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“Disinterestedness is essential in the pursuit of knowledge.

” Discuss this claim with

reference to two areas of knowledge.

“Science is Based solely on doubt based, disinterested examination of the natural and physical

world” (qtd in Kroto), the phrase briefly summarizes the question in attention. As this quote

from Harry Kroto suggests that sciences in its entirety has been founded on skeptic centered

and impartial study of the natural and physical world as in the assembly of knowledge in

sciences has been rooted by questioning the life around us and by the defying personal

notions and biases in order to attain pure and accurate knowledge similarly for all knowledge

not only sciences, one must be impartial for the pursuit of accurate knowledge. We know that

to acquire knowledge in the sciences one is required to be impartial in order to achieve true

results but is this true for all subjects? As there are some subjects where emotion ironically

also plays a key role such as Art where production of knowledge requires the expression of

emotion and we know that acquiring knowledge requires us to be disinterested but isn’t a

sole manner of attainment of information thus the knowledge question: To what extent

does pursuit of knowledge dependent on disinterestedness? The AOK’s that will be

assessed would be Human Sciences and Art.

The term ‘Disinterestedness ‘refers to pertaining objectivity or not being induced by thoughts

of own benefit, the term ‘essential’ refers to being necessary and in this case it suggests that

its the only manner of gaining knowledge, the term ‘Pursuit’ refers to more of a venture to

acquire more knowledge and the term knowledge defined by the renowned philosopher Plato
is as “Justified true belief” meaning that one has a suitable explanation following the belief

they sustain or represent.

We can link the idea of disinterestedness with the WOK emotion as emotion has been a

recognized element influencing our behavior, judgment and other things: the way we feel

about a certain topic or subject may affect the way we react to it as if it is something which

we perceive to be negative in our heads we may associate bad things with it and if someone

associated to the similar topic is in context we may have bad relations and thoughts about

that person too. An example of this thesis would be of stereotypes, a false stereotype: “All

Muslims are terrorists” if one perceives this to be true and has an interaction with a Muslim

he might insult him or avoid him caused by the impression of the stereotype. We can see the

need of disinterestedness trait required in the pursuit of knowledge in the AOK human

sciences as researches conducted require avoidance of personal notions and biases in order

to gain accurate information.

Emotion as a WOK, connected to biases/preconceptions and subsequently leading to

obtaining false information, we know emotion is a very erratic way of knowing as it leads to

biases and subsequently false representation stemmed by false information, it can cloud our

judgment as if we may have a preconceived notion about the specific topic or want a specific

result to be most prominent if in a study; we might disregard other factors which might

conflict with the desired result and could have given true results. We can see emotions

causing many misfortunes for some like a wronged conviction of a wrong suspect if witnesses

associate certain negative feelings with the person in questions and may cause penalization

for that person acting in an untrue manner keeping this in mind. Even though emotion could

be considered as a flawed rooted system in humans, but it differentiates us from other species
and it is what makes us human as we also feel remorse and other sympathetic feelings and

other feelings which makes us ‘humans’. A real life example of emotion causing inaccurate

conclusions and consequential outcomes is if of a sexologist known as Dr. Money who

encourage reassignment of gender of a child that suffered an irreparable damage to his penis,

where it was suggested by him to raise him as a girl, proposed idea that gender is fluid till a

certain age; substantiated with no evidence and was believed to be and the child was raised

to be a girl till puberty as when the subject understood its true nature and caused him to have

depression throughout his life and consequently leading to his suicide. It shows that Dr.

Money wanted his theory to work, confirmation bias without evidence or disregard towards

conflicting data resulted in a demise.SS

Human Sciences as an AOK, Human Sciences can be defined as the learning of humans in the

social, cultural, biological and behavioral features of an individual so the study involves

studying human nature and how we function from all perspective and reasoning it, the

information obtained in these studies are through experimenting, descriptive, correlations

studies of human subjects or animal; subjects and deducing conclusion based on similarities.

Taking psychology as an example under human sciences, majority of the information in

psychology have been through researching and studying humans and sometimes animals with

ethics in question but even then it has all been through interaction except for certain non

involved approach, the researchers must account for their biases and if an interview they

must ask the interviewee to corroborate the findings for a better understandings and must

perform other ethical actions in conducting and reporting of the study for a more credible

source of work, to have the attribute of disinterestedness in this field is indispensable,

personal notions should never be in conflict with findings as false representations and other

misconducts are heavily penalized as in revoking of practicing as a researcher followed by

defamation and other obvious ethical chains such as false information provided. To pursuit

credible knowledge it is obligatory to account and avoid biases. Real life example of

participant bias, when in some cases the participants attempt to guess the aim of the

research in accordance to the setting of the research as provide responses which are desirable

to the guessed caused, labelled as participant bias, which has a colossal influence on findings

as it it is not what they actually might think and would have had responded to and

subsequently affects conclusions and accordingly false representation, the researcher can

ensure confidentiality, and building a rapport which might make them reveal the truth more,

and the information provided to be in a judge free manner so it doesn’t inhibit their true

answers because of judgment fear and in general ask neutral questions to not indicate a

certain response which might differ from their reality

Art as another AOK, Natural Sciences can be defined as a


Kroto, Harry. “Disinterested Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore, 24th November 2018