Knowledge and Individual Power


One of the most used educational quotes “Knowledge is Power”. By definition, knowledge is the broad awareness of something. It is used to answer the when, how, where, why, and what questions related to something. On the other hand, individual power is described as intellectual or physical ability to do something without difficulties. Strengths and skills can be classified as physical power, whilst imagination, reasoning, curiosity, recall, and recognition, among others may be classified as intellectual power. Knowledge gives people individual power, either physically or intellectually.

Knowledge and power are two philosophical terms that were initially used from a theoretical perspective by Michael Foucault. The two concepts are strongly interconnected. For example, detailed and extensive use of knowledge enhances possibilities of control, which acts as a tool of individual power, thus providing opportunities for exercising further knowledge. According to Foucault, power is everywhere since it emanates from everywhere. He goes further to note that power cannot be owned individually, but is rather disseminated through the use of complex social networks. For example, through democracy, people exercise their individual power over others. In this context, power is basically a social behavior used to influence the way people in a society comport. Furnham confirms Foucault’s observation by stating that power is the potential to have influence over others. Depending on the type of individual power one has, knowledge acts as the foundation of that power.

Knowledge causes changes in people and the society as well. For example, people gain knowledge through institutions of learning and their components such as books and other literary materials. For instance, through learning an individual can become a lawyer, a writer, a doctor, or an engineer, among other things. Some people gain knowledge through self learning. It is this kind of knowledge that gives people power over something, which in turn, is used to bring changes. Notably, knowledge is the basis of change in individuals and society. On the other hand, individual power is used to exercise influence over others in the society.

In conclusion, individual power and knowledge are two interlinked terms that have led some people to gain power on issues related to corporate ethics and compassionate capitalism. For example, knowledge is manipulated by the elite in support of their individual power to gain power for personal improvement.

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