Friday, July 18, 2014

wissenschaft, kentniss, and fingerspitzengefühl

Doug Stowe posted the video above a few days ago along with the written info below. The video and writings were just too good, not to repost. Enjoy. 

The Germans have two words for knowledge, wissenschaft, for that which is passed along second hand from others, and kentniss for knowledge that you get from personal experience. Most scientific knowledge falls under the category wissenschaft, as it is passed along one person to another, and wissenschaft is cheaper and more efficient to convey through books and lecture than providing the opportunity to do real stuff. The only problem with it is that without kentniss, actual experience learning real skills to do real things, wissenschaft is difficult to integrate, and untrustworthy at best. 

There is another German term, fingerspitzengefühl, or "fingertip knowledge" which refers to the integration of Kentniss and Wissenschaft. It comes when the foundation of one's experience is formed by doing real things. 

As Charles H. Hamm had said in the late 1800s the mind seeks the truth, but the hands find it. The education of the mind without commensurate learning in the hand is a tragic mistake.

- Doug Stowe aka Wisdom of the Hands

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