Reviewing Hermeneutic. Relativity of Truth, Knowledge & Texts 5

March 15, 2015

(Based on the thoughts and theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murteza Al-Shirazi)
By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi – Part 5 (Cognition interpretation approach)

What does Cognition mean?

According to several scholars and linguistic dictionaries the term ‘Cognition’ has been identified as knowledge, as other have given separate definitions to each term (Cognition & Knowledge). In addition, some scholars have adopted the notion that knowledge is more general than cognition, and other have stated the opposite by arguing cognition is more general than knowledge. The second group state cognition is more general than knowledge due to the fact that cognition includes the accomplished from revelation, inspiration, vision and observation. This notion also includes anything that is sentimental, fundamental and instinctual, which don’t have the characteristics of ‘knowledge’ according to this opinion.


  • Cognition: comprehending a notion or a matter according to its existence, knowledge and observations.
  • Cognition: intellectual formation of a notion according to its definition, which includes considering its existence, knowledge and observation.

(These two interpretations equalize cognition and knowledge)

  • Cognition: this interpretation considers cognition as two parts. Direct comprehension and descriptive cognition.
  • Cognition: according to Ibn Hazm, cognition can be formed by the testimony of senses and considering primary intellective definitions, cognition is among the necessities, which is the evidence derived from the senses and their comprehension.

(These two interpretations will present the notion that cognition is more general than knowledge.)

  • Cognition: according to some literary notions, the term ‘Cognition’ is rooted in the Latin word: ‘Cognoscer’, which point to the humanistic or animalistic cognition that include comprehension, education, memory, intelligence, vigilance and sagacity. This interpretation presents cognition as more general than knowledge as well.

In addition, cognitive sciences are considered as knowledge in accordance with some of the modern expression, which is evident by their names and labels. These sciences were established in the 50s, and they are based on researching the human intellective capabilities, which includes neurological and biological principles, and intelligent intellective matters and notion.

According to others, knowledge is theoretical cognition, such as geometry, astronomy, physics, Chemistry, biology, anthropology, sociology and psychology, and this interpretation neglects and contradicts the previous definition.

In addition, cognition has been defined as accomplishment of a notion or a matter in both intellectual and practical manners, to explore its characteristics and features. According to some the thinkers and philosophers of the 19th century, the circumstantial cognition is bounded within dissection and research of symptoms and laws, regardless of justifications for existence and occurrence, which are derived from our experimental sciences. August Kant argues that anything, which cannot be observed, derived and measured, therefore cannot be known and comprehended.

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