Social and Political Theory

Expanding Understanding

It is possible for us to expand our understanding of the world without abandoning our core or our current range of beliefs. Let’s say that person A and person B have opposing views on an issue. Their field of understanding may be disconnected, adjoined, or overlapping. As  they engage in meaningful dialogue, the understanding of each may grow so that there is both additional area of overlap and new, unexpected areas of possibility. Each person can absorb the view of the other and integrate it into their own knowledge and being without shifting their center or losing their current realm of understanding.

2 thoughts on “Expanding Understanding”

  1. I’m convinced that the key to really being educated is not just learning knowledge, but learning how to see the world through other perspectives. To be able to do that allows people to realize that what appear to be vast differences of opinion are often based on understandable variations on how one interprets reality. People may not end up agreeing, but if they understand and respect why they disagree, they can better cooperate and compromise. Moreover, I find that while my core values are pretty solid, the more I understand other perspectives the better my skills at self-critique. I may not change my values, but as my understanding of the world is enhanced, I often realize I was mistaken on how best to act in accord with those values.

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