The Believer and the Knower

“To believe means: to participate in the knowledge of a knower.  If, therefore, there is no one who sees and knows, then, properly speaking, there can be no one who believes.  A fact everyone knows because it is obvious can no more be the subject of belief than a fact no one knows–and whose existence, therefore, no one can vouch for.  Belief cannot establish its own legitimacy; it can only derive legitimacy from someone who knows the subject matter of his own accord.  By virtue of contact with this someone, belief is transmitted to the believer” (Josef Pieper, Faith, Hope, Love, p. 42).

3 thoughts on “The Believer and the Knower

  1. “Belief cannot establish its own legitimacy.” Correct, but I have to admit I never really thought of putting it in so succinctly. The knower however can also and easily be a ‘her’. We cannot destroy the conned fusion of belief&knowledge efficiently or effectively by leaving the wedge of different values between the sexes, high value for him and low value or her. established by patriarchy, the basis of belief in “mankind” = whole species.

  2. Hi Louise. Josef Pieper wouldn’t make a value distinction between the sexes in this regard. It’s simply a translation of a book that was written at a time when ‘he’ was assumed to refer to any human being and not merely ‘males’.

  3. And this is the problem with patriarchal language: inclusion = exclusion due to all the great divides patriarchy institutionalized in our species. Because the sexes were defined as “opposite” – male/not-male – patriarchy used difference = division. White/not white, rich/poor, higher-in-value/lower-in-value etc are divides patriarchy used to institutionalize inequality in our species. Divide&conquer guaranteed patriarchal control.

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