Longing to Know by Esther Meek Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1475 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Esther Meek's Longing to Know and the Complexities of Knowing God is an epistemological work that focuses on the philosophy of knowledge for the average person. The book approaches the field of epistemology or the pursuit of knowledge and intelligence from a practical and realistic standpoint, avoiding skepticism and describing human beings ability to acquire knowledge in a credible and realistic manner. The author suggests throughout the work that knowledge acquisition is more a skill that people can adopt and subsequently practice and refine as an art form.

These are two primary concepts or main ideas expressed throughout the work. Meek also focuses throughout her text on the notion that knowledge is something that people acquire rationally and it is non-rational thinking that leads to crisis and despair. Rationality according to meek is simply the result of confidence related to ones thinking and actions. These ideas are explored in greater depth below.


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In the work Longing to Know Meek suggests that individuals should have confidence and faith in their intelligence. Further the author suggests that people should take pride in the pursuit of knowledge and discovery through learning. Meek uses an analogy of the magic eye puzzle to describe the skills necessary to know things. Knowledge according to the author based on this premise is nothing more than mankind's ability to discern patterns from the world using clues just as a magic eye puzzle doesn't make sense until one recognizes the pattern residing within the details of a picture (Phillips, 2005). A person's goals should be uncovering the skill they need to see the picture in this case; to do so one may have difficulty focusing on the exact details of the picture and one cannot focus on both the pattern itself and the clues at the same time (Phillips, 2005). Rather one must rely on clues to seek knowledge and define patterns sometimes overlooking the finite details of things.

Term Paper on Longing to Know by Esther Meek Assignment

Meek in the work Longing to Know encourages ordinary people to access knowledge with confidence and grace. The author suggests that everyone has the tools necessary to develop the skills necessary to 'know' including the skills involved in learning, discovery and in knowing (Phillips, 2005). Knowledge according to Meek is easily accessed by anyone that desires and seeks knowledge in earnest.

Throughout the work Meek relies on her insight of a fellow named Michael Polanyi to describe epistemology as a means of exploring multiple questions regarding life. The author covers subjects including biblical reality and knowledge of God but also focuses on contemporary subjects including modernism providing the reader with a contemporary view of the way people learn and know things, and how people can come to know and understand God. Ultimately Meek supposes that we can know God and understand all there is to know regarding knowledge through Scripture (Pierson, 2005). We can interpret the world and our reality accurately if we are aware of the tools that are already provided to use including the Scriptures.

Meek also touches on post modernism, or the idea that traditional methods of interpreting reason and reality are not compelling or not as driving as they used to be at least for Christians, which in turn has led to somewhat of a crisis among Christians to define and "know" God. Meek maintains that with regard to modern approaches to the filed of epistemology that "the well-entrenched misperception about the nature of knowledge, one that divorces proper knowledge from its inarticulable roots, has in fact led to the widespread skepticism and relativism of our time" (Meek, 44; Pierson, 2005). Meek suggests here that people are not seeking knowledge in a realistic or correct manner, and thus "face death by absurdity apart from this" (Meek, 44).

Meek suggests that people can find knowledge and understand rationally and skillfully by using among other things the very tools provided in the Bible and scripture. Further Meek suggests that individuals should "replace the term certainty" and replace it with the term confidence instead as a measure of how much one actually knows of the world at large (Meek, 137). The ability to do this and separate what one believes from what one confidently knows is a trait that is characteristically human. Human beings according to Meek have the ability to know with confidence (Pierson, 2005) even in an imperfect world, though many matters including those of the divine or mathematic for example are not… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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