The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 45, 1998

Theory of Knowledge

Edward J. Bartek
Pages 15-21

A Global Theory of Knowledge for the Future

There is too much factual knowledge to grasp even a speck of the whole. This makes for an excessive diversity that lacks in coherent unity. With no coherency in the parts, there will be no coherent truth in the whole. Without coherent truth there is only a relative truth. Relative truth makes for contradiction from different viewpoints, perceptions, and perspectives. Contradictions deny a common definition and meaning of truth, morality, justice, and beauty. They also deny common standards, values, principles, and virtues. Uncommon values lead to personal and social conflict and confusion, to the blocking of learning in education, to the disintegration of social unity. To have common standards and values, that a global theory of knowledge requires, concrete factual knowledge should be unified by abstract concepts that are unified by abstruse principles that are unified by symbolic structures. Such principles ultimately derive from an ultimate unity and structure. This ultimate unity is the keystone that holds the whole systematic structure of knowledge together.