The history of Symbolism as a theoretical entity can be juxtaposed with the history of human knowledge. Its major expression appears to be within the confines of supernaturalism exemplified in various religions of the world. Symbols represent ideals in Africa and acts as the mirror of the unseen. In formal and empirical sciences symbols are codified and universalized for general acceptability. The universal acceptability has a double entendre and this is of vital importance in epistemology. The importance of symbolism cannot be over emphasized. However, how reliable are symbols as mirrors to reality? To what extent do we say that a symbol is a true representation of the ideal or absolute knowledge? The purpose of this paper is to analyze the epistemological character of symbolism in human knowledge.
The present study was designed to further systematic cross-cultural research in the area of children’s beliefs about distance, time and speed by comparing responses of elementary level students in three different countries (Canada: 150, France: 120, Morocco: 130). A pencil and paper questionnaire was used to collect these beliefs. A striking parallel between responses of students in all three countries emerged. These results are discussed in terms of contradictory findings concerning the universality or ethnocentricity of children’s beliefs about scientific phenomena