In 2012, archaeologists examined skeletons found during the 19th Century. Analysis revealed one skeleton, named Beachy Head Lady after the Eastbourne beauty spot where she was discovered, belonged to a woman of sub-Saharan African descent from around 125 AD. She had lived in England most of her life and held a relatively high position in Roman society. The first black Briton known to us, she confirms the African presence in Britain stretches back to the second and third centuries. 

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The general perception of education is that the more we study, and therefore the more we know should make us feel more confident within the subject. This general idea is contradicted by JW von Goethe’s  statement. In the context of this question, the word knowledge can be defined as what we know from experience or other sources which we have evidence from. The word doubt can mean questioning what we believe to be true to find possible errors in our knowledge or simply not believing in something. Doubt provokes our mind to question our knowledge as well as it gives off a feeling uncertainty. The two areas of knowledge I will focus my discussion on are History and Chemistry. Chemistry is a natural science which heavily relies on the scientific method. The scientific method is what defines an investigation as truly scientific more than the subject matter of the investigation. It involves several strict stages, all of which must be followed, to arrive at a demonstrable conclusion. Through these stages doubt is decreased as far as possible by trying to find evidence which minimises the amount of questions that  can arise doubt. However, history on the other hand is very much based on opinions and the evaluation of evidence, these evaluations can be different looking at the context and culture. Therefore there is not one opinion which all historians agree on, but many different interpretations which all look at the same aspect differently. As chemists are very keen on finding one final answer to a question there is a dispute between historians and chemists as historians don’t look for a final answer but for a strong argument which is likely to decrease doubt while increasing knowledge at the same time. 

An area of knowledge which seems to support Goethes statement in many areas is History.  By looking at the event of the Nazi Sportpalast speech in 1943 the general reaction to the speech is very enthusiastic, as the people in the hall which were addressed as the whole nation cheered constant and were keen to follow the leader. The doubt of this being the general reaction to the speech becomes probable only when additional knowledge of the people present was published as most of them were well known national socialist supporters which were already in contact with Goebbels. Historians disagree about the reliability of the Sportpalast speech reflecting on the general opinion about the leader. The dispute between historians is due to the different ways of gaining knowledge as well as the different ways of interpreting this knowledge. Historians gaining first hand knowledge by interviewing people who were present during the speech probably have a different opinion to those who solely rely on what is reported after the speech.  Therefore by the addition of the knowledge doubt increases which adds value to Goethes statement. 

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However, one way in which Goethes statement is contradicted is by looking at the periodic table within Chemistry. The periodic table is heavily based on patterns and trends, which is how it was possible to predict all the elements in the periodic table with appropriate physical and chemical properties before they were discovered, as the scientists used their previous knowledge to try and spot a tendency within the periodic table. Mendeleev was able to  look at the trends across periods and down groups, using his empirical knowledge and predict the missing elements properties like atomic mass,  density etc. He used reason and logic to predict that the properties of the elements, which was later to be called gallium, would be a melting point between 28 and 31, and atomic mass of approximately 70, without the broad knowledge Mendeleev had about the periodic table he would have never been able to make accurate predictions, even with his use of reason. Gallium was found in 1875, its properties were found to be close to Mendeleev’s predictions. When his first predictions were proven to be correct his confidence increased that his other predictions were correct as well as he was able to make more accurate prediction as with his increased knowledge his confidence increased. This shows that Goethes statement is not always correct as we are able to make more accurate predictions,  averages and estimates with increased knowledge. 

Nevertheless, there are other examples that Goethes statement can be seen as being valid is, for example by looking at Mata Haris execution in 1917, which is a highly discussed topic as many historians have expressed their doubts about whether she was actually guilty.  She was executed by the French for being a double agent and passing on valuable information to the Germans during world war one. However doubt about her espionage actions in the First Word War have increased due to the publication of her trial documents. The knowledge which was gained by reading the documents does not help to confirm her guilt of being a German spy, but helps to show her in an innocent image as there was no actual evidence of what information she passed on. Without the knowledge of the missing evidence, most historians are likely to have assumed that she was guilty, therefore this increase of knowledge increased doubt as well. When she was prosecuted they were confident she was guilty, but now that knowledge has increased and the French documents have also been published that she was set up by the Germans to look like a spy  even though she had never passed on any information. Therefore this example adds value to the statement because knowing more in her case increased the doubt of her guilt but without any further researched knowledge people would have been confident to accuse her of espionage as that was what she was convicted for. 

Although there have been examples that indicate that Goethes statement has some value, looking at the melting points of the elements in period 3 can lead to disagreement. By research Aluminium Oxide was found to have the highest melting point lookin


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