I'm interested if there has been any research or experiments that deal with how the human mind creates and perpetuates the idea of knowing something.
I'm struggling to concisely express the question, so a roundabout explanation is in order. I'm thinking of the succession of frameworks that explained how the world works to a layman:
- ancient pagan religions, which explained the reality in terms of the complicated interaction of spirits and forces of nature.
- Then came monotheistic religions which once again have attempted to explain the world.
- Somewhere in between there have been many forms of philosophy
- Then came a myriad of scientific models which are erected in all domains of science:from biology to psychology, etc.
Each one of these frameworks attempts to explain the world. Each one has been at the cutting edge of thought at the time. Yet it seems to me that even the most accomplished physicist(the pinnacle of modern knowledge?) may still live with a patchwork of a world model, because said physicist may not be as well versed in neurobiology or some other "arcane" domain of science.
It seems to me that in this chain of succession, because knowledge is preserved, most of the successive models incorporate at least bits and pieces of the previous models. Do individuals build their own models of reality from whatever knowledge is available to their minds?
In the example above (from Nous on wikipedia), the model is neatly created from the understanding that was available to the medieval mind. I'm interested if this kind of tendency to "fill in the holes" and present a finite understanding of a infinitely(?) complex reality as complete is a natural part of how the human mind works.
For example, would the contemporary physicist's model of reality be primarily shaped by the knowledge of physics, with other knowledge "filling in the holes"? I know that there are such things as cognitive biases and follies of thought, are these the mechanisms by which the model of the world is shaped?
Thank you for your feedback! This question is rather broad, and I would appreciate if you suggest keywords or names of articles that I can investigate further.