Complementary Approaches to Knowledge Evaluation


Knowledge relevant to sustainable development and access to modernity must be further investigated. This can be achieved from many angles: scientific, philosophical, humanistic and sociological.


As an object of discourse:


  • Scienticism provides a body of principles (postulates, axioms, theorems, laws, etc.) and methods (corrosion of doubt, competition, criticism, verification, refutation, etc.) that were developed during the last 500 hundred years. Physics, for instance, provides insight into knowledge as negentropy.
  • Biologism reveals the ecological nature of knowledge (knowledge is an eco-library), processed from information gathered through perceptors, sensors and extractors. It provides insight into knowledge as a capital of eco-information that is computed and which involves proteino-electro-chemical-reactions.
  • Cybernetics offers useful concepts related to knowledge programmation, communication and processing (expert knowledge system).
  • Systemism analyses knowledge as systems of ideas and provides rich theoretical concepts.
  • Psychologism uncovers irrational pulsations, passions, emotions, sentiments and behaviors underlying knowledge and their associated knowledge pathologies (fixation, hysteria, hallucination, schizophrenia, etc.).
  • Rationalism proposes that knowledge stems from reason and logic (aprirori knowledge);
  • Idealism holds that knowledge is an artifice or a construction of the mind;
  • Empiricism believes that all knowledge comes from experience or practices;
  • Mysticism claims that knowledge is derived from the divine;
  • Foundationalism claims that knowledge statements require justification of the foundation of the knowledge system;
  • Coherentism holds that a knowledge statement is justified if it is coherent with all other knowledge claims;
  • Nihilism claims that there cannot be any fundamental justification for knowledge statements.
  • Humanism provides a set of freedoms and benchmarks related to knowledge expression, such as those found in human rights charters, constitutions and legislations.
  • Social determinism claims that all knowledge is socially determined, through language, education and culture.


All these approaches and others can be useful for the investigation of scientific and technical knowledge in relation to sustainable development and modernity. They can be useful to assess its current state in the African region.