Since childhood, we are used to hearing that the surest source of knowledge is a book. In fact, there are many more sources. With their help, we develop and learn to live in the world around us. What are the sources of knowledge? Which of them will be useful in geography?
Knowledge and cognition
In a broad sense, knowledge is a form of representation of the world, an image or attitude of a person to the reality that is happening. In a narrower sense, knowledge is information, skills and abilities that a person owns and which are based on awareness.
The process of obtaining knowledge is called cognition. It can be sensual, rational and intuitive. Sensory cognition occurs with the help of vision and sensations (taste, hearing, touch, smell). The rational is based on thinking, it includes understanding, reasoning and inference.
Knowledge is a combination of sensory and rational knowledge. The main ways to get it are observation and experience. These are the oldest sources of knowledge. Primitive and ancient people did not have books andcomputers. They studied the world by observing it. So, they made conclusions, revealed certain patterns for themselves.
At the same time, an experimental path was also used. Having tried to run a sharp stone on a wooden stick, a person realized that he could sharpen it and use it as a weapon or a tool for hunting. Thanks to attempts, people got fire, cooked food for the first time, planted a plant, tamed an animal and developed to the present level.
Speech as a source of knowledge
At the initial stage of human formation, the only place to store information was memory. All the thoughts, information and conclusions that people might have made remained in their own heads. With the advent of connected speech and language, it became possible not only to think about something, but also to share it with others.
Observation of natural phenomena raised many questions. Why is it raining, the sun is shining, or a bird is flying? To explain these phenomena, a person comes up with myths, fairy tales, legends and beliefs. This is how people create a certain idea of the world, which they pass on to the younger generation.
The oral source of knowledge reflects the vision of the world and the life of the people. Thanks to him, communication between generations is carried out. From them, folklorists, ethnographers and historians can understand how people lived before, what they believed in, what problems they had. Language and speech are of great importance in the modern world. With their help, we communicate with people, learn the news, adopt traditions and norms in behavior.
An important source of knowledge is material culture. For the first time, it appeared in the form of rock paintings and figurines. Even in the Paleolithic, people painted themselves and animals on the walls in caves, carved totems, amulets and small sculptures from natural materials. Subsequently, these finds became the most important evidence of the development of ancient people.
The main sources of knowledge for anthropologists and historians are household items, tools, jewelry, religious attributes, weapons, coins. They provide the most important data on the nature and structure of ancient society.
Material sources are also the remains of people. According to them, biologists and anthropologists find out what people looked like, what work they did, what diseases they were exposed to. The remains of architectural structures provide information about ancient architecture. Much of this knowledge is not only for informational purposes, but is also applied in modern areas of life.
Developing language skills, a person begins to feel the need to somehow fix his speech. To do this, he comes up with special signs that carry a certain meaning. This is how writing comes about. The first records are carved on wooden and clay tablets, carved on stones. Then comes parchment, papyrus, and paper.
Attempts to create a letter are observed as early as 9 thousand years ago. Some of the oldest written sources are Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform, the Babylonian Code of Hamurabi written in Cretan script, etc.
In the beginning, the letter was created manually and was not available to everyone. Mostly religious texts and messages were recorded, as well as contemporary events. The invention of printing made writing more accessible. Now the most common source of knowledge is the Internet. It can also be considered part of writing, although the text is distributed virtually, in electronic form.
Sources of geographical knowledge
Geography is one of the most ancient sciences in the world. It studies landscapes, natural spheres and shells of our planet, the placement of various objects on Earth. This is eloquently reported by its name, which translates as "earth description".
The very first and simplest sources of geographical knowledge are hiking. People moved around the planet, observed and collected information about the location of rivers, lakes, cities, mountains. They recorded and drew what they saw, thereby creating new sources of knowledge.
As one of the types of drawings, cards appeared. With the development of mathematics and physics, they improved, became more accurate and understandable. So, many geographers used the achievements of their ancestors, using maps and books. Until now, they remain the most faithful sources of knowledge in this discipline.