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Old Wednesday, January 25, 2023
hammadtahir hammadtahir is offline
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Post 2011 Comprehension

Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:
Knowledge is acquired when we succeed in fitting a new experience in the system of concepts based upon our old experiences. Understanding comes when we liberate ourselves from the old and so make possible a direct, unmediated contact with the new, the mystery, moment by moment, of our existence. The new is the given on every level of experience Ė given perceptions, given emotions and thoughts, given states of unstructured awareness, given relationships with things and persons. The old is our home-made system of ideas and word patterns. It is the stock of finished articles fabricated out of the given mystery by memory and analytical reasoning, by habit and automatic associations of accepted notions. Knowledge is primarily a knowledge of these finished articles. Understanding is primarily direct awareness of the raw material. Knowledge is always in terms of concepts and can be passed on by means of words or other symbols. Understanding is not conceptual and therefore cannot be passed on. It is an immediate experience, and immediate experience can only be talked about (very inadequately), never shared. Nobody can actually feel anotherís pain or grief, anotherís love or joy, or hunger. And similarly, nobody can experience anotherís understanding of a given event or situation. There can, of course, be knowledge of such an understanding, and this knowledge may be passed on in speech or writing, or by means of other symbols. Such communicable knowledge is useful as a reminder that there have been specific understandings in the past, and that understanding is at all times possible. But we must always remember that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as the understanding which is the raw material of that knowledge. It is as different from understanding as the doctorís prescription for penicillin is different from penicillin.

1. How is knowledge different from understanding?
Knowledge is defined as fitting of the new experience in the system of concepts which are based upon old experiences. It is in terms of concepts transferable through words or symbols. While Understanding comes into play when one liberates himself from the old system and adapt to the new system of concepts. It is a conceptual and cannot be passed on.

2. Explain why understanding cannot be passed on.
Understanding is not conceptual Ė like knowledge Ė and therefore cannot be passed on. It is an immediate experience, and an immediate experience can only be talked about but never shared as no one can actually feel anotherís pain, love and struggles. Also, no one can experience anotherís understanding of a given event or situation.

3. Is the knowledge of understanding possible? If it is, how may it be passed on?
Yes, the knowledge of understanding is possible and this knowledge of understanding can be passed on by mean of speech, writing, or by means of other symbols. This communication plays a role in understanding that there has been specific understanding about some experience in the past and it has been present at all times.

4. How does the author explain that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as the understanding?
The author explains that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as the understanding which is the raw material of that knowledge. In simple words, it means that knowledge of understanding is the data about some experience or any other thing, while one cannot understand that knowledge unless one has not the experienced those events and those struggles.

5. How far do you agree with the author in his definitions of knowledge and understanding? Give reasons for your answer.
The author rightly defined the knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is based upon old experiences which one can keep abreast himself by studying those concepts while on the other hand one cannot understand these old concepts unless he goes through that experience, and also, he keeps on updating his understanding on particular experience as the new concepts replace the old ones.
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