Knowledge as practice

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The criterion for practical success is connectivity. Knowledge of any kind or origin has to have a special format when entering the political sphere.

“Knowledge plays the role of both giving the novelty a citable, remarkable and observable shape and of identifying the public action as something which changes the world” (Nassehi, w. j., 1). In our investigations it is a practical question to observe in what contexts something has an impact as knowledge. Knowledge can be measured only by its social success: both in the fields of its political usage as within the scientific community. The criterion for practical success is connectivity: How can other speakers connect to a speech act which claims to express knowledge? Is there a continuation of communication or of action – be it further research or a political action – as a reaction of the knowledge communication? Has the knowledge communication any observable impacts? Knowledge is in this approach a question of action – of “doing” knowledge.

Knowledge of any kind or origin has to have a special format when entering the political sphere. Knowledge which is valuable in other fields will not automatically become valuable in political action. The political field cannot handle knowledge contents which are foreign from its own operating rules. Whenever entering the political arena from the outside, knowledge has to go through a special transformation process in order to be able to become a resource for political action. In the case of scientific or academic knowledge, among other formal changes it has to get rid of its special kind of self-doubt which is inherent to scientific knowledge. To have the chance to have an impact on practical decisions and solutions within policies it needs a special form of self-confidence– the opposite of self-doubt. Knowledge, when claiming to be a resource for policymaking has to present a special plausibility: its practical prove is its social success, now, entering the field of policymaking, its ability to influence practical decisions. As the Portugese Education team has put it: "In this public action there is a clear valuing of the knowledge that has passed the test of “feasibility”, which derives from verifying positive implementation of such knowledge in “the context of practice”. (...) The knowledge that seems to carry the most weight is that which is perceived as able to make the practices of sex education in the school successfully work. The priority is for “what works”“ (Cibele & al., 2010, 38). "What works“ – the concept of "doing knowledge could not be better put to a point.


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