What do you mean by ‘knowledge’?

“What do you mean by ‘knowledge’?”

Merely being true is not enough to qualify an idea or piece of information as knowledge. A table of true statements such as:

  • 238239587346 + 348439857639 = 586679444985. 
  • The word “green” has five letters.

may contain an arbitrarily large amount of true information while not being something that anyone would, or should, ever want to know. There can be no closed definition for what sort of information constitutes knowledge, but roughly speaking:

  • Knowledge is information that can solve problems
  • Knowledge is information that is useful.
  • Knowledge is explanatory rather than merely tabulated information. 
  • A theory contains more knowledge if it expresses information more simply.

For a deeper understanding of how Taking Children Seriously folk think of knowledge, read David Deutsch’s The Fabric of Reality and The Beginning of Infinity.

Sarah Fitz-Claridge, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: ‘What do you mean by “knowledge”?’, https://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/what-do-you-mean-by-knowledge/