Unification Thought Study Guide

IV: Epistemology

45. What are the two basic standpoints from the viewpoint of the source of cognition?

(1) Empiricism

This is the standpoint which views that true knowledge can be obtained only by sensitivity, and namely experience. Mainly English philosophers such as Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, etc., took this standpoint.

(2) Rationalism

This is the standpoint which views that true knowledge can be obtained only by understanding or reason. Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, etc., of the Continent took this standpoint.

46. What are the two basic standpoints from the viewpoint of the essence of cognition?

(1) Realism

This is the standpoint which views that the object of cognition is independent of the subject, existing objectively. Ordinary materialists take this standpoint. In addition, the view that this object of cognition is not material but spirit is especially called idealistic realism (objective idealism). This is the view of Plato, Hegel, etc.

(2) Subjective idealism

This is the standpoint which holds that the object of cognition is no more than an idea in the consciousness of the subject. Berkeley, Schopenhauer, etc., took this standpoint.

47. What is the transcendental method of Kant?

This is the theory that the "a priori" form works upon cognition. In Kant's view, the object of cognition is composed of the unity between the "content" which comes from the object outside of the subject and the "form" (intuition form and understanding form) of the subject. He also insists that the Ding an Sich (thing-in-itself) which produces the sensation matter can never be recognized (Agnosticism).

48. What is the dialectical method of Marx?

According to Marx and Lenin, man's brain is like a mirror, and the object of cognition is reflected in the brain through sensitivity, that is, just as if it were reflected in a mirror. Then, this is verified through practice (observation, experiment, etc.). This process is cognition. Effective practice can be performed only after forming some theory by reason. Therefore, the dialectical cognition is formed through the three stages of sensuous cognition, reasoned recognition and practice.

49. What is the cognition method from the viewpoint of the Divine Principle?

According to the Principle of Creation, all things were created to be objects of man's joy and dominion. Therefore, cognition is cognition for joy. Cognition is accompanied by judgment, so it needs "intellect" (knowledge). Since cognition is the multiplication of intellect, it is based upon the give-and-take action between the subject (consciousness) and object. In other words, not only is the object reflected in sensitivity, but also the subject must take an active interest in the object. Moreover, man verifies what was recognized and engages in practice like experimentation, observation, investigation, study, activity, etc., which enables one to obtain a more perfect cognition in order to gain more joy (satisfaction). This is what is called dominion. Thus, cognition can be performed by dominion.

50. What is the Law of Resemblance in cognition?

Joy is produced when the object resembles the subject. Cognition is cognition for joy, so cognition is always based upon the Law of Resemblance. Man is a microcosm and the encapsulation of all things, so the subject has everything that resembles the object, no matter how diverse the various objects may be. Therefore, he can have recognition and obtain joy.

51. What is the prototype in cognition?

In cognition, the subject should have the elements which resemble the object. These elements are called the prototypes. There are the prototype of matter (content) and the prototype of form. Moreover, the prototype (content and form) has both an innate aspect and an acquired (gained out of experience) aspect. Thus we call it the "priority of the prototype" that the prototype has already existed before cognition, and the prototype of cognition is not materialistic but mental.

52. How is the prototype formed in cognition?

Man is a twofold being with Sung Sang and Hyung Sang. Now, when we say that man is the encapsulation of all things, this encapsulation means a physical man in the case of the physical world. In other words, all cells and tissues of a physical man (material) resemble all things. But since man is a twofold being, each cell and each tissue has a Sung Sang aspect. We call this the original consciousness (original shadow). The original consciousness is the deepest part (base) of man's consciousness and is usually unknown to us. But when an object outside is cognized, the original consciousness plays the role of the prototype as a prior idea.

Further, the memory which was once gained by cognition usually is deposited into our subconsciousness. At the next occasion of cognition, this memory floats onto the surface of consciousness, and plays the role of the prototype.

53. How are physlicochemlical processes and mental processes formed in cognition? How is cognition established?

(1) In recognizing an object, there appears first of all physicochemical process in the central nervous system. In other words, when an outside object is reflected in a sense organ (for example, the eyes), a type of electric currect flows through corresponding neural pathways and reaches the cortex of the brain, where a physicochemical change, that is a trace, is left. Since this is a Hyung Sang trace, a Sung Sang representation which corresponds with this is formed. This is what we call a mental process.

(2) On the other hand, through the autonomic nervous system (also within the human physical body), stimuli reach the brain (hypothalamus) unconsciously and ceaselessly from cells, tissues, organs, etc., and leave physicochemical traces here also. Reflections which correspond with them are formed in the subconsciousness. These along with the original consciousness form the prototypes.

(3) Because of the similarity between the representation from the outside and the prototype existing inside, there occurs give-and-take action between them, that is, correspondence, and then cognition can be established.

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