Like a two years’ old goes through the magical moments of appreciating and naming things, so do we as a mankind. Little baby looks at the round object in the hands of the mother and really struggles to give it a name for some time finally calling it a ball. The difference between baby’s magical moments and mankind magical moments is that we collectively come across things, phenomena, situations and presentations that we or our ancestors have always been exposed to but could never express them in words or mother nature brings something completely new in her hands and challenges us to give it a name. No matter what we have never given up and have always continued to learn and add to our vocabulary. Newton’s apple was gravitating towards earth hence he thought to call the driving force as gravity. Everyone in the past could always observe it and even experience it but could never give it a name or a reason. Copernicus explained that although you see the sun rising from East and observe it on daily basis moving to the West going round the Earth but actually your observation is deceptive and in reality sun is stationary but we are moving around it, though what we observe through eyes remain the same. Electricity, Evolution, Antibiotics, Relativity, DNA, Periodic table or Atomic bomb all were given the names based on the same magical moments when we appreciated them. Ah-ha! Is followed by a name or explanation, it’s a natural course of our ongoing journey.
The discoveries and appreciations are spread all over the history of mankind and all over the world irrespective. Whoever appreciated or learnt something new gave it a name that was close to them and was understandable in local or regional language. When we see the history of any discovery or the study of a phenomena we observe the words explaining and describing the same things or similar things in multiple languages. It may be chain including the Greek to Italian to Arabic to English to Persian that is beautifully linked together in a single continuum. Take the example of Copernican system. The appreciation seems to have been started at ancient times, we find names of Philolaus (4th century BC), Pythagoras, Archimedes, Galileo, Bruno in old times. The names of Noor Uddin Bitruji (12th century AD), Nasir-al-din-Tusi and Ibn-al-Shatir are all known in Middle Ages highlighting the same. Finally Copernicus is found in 1543. None of them was working on something separate or had any unique agendas, all of them over thousands of years are trying to make sense of what nature has presented to them.
The study of Human-understanding is no different. Philosophy is combination of two Philo meaning love and Sophya meaning knowledge. The word science comes from Latin and French meaning ‘know’. When we turn the pages of history to understand the development and evolution of human-understanding we come across many multiple terms, lots of new words and obviously a huge amount of hard work done by brilliant minds over centuries. For our non-technical, partly (only basically) philosophical and close to life (simplistic) understanding we need to understand the basics of some of important terms to enable us learn the marvelous contributions in this area. Consider for example the word Ontology is the Greek word meaning ‘being’. When we attempt to study the nature of reality of existence of being; in metaphysics this systematic approach is called Ontology. The word Epistemology literally mean ‘knowledge’. It means what we know or we are capable of knowing. Understanding the very basics of Ontology and Epistemology lays the foundation stones of Human Understanding and we need to give a try to understand them on our common sense journey to human-understanding.