Nature of Knowledge and Discipline:
Knowledge can be defined as sum total of human being’s interactions with his environment and the way he interprets these interactions. It is the way one understands life. It is important to understand the process of knowledge acquisition because there are different approaches to it. These classifications and categorizations are grouped as ‘disciplines’, ‘subjects’, ‘realms of knowledge’ and so on.
A discipline is a systematized body of knowledge in a well planned structure. In other words, it is sum total of concepts, laws, principles and facts which explain relationship amongst different issues or matter related to it. Discipline is a well organized body of knowledge which has a specific domain, methodology and tradition. A discipline always has a proper structure. It has a subject-matter in which it deals. This subject-matter may be related to different views of life. They may be segregated or overlapping. Then, every discipline has a methodology. It has a well defined set of methods of inquiry and time tested standards to validate it or to refute it.
Each discipline works on a domain. Even each and every theory within a discipline also works under a domain. Domain refers to the objects upon which the intellectual operations of the researchers are carried out. For example, the domain of economics is how to satisfy maximum human wants given the fact that resources are limited And they have alternative uses.
Similarly, the domain of business studies is to understand different aspects of a business. We need to keep in mind there is a difference between the domain of a discipline and the knowledge created by it. ‘Knowledge’ is the production of verifiable laws, principles and theories which the researchers of that particular discipline have formulated about the domain.
Structure of a discipline can be divided into two:
- A substantive structure of a discipline is interrelated collection of valuable ideas which guide to do further research in that discipline.
- A syntactical structure, is concerned with thinking methodology and ways of reasoning that are used in that discipline. In other words, it is concerned with how new substantive concepts are reached at and how these can be validated.
Knowledge is also referred to as product of social structure. Discipline involves group of interactive people who create knowledge relating to the domain of the discipline.
Categories of Knowledge: If we ignore the mystical interpretation of the word knowledge, there can be three types of knowledge:
- Propositional Knowledge: It expresses the knowledge of ‘what’ i.e. the knowledge of true facts.
- Procedural Knowledge: It is the knowledge of ‘how’ i.e. how to do a particular thing or to say skill.
- Direct Knowledge: It refers to knowledge of persons or knowledge of one’s own state of mind.