Defining question that can be raised from this

Defining knowledge has been a long quest for philosophers
for centuries together. While a specific definition of knowledge still doesn’t
exist, it can be said that a specific set of information can be agreed to be
knowledge if the statement is true, can be justified and the person believes
that the statement is true1.

Robust is an adjective that signifies something that is complete, strong and
impenetrable2,
therefore robust knowledge can be defined as a specific set of knowledge that is
completely developed and substantial from every perspective and agreed by a majority
of the desired population. But a question that can be raised from this premise is
whether agreement is an essential feature of robust knowledge? The relationship
between consensus and disagreements and “robust knowledge” in specific is difficult
to define. Agreements can be defined as a uniform perception of thoughts and
opinions. The antonym of this, disagreement, is also responsible for forming
robust knowledge since it improves scope for further development of that
knowledge.  Equity is a concept that is often used is the field of
finance. But the term can be appropriate with respect to the relationship that
is formed between agreements and disagreements. The terms equity by itself can
be defined as the concept of being impartial of fair.3  This thought process led me to form my
knowledge question: To what extent can equity be considered a
necessary factor required for consensus and disagreement to form Robust
Knowledge? I intend to
explore the relationship between consensus and disagreement with the use of
history and the natural sciences as my areas of knowledge and faith, reason and
intuition as my ways of knowing.  Before moving on to the relationship between the relationship
between consensus and disagreements, one has to have an elaborate idea as to
what robust knowledge is and the factors that affect the development of robust
knowledge. While
there are a number of factors that might affect the development of knowledge,
while looking into the root of the formation of robust knowledge in specific,
intuition has been known to play a key role. This led me to form my first
claim: Intuition can be key for the
development of robust knowledge.  The conscious mind is said to be responsible for most of our
thoughts. But it is also said that our unconscious mind is responsible for
intuitive thoughts. Intuition can be defined as being able to understand a
concept through instinct, without involving reasoning as a whole. Intuition is
only present when there is an amplified connection or involvement in that area
of knowledge. Intuitive thoughts can therefore be defined as thoughts that are
understood by one, without the need of proof or reasoning. An example of this
is Kekulé’s discovery of the structure of benzene. It is believed that Kekulé
made one of the most important discoveries of his time through a dream. While
chemists of the time were trying to understand the structure of benzene, the
structure entered Kekulé’s mind through a dream where he saw a snake bite its
own tail and the snake was made of atoms. Kekulé woke up and had discovered the
structure of benzene. After further research, it was shown that Kekuée’s
structure was accurate.4 One of the most common thoughts that can arise after
considering the claim is how can the knowledge acquired through intuition be
robust if it has no scientific proof, because without this proof it would be
difficult to evaluate the knowledge, without evaluation and perspectives, this
knowledge cannot be considered as robust knowledge. This premise led me to form
my first counterclaim, reason plays an
important role in the development of robust knowledge.  Without reasoning, it would be extremely difficult to
understand different perspectives. If everything that was put forward was
accepted, there would be no development in any knowledge in general. To
understand this, an example of Albert Einstein’s theory of the static universe5.

Many scientists believed that the universe was an everlasting constant and
Albert Einstein was the representative with a significant amount of work done
in the field of static universe, but scientists started to reason out how the
universe cannot be constant and is ever-changing and expanding and therefore
reason, used as a way of knowing, helped develop robust knowledge.  While it is important to maintain the relationship between
complete consensus and disagreements, there have been instances where complete
consensus or complete disagreements have been required to Robust Knowledge. This
complete consensus or disagreements was essential at the period of time. This
premise led me to form my second claim, complete
consensus or disagreement is required at times to form Robust Knowledge. Dating all the way back
to sixth century BC, the geocentric model6
of the universe was a widely recognised theory amongst scientist in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The geocentric model of the universe
describes earth as a stationary sphere at the centre of the universe around
which the entire universe, that is the sun the moon and the stars, revolved
around in a day. Although this theory was later disproved due to many
inconsistencies in the model it was still a widely acclaimed model throughout
the world in that time period. All astronomers had a mutual consensus upon this
model and could have also been defined a robust knowledge during that era as by
the definition and our understanding of robust, the model was applied by many
scientists and it was used widely across the world ranging from northern Europe
till the Mediterranean. It was due to the complete consensus amongst the
astronomers that the geocentric model is valid and undeniable is what made the
theory considered and used as robust knowledge of that time.There is a subtle relationship that exists between
agreements and disagreements, both of which help form robust knowledge. If
there is a complete agreement with respect to a specific area of knowledge, the
scope for development is cut off at the root. But if there is a complete
disagreement with respect to a specific area of knowledge, there is a delay in
arriving to a specific set of knowledge. Sometimes, this delay may cause a
disturbance and the knowledge may never be completely developed. Both these
elements play an intricate role is forming robust knowledge but it can be
questioned whether there is a relationship between them which can be used to
title a specific set of knowledge as robust knowledge.  It has been established that complete consensus and
disagreement cannot lead to the formation of robust knowledge. For substantial
knowledge to exist, there needs to be scope for further development and a sense
of consensus amongst people in that specific field. This thought led me to form
my counterclaim: Equity needs to be
present between consensus and disagreement to classify any knowledge as robust
knowledge. One of the most popular religions practiced in India is Hinduism which
has always been open to criticism from its origin. Hinduism is believed to be
an ancient religion and one of the most common practices amongst Hindus was the
Sati system7.

This practice involved the voluntary or forceful sacrifice of widows, by jumping
into the pyres of their dead husbands. This practice was widely popular as
widows were shunned in the society and following the death of their husbands,
all the earthly possessions of the husband were to be inherited by the widow.

Due to the lack of status of widows in the society, the possessions were
desired by the direct family of the husband and therefore this was a method to exclude
the widow. While this practice consumed the life of many women, of all age
groups, including children from the age of 6-7, as child marriage was another
common practice in India, it was never shunned or looked down upon. The people
of India followed this practice because of the faith they had in their
religion. But the practice was termed illegal when the British took over
Government control of India. The British considered this practice as suicide
and murder and tried to abolish it as much as possible. Not all Hindu practices
were banned, only a few that consumed the lives of others and while there were
revolts, the people of India came to realise the reason behind the new law. The
knowledge acquired by the making of the law is considered to be robust
knowledge as it is conceived by the citizens that is inhumane to force someone
into suicide or murder.  Based on all the claims and counterclaims mentioned above we can see
that robust knowledge cannot be developed in one clear way but there are in
fact multiple ways of knowing as well as areas of knowledge that help us develop
robust knowledge. Robust knowledge arises from both consensus and disagreement,
there is no universal pattern of consensus and disagreement but both affect the
attainment and classification of robust knowledge for without consensus there
is no way for us to accept any type of knowledge and without any disagreement
there is no wat for us to prove that it as robust.

1
http://www.philosophynews.com/post/2011/09/22/What-is-Knowledge.aspx

2
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/robust

3
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/equity

4
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19119.asp

5
https://phys.org/news/2014-02-einstein-conversion-static-universe.html

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