Man What He Is, What He Knows, How He Knows and Whether He Really Desires to Know What is Man and What Does He Know

Man is a being who desires order and views it as a necessary aspect of rationality, which explains why he desires to know everything about the world. Since man is a being which desires order, he is naturally inclined to generalize, if not classify, the things that he encounters around him. In short, man desires the need to know.

When metaphysics emerged, Aristotle indicated that  all human beings by nature desire to know. It is a universal claim and it excludes no one it claims that everyone has an innate desire to know and that it is ultimately unavoidable.

According to Aristotle, knowledge is universal, and that man desires it not for the sake of usefulness but for its sake. This is because being able to acquire knowledge provides man with pleasure. Of course, motives may be a factor in the desire for knowledge, but then, a lot of knowledge are desired for the mere acquisition of them, and not because they are particularly useful in some way, except that acquisition of such knowledge fulfills ones desire to acquire it.

For example, one may desire to know about tectonic plates, but in analysis, there are a lot of instances wherein such knowledge may not be particularly useful to the one who desires it. The desire to know is so strong that the desire will not be satisfied unless the individual is able to gain all the answers that he or she wants.

However, according to Susan Haack (215), Aristotles statement,  all men by nature desire to know,  (Haack 215) is not universal and not an absolute truth. It is stated that man is indeed inclined to inquire, investigate, or perhaps figure things out for it is an aspect of his makeup, but it does not necessarily mean that all human beings are inclined to desire knowledge for its own sake. Some human beings only find it necessary to inquire if the end result would be in their favor. It must be understood that not all knowledge brings satisfaction to ones desires. In fact, inquiry or the pursuit of knowledge only occurs if the individual believes that the end result would be ultimately beneficial .

How Does Man Know
In analysis of the aforementioned information, it could be said that the desire for knowledge is very much the same as the kind of inquisitiveness that little children have they will not be satisfied until all aspects of their questions are properly answered to their content. Such is the way with man, for there is a never-ending pursuit of knowledge.

Man knows by asking questions in order to satisfy his desire to know. According to Aristotle, the mere fact that man knows is enough for him. In fact, even if he thinks that he knows of something with a false understanding (provided that he does not know that he has a wrong understanding), it still provides him with satisfaction.

However, it must be understood that knowledge can only be known if it is certain and that it is indeed true. It is argued that when one desires knowledge, he does not merely desire it for the sake of being able to fulfill his need to know. In fact, what man really desires is to know something that which is certain such as when one inquires about another individuals life one does not want to know about assumptions or perhaps mere speculations what he wants to know is the accurate knowledge that borders on certainty.

In summary, man indeed wants to know. However, it is necessary to state that such desire for knowledge does not necessarily entail that man desires to know everything. According to Socrates, in order to know, one must be able to understand that one, in fact, does not know. If man pursues knowledge, then he must not be contented with thinking that he knows. He must be able to say that he does not know. However, since man would prefer to know rather than accept that he does not know, it is necessary to state that indeed, in a philosophical sense, man does not desire to know everything, for he wants to know only what he knows.


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