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What is knowledge?

Welcome to another intelligence lecture. Today we will be learning about knowledge using the theory of neurological intelligence. We will form an understanding of knowledge by first understanding the traditional definition of knowledge, and then mapping the definition of knowledge onto the theory of intelligence.

The philosopher Plato defined knowledge as a justified true belief, for instance if you look at a clock and see that the time is 11:00 you would know what the time is. Your belief was justified, because you learned it from a clock, and assuming the clock was accurate the belief is also true, therefore you know the time is 11:00.

There is one issue with Plato's definition. What if the clock was broken, and it just happened to break at 11:00? Your belief would be justified and true, but you still would not have knowledge of the time. Scenarios like this are called Gettier problems. They happen when your justification is wrong, but coincidentally leads to the truth. Therefore there must be a third criteria for knowledge, you must have an actual relationship with the object of your belief.

In the theory of neurological intelligence a neuron is a component of an intelligence which helps it think, each neuron has three parts, an identity, an epistemological method, and a relationship.They also have to follow a set of ethics.

The manner in which a neuron obeys its ethical laws is its beliefs. For instance the first two ethics they must follow are the values ethic and the social contract ethic. A value determines how a neuron behaves by itself, and a social contract determines how a neuron will interact with other neurons. The social contracts and values could be thought of as the beliefs of the neuron, because they determine the neuron's behavior. But how do neurons begin having, or change their beliefs?


First they must justify their beliefs. Each neuron will only accept signals from other neurons with the appropriate identity. Including signals which tell it to change its beliefs. So a belief is justified when it was obtained from something with the proper identity.


Second they must make sense to it. A neuron can only use or change its beliefs through obedience to an epistemological method. This method is what brings its beliefs closer to the truth, and if the method is performed properly the belief will be true.


Third ut must have a relationship with its beliefs. A neuron has relationships with other neurons. These relationships determine how it will react to the social contracts and values it has. If a proper relationship is made between all the neurons then each neuron will have a connection to the object of its belief.

So when a neuron's three parts are utilized properly then its beliefs are knowledge. Now that we understand knowledge we can also figure out how to give someone knowledge. This can be done through persuasion.

Rhetorical Triangle

The philosopher Aristotle figured out several persuasive techniques he called them ethos, an appeal to authority; logos, an appeal to logic; pathos, an appeal to emotions; kairos, an appeal to purpose; and telos, an appeal to timeliness. The first three each correspond to one of the aspects of knowledge, they are known as the rhetorical triangle.

Ethos: When you appeal to authority people feel justified in accepting your ideas.

Logos: When you appeal to logic people will be more likely to understand that what you tell them is true.

Pathos: When you appeal to emotions people will have an emotional connection to your beliefs.

But how do the last two techniques fit?

Connection to Needs

In the post on needs we found that the three different aspects of intelligence can be split into two parts each. There are the lower needs of completeness, consistency, and stability, along with the higher needs of realization, observability, and control.

Notice that each of the persuasive techniques in the rhetorical triangle can also be mapped to one of the lower needs. An appeal to authority helps people feel that your argument is complete, an appeal to logic helps people feel that your argument is consistent, and an appeal to emotions helps people feel that there is stability in your argument.

If the rhetorical triangle can be mapped to the lower needs then the other two techniques might be mapped to the higher needs. And in fact an appeal to purpose can be mapped to the need for realization. Because when you have a purpose then you have something to realize. And an appeal to timeliness maps to the need for control, because when you take advantage of timely situations it shows you have great control over your environment.

This just leaves something to map onto the need for observability. I decided that giving a person the chance to experience the beliefs that you have is a persuasive technique fitting this description, because when you experience something then it is observable. This technique could be called an appeal to experience.


I wasn't planning to add examples to this post, I do go into examples in a different post that is already out titled Raising the Rising Generation.

Final Thoughts

Some questions that I still have on this topic are whether it is useful or interesting to devide the different aspects of knowledge into smaller categories. For instance there were two different persuasive techniques for each aspect of knowledge. Does that mean there are two different types of knowledge? Also there are inner and outer needs, so could there also be inner and outer forms of persuasion?

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