Did the Wright Brothers know they would fly before they knew how to fly? The common sense of their day said, “If God meant man to fly, He would have given him wings.”
A friend from a philosophy group commented: “I can’t begin to fathom what “knowledge” would even mean if and when such cognition is dissociated from curiousity about the facts.” This was said in response to my question- “Can we ‘know’ something by dreaming that only curiosity of the facts would not reveal?”
It seems that knowledge is an understanding of the facts, but is there something truer, or more real, than understanding facts?
“The influence of our wishes upon our beliefs is a matter of common knowledge and observation, yet the nature of this influence is very generally misconceived. It is customary to suppose that the bulk of our beliefs are derived from some rational ground, and that desire is only an occasional disturbing force. The exact opposite of this would be nearer the truth: the great mass of beliefs by which we are supported in our daily life is merely the bodying forth of desire, corrected here and there, at isolated points, by the rude shock of facts.” – Bertrand Russell
In dreaming, do we know the world before it comes to reality? I think of science fiction writers who inspire scientists to attempt what is now thought impossible. One day we will live in a world that we will accept as factual – that was once only dreamed of. Did we not “know” something important in the past then, did we not know in some regards what a better world would look like before it came into being, before facts described what is, before we had knowledge available to share with the future generation?