Knowledge, (for example fact, description, or information), is awareness or understanding of something. Knowledge can be gained through experience or learning, perceiving, or discovering something. It practical or theoretical understanding of a particular subject.
There has always been a debate about what are the different types of knowledge. This debate can last for centuries because knowledge is absolutely philosophical and everyone has a different opinion about what knowledge is. Read this article further and learn about the different types of knowledge existing out there.
1) Posteriori knowledge :
The term “posteriori” is a Latin term which means “from which comes after”. Therefore, posteriori knowledge refers to “what comes after experience”. In simple words, posteriori knowledge is a knowledge which is derived from practical experiences. The term “Posteriori” is applied to information which is developed with direct observations unlike mathematics or logical processes which don’t require empirical evidence.
2) Priori knowledge :
The term “priori” is a Latin term which means “from before”. Unlike posteriori knowledge, a priori knowledge is deduced from first principles. Therefore a priori knowledge is the assumptions that come before all the arguments, analysis or assessment.
For example, if you know that there are 10 boys and 15 girls in a classroom, this priori knowledge will help you to select a team of 2 boys and 2 girls from the class. A priori knowledge is commonly used in areas like logical thinking, mathematics, physics, and thought experiments. In the science field, scientific theories are developed and proved using priori evidence.
3) Dispersed knowledge :
Dispersed knowledge has no reliable source of truth. It is a condition where information about a matter is divided amongst many sources. Let’s understand this type of knowledge with an Indian old folktale in which a few blind people describe an elephant by touching the different part of the animal, thus, reach significantly different conclusions.
This type of knowledge commonly exists in the financial market because of its fast-moving nature. Different people concerned with a company have different knowledge about the company.
For example, a banker may know about the financial condition of the company, whereas an insider may have knowledge about the company’s recent deals and a customer of the company may notice the decline in the company’s service. Therefore, dispersed knowledge can create uncertainty among investors about the company.
4) Domain knowledge :
This type of knowledge is related to a specific field. The term “domain” is used for a particular area and domain knowledge is ability, information, or understanding about a specific field, subject, profession, topic, or activity. This term is mostly used to describe an expert’s expertise in a particular area.
The term “domain knowledge” can’t be used for subjects like mathematics and physics, because these subjects have applicability in a wide variety of problems. Therefore, domain knowledge has significance within that particular area and it is useless outside. For example, expertise in a software language or skills involved in running fast.
5) Empirical knowledge :
This type of knowledge is attained from qualitative or quantitative observations, experiments, or measurements. The term empirical is derived form the Greek word “Empeiria”. The meaning of “Empeiria” is experience in the Greek language. Empirical information can be used to verify the truth or to prove the falsity of an argument.
6) Encoded knowledge :
Encoded knowledge also called collective explicit knowledge. This type of knowledge is conveyed by symbols and signs, like books, documents, manuals, notes, and codes of practice. This knowledge is helpful to produce an incorporated and predictable pattern of output and behavior in an organization.
7) Explicit knowledge :
Explicit knowledge also referred to as expressive knowledge. This type of knowledge can be easily expressed, organized, and verbalized. It is put into words in a natural language like English, German, French etc. Therefore, it is easy to access and transmit to others. The information obtained from documents, encyclopedia, how-to-videos, or procedures is the best example of explicit knowledge.
8) Known unknowns :
Known unknowns type of knowledge is that type of knowledge that you know but you don’t know yet. This type of knowledge is very beneficial for someone because having the awareness that you don’t know something gives an opportunity to research and enhance.
The things that one doesn’t know help one to make effective decisions because such things represent uncertainties and risks. For example, an investment made on the purchase of stocks of a company with the knowledge that it may lead to disappointment in the future.
When scientists discover a new plant and don’t know if it has water on it or not is another example of known unknowns. However, there are certain things that one doesn’t know even exist. This type of knowledge is named as “unknown unknown”. This type of knowledge is difficult to include in decision making.
9) Metaknowledge :
This type of knowledge is knowledge about knowledge. Meta- knowledge is used to define things like tags, taxonomies, models, which are helpful to describe knowledge.
Quite a lot of academic areas like the study of books, epistemology, bibliography, or the philosophy of knowledge, are considered as meta knowledge. Meta-knowledge is a fundamental instrument for fields like knowledge engineering, knowledge management etc. Example of meta knowledge is planning, modeling, learning, and tagging of domain knowledge.
10) Procedural knowledge :
Procedural knowledge is being aware of how to do something. This type of knowledge is difficult to convey, because of its job-dependent nature. in the legal system, procedural knowledge is considered as the intellectual property of a company and it can be acquired after the company is procured.
Procedural knowledge involves more senses, such as practical experience, practice at solving problems etc. Procedural knowledge is different from descriptive knowledge because everyone has a different procedure to do a similar task and descriptive knowledge is obtained by doing.
11) Propositional knowledge :
Propositional knowledge is also known as descriptive, declarative, or constative knowledge. This type of knowledge can be represented in a natural or formal language such as mathematics or propositional logic. for instance, a rose is a flower, Moon is sub-planet of earth, a+b>b+c.
12) Situated knowledge :
Situated knowledge comes from a viewpoint. It reflects a context. This type of knowledge can be used to give an explanation of the difficulty of analyzing history or culture being an outsider. For instance, American researcher can form a theory about Indians but it can be different from how Indians view themselves.
13) Tacit knowledge :
This type of knowledge is difficult to articulate, explain or attain, such as mastering to play a musical instrument or solving puzzles. It is also associated with unique experiences which allows selective people to achieve mastery in a particular art.
Emotional intelligence is the best example of tacit knowledge because it comes naturally to some people to use emotions to achieve results. Other than that intuition, strategy, problem-solving, and decision making are kind of tacit knowledge. Some people are naturally good at them.