Sources of New Ideas

There are four ways of knowing which can gives us ideas. These include knowledge
gained through superstition, authority, philosophical thinking, and finally knowledge gained by
applying scientific methods. However, it is important to test our ideas based on the normative
standards that meets the four principles in science- universality, generalization, integrity, and
organization (Westenholz-Bless, and Paul 1).
Knowledge gained by superstition, a traditional way of seeking information is
flawedsince one cannot establish the authenticity of fables or tales. One element of superstitious
knowledge is that people accept stories handed to them across generation as truth, irrespective of
the glaring facts that can refute such stories. Traditionally, superstitious knowledge served a
crucial role in imparting moral lessons in the society, and in some cases used to reinforce
sanctions (Westenholz-Bless and Paul 2).
The second way of knowing comes from authority. This methods has been in existence
since the traditional times, and still relevant today. However, it is important to point out that
knowledge gained from authoritative figures could be distorted since people my fail to remain
accountable for their words. Second, different agents used to transfer such messages can distort
their meaning, makingit difficult to establish their credibility (Westenholz-Bless, and Paul 3).

Third, philosophical thinking allows us the uses of logical reasoningsupported by
empirical evidence when seeking knowledge. This method of knowledge requires the leaner to
have critical thinking skills, which will allow them to question all knowledge that they meet
(Westenholz-Bless and Paul 4).
The last approach used in academic circles relies on the scientific method of acquiring
knowledge. The method allows the learner to deal with solutions that have answers, by relying
on facts or events that are observable to establish cause effect relationship. The method is
considered ideal for seeking knowledge since it meets the four norms of science that require
knowledge to adapt to universal standards which can be generalized and meets integrity tests
(Westenholz-Bless and Paul 5).

Work cited

Westenholz-Bless, Claire, and Paul P. W. Achola. Fundamentals of Social Research Methods:
An African Perspective. Cape Town, South Africa: Juta Legal and Academic Publishers,
2007. Print.

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