Other ways of knowing
|Style over substance|
"Other ways of knowing" are alleged methods of obtaining information by various "alternative" (or non-scientific/non-rational/non-logical) means. Mainly, these exist as an extension of the "non-overlapping magisteria" concept that separates the scientific and physical from the religious or spiritual and as such, allow practitioners of pseudoscience to get away with practically anything.
When these methods work, they are usually subject to confirmation bias and selective reporting, and when they don't work the excuse is that the "powers are blocked."
Culture as an other way of knowing
The non-specious version claims that literature and art function as effective tools in teaching humans to be humans. Even a mostly-clear thinker like Christopher Hitchens was a huge advocate of the value of good fiction for humans to understand how other humans think. Or, as J. G. Ballard put it: "Fiction is a branch of neurology." Stories are a hugely effective way of communicating ideas to humans, to the point that narrative bias is a major cognitive bias.
Similar to this is the concept of epistemic humility as applied to postcolonial theory and critical theory, in that non-Western forms of epistemology are frequently dismissed out of hand without properly evaluating their claims or have assumptions made about them based on shaky pretenses backed mostly by societal bias. 
The error to watch for in this usage of the term is changing the meaning of "knowing" mid-argument:
- Say that by "knowing", you mean something like "learning something socially valuable" or "experiencing something that changes how you think".
- Get a scientist to agree that, yes, non-science subjects can give you that stuff. This won't be hard; probably nobody disputes it.
- Switch meanings and claim you've now shown that other subjects yield the same sort of knowledge that science yields.
Other other ways of knowing
They include, but are not limited to:
- studying religious books such as the Torah, the Qur'an, the Tao Te Ching, or the Bible
- reading inspirational books such as those by Kahlil Gibran or Deepak Chopra, or anything with a title that starts with "Zen and the Art of…"
- taking drugs such as LSD, peyote, psilocybin, cannabis, or ayahuasca.
- contemplating one's own inner, or emotional, state[note 1]
- investigating the philosophies of indigenous peoples or indigenous science
- divination via:
- ouija boards
- reading tea leaves
- interpreting animal entrails
- I Ching
- itching (and/or scratching)
- "gut feeling"
- believing - like really believing - after the manner of (say) The Secret
- shamanic journeying
- bibliomancy (randomly opening the Bible and reading something. Spoiler alert: someone dies.)
- noetic science
- tarot card reading
- to know … in the biblical sense
- the "eureka" effect
- To Know Him is to Love Him, The Teddy Bears
When it appears to "work"
More-or-less by definition other ways of knowing cannot be falsified, and cannot be independently replicated, and as such are not scientific.
This, in turn, does not mean that information garnered by these methods is always incorrect, just that it shouldn't be trusted on its own. Mind reading, for example, can be classed as an "other way" but may be quite correct with the information it generates due to a person's good instinct or a method such as cold reading (or at least when it is corroborated by more reliable sources).
Rationalists are advised not to try these at home without proper supervision.
- Carlos Castaneda
- Feyerabend's "epistemological anarchism"
- Folk science
- Science doesn't know everything
- ↑ Unless the only knowledge sought is a clarification of one's own emotional state. Even then, professional counseling is often superior to private navel-gazing
- ↑ http://poorlydrawnlines.com/comic/your-information/
- ↑ http://www.jgballard.ca/non_fiction/jgb_notes_nowhere.html
- ↑ http://fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.5422/fordham/9780823241354.001.0001/upso-9780823241354
- ↑ Argument nicked from "eric".
- ↑ "Ayahauasca and the spirit world," The 5th Dimension, Apr. 30, 2019, accessed Sep. 20, 2019.
- ↑ user FuturePOTUS, "Native American knowledge about psychedelic," Reddit, Mar. 3, 2015, accessed Sep. 20, 2019.