September 12, 2016 by celiadanqing
20 years ago, a British doctor Andrew Wakefield published a paper about MMR vaccine will cause depression, after he published this paper, a lot of people believed the paper is correct. There are several reasons, first is because the paper is published by a veteran doctor, who has been a doctor for 20 years. Another reason is because a lot of media reprinted the paper and talked about this for long time. These causes the masses believed it is true. Even later other medical veterans proved the paper is totally wrong, but most of people still believe Wakefield’s paper.
After I read this article, I noticed that Wakefield used paper and media to make his personal knowledge become a shared knowledge. Then to what extent, a personal knowledge will be recognized and accepted as a shared knowledge?
From the article, I can know that shared knowledge is a kind of knowledge that published officially, there are enough evidences to support the claim, most of people know and believe this knowledge. In my opinion, this knowledge does not need to be correct for everyone.
Therefore, when a personal knowledge is known by most of people and people believe this knowledge, it is accepted and recognized a shared knowledge. It doesn’t need to be correct knowledge; it also can be a wrong one.
And once this knowledge is believed by most of people, it is hard to change people’s point of view toward this knowledge because there are enough evidences to support this claim and also people believe this knowledge for long time so they tend to not to believe new counterclaim. The reason for this is because most of people do not want to acknowledge his or her view or claim is wrong and they will find some rational reasons for this.
However, if there is authority provide a counterclaim right after a new claim is published; the new claim, which is a personal knowledge, may not become a shared knowledge because there is a counterclaim to oppose it, so this knowledge won’t be accepted easily, even it has enough evidences to support it.
In this case, as the language is appropriate and strong enough, also spread this knowledge broadly, a personal knowledge will be accepted and recognized as a shared knowledge.
However, in natural science, a new knowledge must full of correct and precise evidences and logical processes to prove this knowledge is correct. Also this proving process needs to be without any flaws, so that no one can make a counterclaim or point out the flaw that says your knowledge is not correct.
On the other hand, history is easier to make a personal knowledge to be a shared knowledge. Someone said: “History is the lies of victors”, which means history can be subjective. That’s why in some countries; they have different narrations for same incidence.
In conclusion, the personal knowledge can become a shared knowledge when there are enough evidences to support it and people choose to believe this knowledge.
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