Personal Knowledge vs Shared Knowledge - Content Raj

Knowledge is, in a definition that dates back to Socrates, justified true belief. There are two types of knowledge that are broad categorizations, i.e. Personal Knowledge and Shared Knowledge.

Personal Knowledge differs from person to person. For example, a quarrel between two people may be interpreted in multiple ways depending on who we blame for the respective event, which is the difference in personal knowledge. In fact, it may be right to state that the quarrel may have been caused by differences in personal knowledge in the first place.

Shared Knowledge vs Personal Knowledge 

Personal knowledge has varied results for different people, sometimes using sheer mindset it affects the people’s mind and body. Personal knowledge is easily changed when one is proved wrong or somebody changes his belief. Shared knowledge, on the other hand, is something that is accepted by the masses and has become a part of our daily routine or community. For example, in the Ptolemaic era, people firmly believed that the earth was disc-shaped. This was shared knowledge.

However, Copernicus and Galileo put forward a completely new theory suggesting that the earth is round. They were initially rejected and looked down upon, but finally proved their theory. This just goes to tell that changing shared knowledge is extremely tedious and tough.

Value of Knowledge – Effectiveness vs. Requirement

Let us take into consideration an area of knowledge i.e. medicine to prove the previous statement. I had a very bad tummy-ache and had to skip school. Instead of going to a doctor, my granny fed me some kind of mixture inclusive of various herbs that were used to clear the stomach. I felt good in no time and went to school the very next day. My class teacher asked me the reason for my absence the day before and I said I had a bad stomach-ache. She asked for a medical certificate as proof of record to which I replied that I hadn’t consulted a doctor and that it was my granny who treated me. I was marked absent because the school wouldn’t take home remedies into consideration. Also, a medical certificate was required as proof of absence. This was because home remedies, no matter how effective, aren’t mainstream.

Since allopathic medicines have been mainstreamed, they are accepted by the school as medical proof. Even when taking leave from offices due to medical reasons, a proper doctor’s certificate and bill for allopathic medicines are required to validate med claim services.


To make my point, I will take into account a way of knowing, language. Mainstreaming a language makes communication easier. English now is a mainstream language, and many jobs require this language to be recognized at a certain level of fluency. Bringing the previous area of knowledge back, a doctor and a patient from different countries require a common method of communication to increase efficiency and quality. In critical situations and life-or-death matters, communication is very crucial.

The language being mainstream also causes it to develop various dialects, examples being Hinglish, Chinglish, Singlish etc. For example, one of my classmates from high school had come from Brazil, her original dialect (her indigenous knowledge) is one in Portuguese. Since I am a citizen of India, my original dialect is one in the language of Hindi. But since both of us know the mainstream language English, we are able to communicate without any hassle. But also, we must keep in mind that mainstreaming something should not override the other. What I mean to say is that while using English, we mustn’t forget our own language, our individual culture, our identity. In the case of language, mainstreaming isn’t always good as it also causes a loss of diversity. The very reason people travel the world or love exploration is due to this diversity.

It is the unity in languages that bring us together and the diversity in them that makes us go beyond. Both are necessary for one to live an interesting life full of growth. Diversity is as important as the mainstream bits of knowledge bringing us together. Give everything a shot. Learn more, grow more, achieve more.