Humans think, feel, love, hate, express, envy. But this is as a result of a particular reason. A kind act by a kith may lead one to express gratitude. Dedication and drive to unearth answers leads to questioning. Historians on seeing ancient coins, reason out the era of their origins through methods like carbon-dating. These coins then go on to reveal economic conditions prevailing in the era as well as their progress, trade and advancement. As a student in a school, I realize that love and interest in a subject is very important to learn what is being taught. To reason the teachings, invariably gives a clear picture to the truth.
All this can be done only if one is genuinely interested in the truth. “We think and live in one world; we live and feel in another. ” Marcel Proust is not true. Though, at times an overpowering surge of emotion may capitalize the other WoKs, and we may act in moments of impulse reason is an aftermath that often gets us to regret the decision. This is true in cases of underage sex, or unprotected impulsive intercourses. For that matter, even anger is often emotion overpowering of reason, an thus leads to a distortion and in many case misinterpretation of the truth itself.
Different people see and perceive different ideas, objects and items differently, leading to varying beliefs. Perception is basically awareness of things through our five senses; touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Perception through our sensory organs leads us to the quest of reality. A blind person will never be able to tell the difference between day and night, since he is visually impaired. Thus the visual impairment cannot wholly create a picture of the existing reality for him in spite of others communicating the difference in the time to him.
Thus we arrive at the importance of perception to arrive at the reality. Yet one must note that perception is highly subjective. It is affected by culture, religion, family and environment. Thus different people have different perceptions. In fact, my recent visit to an art gallery lead to an argument with my peer about what a painting was conveying. But reality is not subjective like perception. Thus other ways of knowing accompany perception in order to realize the truth. This is often logic, reasoning and communication. Though people may look to be very tiny from a high altitude, we do know that they are not small.
Thus our perception and reason helps us to come to a conclusion that people look smaller when seen from a high altitude. Without this view, we probably would never have come to a conclusion. Most importantly observation assists a hypothesis and leads to the final deduction in science as well as in life itself. Yet one must note that fallacies in language, emotion, reason and perception may give us a wrong picture of reality. At first people believed that the sun revolved around the earth, and the earth was the centre of the universe. Observation and reason supported this argument then.
Yet, the irregularities in this stance were later discovered and then we realized that the earth actually revolves around the sun. Similarly, for a number of years through my life I remained oblivious to poverty and malnourishment. Growing up in a financially well-off family, I never witnessed the realities of life like disease, deceit and sickness until I visited hospital, old age homes and read books about the taboos in society. Logic, sensory perception, revelation, faith, memory, consensus, intuition and self-awareness gives justification for reality. The truth can be tested through coherence, pragmatism, correspondence and consensus.
For example, one could show how the binomial theorem works through mathematical symbols. We can question a claim in mathematics, but we will then soon see that the justification for that claim will be a stunningly beautiful rock-solid proof hard to dispute because of the axioms on which it is based. Logic, pragmatism and coherence contribute to prove the binomaial theorem. A baby is largely inhibited to reason. Yet he can express through body language his emotion, crying for hurt or howling for hunger. For a baby the world is according to his sensory perception. Yet as he grows older and more aware, the picture of reality clears.
Thus we can deduce the importance of integration of the 4 ways of knowing in order to get a picture of reality. Just like it is impossible to study certain subjects without making direct reference to others, we cannot know the truth without making a correct co-relation with the other ways of knowing in any area of knowledge. For example it would be impossible to fully discuss economics (human science) graphs and tables, without the use of some basic mathematics. Similarly it is impossible to reason without observation, impossible to learn without concentration and talk without thinking.