Consensus and disagreement balance each other out when it comes to robust knowledge, but can you have one and not the other? Will the knowledge even be considered robust without both consensus and disagreement? These are questions one needs to consider whilst analysing this question. But what knowledge is considered robust? Robust knowledge is strong or vigorous knowledge on a certain subject or topic.Whether knowledge is considered robust or not can be taken under speculation, since both shared and personal knowledge have to be evaluated. Shared knowledge, is the readiness of acceptance by the majority of people, for example, subjects like math and science. Whereas an example of a personal knowledge subject would be a subject that involves opinions and personal experience such as ethics.
Hence some knowledge that is robust to one person may not be for another. Therefore we need to realise that not any type of knowledge can be considered robust. This might lead us to raise the question as to what extent does knowledge need both consensus and disagreement to be considered robust?The two areas of knowledge I felt were most applicable to this prescribed title are Human Sciences and History. This is due to the fact that both of them follow the scientific method to achieve whether they come to a consensus or disagreement. They also support the claim that knowledge actually does require consensus and disagreement to be considered robust.If we considered this statement as applied to History as an Area of Knowledge, in order for a piece of knowledge to be considered ‘robust’ it undergoes extreme research and inquisition in order to be called a fact. This fact is formed on consensus, since people have come together and agree to categorize this piece of knowledge/information as a fact.
This then raises the question as to whether or not they reach this consensus without any disagreements? Of course not, there are many examples in history where consensus is found that a fact should be considered a fact, but the different interpretations and perspectives of the fact lead to disagreement. An example of this is the atomic bomb, dropped in Hiroshima ,Japan, by the U.S in August of 1945. A vast majority of people agree that it put the second world war to an end, but whether or not it was necessary is when the controversy sets in.
Some may argue that hadn’t the bomb been dropped the war would have continued on for years, and that the United States instilled fear into Japan to derive them from striking again. Historians who advocate the bomb, believe it had saved the lives of numerous Americans that, had the bomb not been dropped, might not have survived. On the other hand, some people argue that Japan was already weak and defeated before the bomb was dropped, and found no great significance to it. Another counterargument that often arises is whether the pronouncement to drop the bomb was a war crime as they claim, or a genocide.
This is due to how the United States only directed the bomb on a specific nation and ethnic group, which also arises the speculation of prejudice. Therefore if this fact were to be analysed, it’s basis constructed out of disagreements which were then acknowledged, thus meaning it came to a consensus. Hence, allowing this piece of knowledge, this fact, to be considered as robust.