furthermore helping us question what we know in a good and bad way. Perspectives is the mechanism that creates a sense of ambiguity within the knowledge that may be the doorway leading us to discover the existential truth that may never be reached.

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Multiple Perspectives on Education and Society. (2020, Sep 23). Retrieved from

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