Must the Unknown Be Present for a Conversation To Be and Inquiry?

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

The Basis for Inquiry is What We Do Not Know That We Do Not Know

An inquiry is a search for the truth where the answers we seek are unknown.   In it, we look at propositions that are relevant to what we want to understand.  We generate something by what we say through saying something to see if it might be true, or factual.    Its aim is to arrive at a statement that is accurate and addresses some basic truth.

Successful inquiry discovers truths and establishes facts.  Inquiring into something is usually a conversation where our speaking and listening together leads to well-grounded assessment or asserted facts that we can accept.  For example, by inquiring into the subject of this topic, I am proposing that we are searching for 'truth'.  In that sense, it is best to work together with others in conversation. To reflect together so that we explore a question together. In conversation, the process of listening comes into play.

An Inquiry Is Not and Educational Method

An inquiry is not a conversation about the known. Those kinds of conversations might be useful, but they can only repeat known discourses.  Conversations like that do not generate new knowledge.  They might reproduce information, which has value, but which creates nothing new.  It may be to share answers to the questions or provide explanations. However, this kind of conversation is not really used for discovering something new. It’s more or less an educational method.

The Discoveries of Inquiry Create Discourses

The genesis of 'informative conversations' can only be some successful inquiry that already happened in the past.  A discovery that occurs in the way can later be a useful discourse.  However, we discover new territories of knowledge when we start to think new thoughts.

© Copyright 2014 Robert Fertman, All Rights Reserved

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