Data, Information, Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom.

Posted on July 23, 2013

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What I would call an “epistemological hierarchy,” each level attains not simply more truth, but completely different categories of truth which must be fully embraced to captivate the fullness of “truth.”

Data is the category of facts.
Information adds the category of context.
Knowledge re-contextualizes in relationship.
Understanding adds empathy.
Wisdom binds them all together in one cohesive unit and looks to the future to interpret reality through the lens of full humanity.

Also, in order for the hierarchy to be valid, each foundational level must be substantive and accurate for the consecutive levels to have merit. Thus, you have inadequate understanding if your knowledge (relational context) is inadequate. Your knowledge is invalid if you have the wrong information. And if you have the wrong data, epistemology implodes upon itself.

This may explain why so much commentary leads to more contentiousness. Too quick are we to claim understanding, yet not realizing we lack knowledge. Yet we spout unrefined thoughts as if they have some grand insight or wisdom.

Ah, the foolishness of pride, the banality of vapid rhetoric, and the idiocy of arguing ignoramuses.

Posted in: epistemology