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Home URL Link
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Faith defines as having absolute trust or confidence in something/someone. A common misconception is that faith has to involve religion when this is not the case. Faith simply indicates a close affiliation or belief in some entity, organisation or even a movement. For example, having faith in certain politicians or a parent. A knowledge question that arises from this way of knowing is “Is it possible to understand and practice religion without faith?”. Intuition on the other hand, defines as the capability to comprehend something instinctively, with the lack of conscious reasoning. It links to the way of knowing of emotion in the sense that it helps guide us towards knowledge without conscious reasoning, but differing from emotion, it does not relate to going into another psychological state. In a way, it can referred to as a way of knowing that is “purer” than emotion, as it is going with your “gut feeling” and immediately becoming aware of something. Intuition is linked to the area of knowledge of ethics as it depends on this to decide if a decision made by this WOK is the “right” or “wrong” choice to make. For example, someone could have an intuition about not getting into the car to go to the supermarket because they have a “gut feeling” that something bad would happen (car accident etc.) if they did. This could relate to their ethical background and the values that they were taught when growing up.
Present a simple outline of the basic ‘problems’ of faith and intuition as WOKs
The basic limitations of faith as a WOK is the certainty of faith and how it prompts us to believe what we want to be true.
Certainty of faith:
Our beliefs are not always true, meaning that it is possible to know that something is not true later when we believed that it was true before. Knowing in a way is a state of mind. In a time when we know that something is true, we believe this with great certainty. However, the act of knowing something does not necessarily mean that something is in fact true. A belief that is strongly experienced or acknowledged has a possibility of being false. The feelings that we experience towards a subject may be real, but the reality they point to does not mean it is true. For example, you may believe that you are helpless or worthless to society in a time of depression. Despite the fact that you know you are, you may not be. People that commit suicide because of depression have significant faith in their depression thoughts and ideas. Beliefs that are faith-based are what they are, they cannot be corrected through experience or thought.
Prompting us to believe what we want to be true:
Research shows that people tend to interpret ambiguous knowledge in a perspective that benefits their own interests. Our beliefs can sometimes be self-serving biases. This means that because we want to maintain or enhance our self-esteem, giving credit for success of our own abilities and efforts but also to ascribe failures on external sources. For example, a student that desires a good grade on a test that he/she had worked hard on but receives a poor grade could put the blame on the teacher for having difficult questions to preserve self-esteem.
Intuition has the limitation of:
Intuition based systems are not able to do long term predictions. Intuition is unable to do high precision predictions. They are also not as productive because they are unable to create new knowledge by implementing mechanical manipulation of the existing theory as there isn’t anything existing that is a “theory”.
Intuition also needs prior experience in order to use this as a way of knowing. Intuition is gained by learning, and it is beneficial if one person encounters the exact/same situation once more. Without prior experience that has the exact situation, one has to make a generalisation of a previous “example” experience so that they could guess what the “resulting” event will be which is why intuition may be a disadvantage when it comes to acquiring knowledge.
Present a simple outline of the justifications for faith and intuition as WOK
However, there are definitely justifications for these ways of knowing despite their flawed areas. Faith gives motivation. In the area of knowledge of the natural sciences, it is supported by the belief that the universe is well ordered and that human beings are able to uncover and comprehend natural laws. The scientific advancement is surprisingly driven by people losing faith in theories held before and finding faith in new theories. Intuition, speaking in relation to the natural sciences for example, is justified as a scientific approach needs vast collections of data and consistent gathering of information to control and look over choices or decisions. Scientific information is based on past information as well, and intuition would help make these decisions when acquiring knowledge about certain topics.
“The vagueness and ambiguity of language always limits the production of knowledge”.
If questions arise naturally, articulate them.
In class, we discussed about whether the vagueness and ambiguity of language would always limits the production of knowledge. Language defines as “the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way”. However, this “method” varies for different types of people around the world as they have been brought up differently.
What differs the most roots in their culture, traditions, religion etc. This is due to the geographical separation between certain groups of people, and depending on where they grew up, they were taught to follow certain beliefs and rituals that eventually make up language. Humans are required to communicate if they want to innovate, explore creativity or to develop. But if language is so “vague”, does this automatically mean that it would always limit the production of knowledge? In speech or writing specifically , vagueness is the imprecise or unclear use of language. And especially in these forms of communicating, production occurs frequently. However, the vagueness and ambiguity of language does not necessarily mean that this limits the production of knowledge although it is sometimes limiting. If language is more general and less specific when communicating from one to another in order to produce knowledge, then this gives a general idea to the knowledge producer but leaves the precise meaning to the receiver’s interpretation to further produce knowledge.
For example, in Vagueness as a Political Strategy (2013), Giuseppina Scotto di Carlo sees that vagueness is “a pervasive phenomenon in natural language, as it seems to be expressed through nearly all linguistic categories.” In short, as philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “Vagueness is an essential feature of the language”, and also suggests that in the area of knowledge of history or the arts (linguistic categories), vagueness is required as it can be a persuasive technique used to appeal to the respective target audiences. So therefore in this case, it would not limit the producer of knowledge as a result of the vagueness and ambiguity in language, but would provide them a new technique on how to convince their audience to achieve their purpose of producing their claims/thoughts.
However, the counter-side of this argument would be that need in oratory of the specific example, either in place of or immediately following the general statement, cannot be too strongly urged by generalisations/vagueness. In one of George Ade’s Forty Modern Fables a man has certain stock phrases which he uniformly uses in all discussions in relation to the areas of knowledge of the arts, literature, and music; and the moral is, ‘For parlor use, the vague generality is a life-saver.’ But for the public speaker, generalisations are useless for either imparting or impressing his thought; a single concrete example has far more convincing and persuasive force.”
Moreover, vagueness and ambiguity are both limiting and practical when it comes to producing knowledge, but it is important to remember who this is aimed at and who the target audience receiving this knowledge is, as this is what determines the extent of the advantages of using vagueness as a tool in language.
Despite the imperfections of imagination and memory as ways of knowing, the Areas of Knowledge have developed in such as way as to overcome them. Discuss this claim with reference to at least two AOKs.
There are definitely limitations when it comes to the ways of knowing of memory and imagination. Imagination in the theory of knowledge, defines as the capability or action of creating new ideas, images or concepts of external objects that are not evident to the senses, or/and the ability of the mind to be resourceful and creative. Imagining is about projecting oneself into the situation of another, and then perceiving of one’s own opinions and beliefs in that situation. This is why imagination is composed of pretend opinions and beliefs that are run off-line, detached from their usual perceptual inputs and behavioural outputs. Memory defines as the cognitive processes where past or previous experiences are kept. This, again, has the limitations of differing for every person as not every single person would remember the same event the same way.
However, despite the limitations that both these ways of knowing may have, they have developed in such a way as to overcome them. For example, the moral backbone of literature is regarding the entire query of memory and imagination. Imagination was elevated to a place as the highest faculty of the mind. This juxtaposed noticeably with the traditional disagreements for the supremacy of reason. The Romantics had the tendency to define and to present the imagination as humanity’s eventual “shaping” or creative power, the estimated human equivalent of the creative powers of nature. Imagination is not a passive power, but it is dynamic and active with various functions and purposes. Imagination is the main capability for creating all art. In a more general sense, it is also the faculty that aids humans in constituting reality, as we not only perceive the world around us, but also in part create it. Imagination also unites reason and feeling, it allows us to see the “what if” through our “what have been”s through our memory. Imagination allows humans to reunite differences and opposites in the world that shows appearance. The reunion of differences is a main ideal for the Romantics.
The Romantics highlighted the curative power of the imagination, as they really trusted that it could allow people to go beyond their difficulties and their conditions. Their creative talents could light up and convert the Earth into a coherent vision, to regenerate mankind in a spiritual manner. In A Defence of Poetry (1821), Shelley, an English writer, raised the status of poets: ‘They measure the circumference and sound the depths of human nature with a comprehensive and all-penetrating spirit…’. He declared that ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’. This could sound a little artificial, but its purpose is to to transport the faith the Romantics contained within their poetry.
Pure logic is only concerned with the structure of arguments. The validity of an argument is independent of the truth or falsity of its premises.
When someone is trying to explain or gain knowledge in an area, they may try to use reasoning to do so, depending on logic or “common sense” as per say. But how can we determine the validity of an argument or explanation through reasoning? In class, we were taught two types of reasoning: Deductive and inductive reasoning.
Deducting reasoning defines as arguments that move from general to the particular, in which it is a logical process that a conclusion bases upon the concordance of various premises that are usually believed to be true. For example, you are hungry for a fruit to eat. You find a carrot, black beans and a Fuji. You know that both the carrot and the black beans are not fruits. Making the conclusion that the Fuji is a fruit. Another form of deductive reasoning would be syllogism which is written in the form:
A is B
C is A
Therefore, C is B
By putting the example above in this form, it would be:
Premise: All apples are fruits.
Premise: A Fuji is an apple.
Conclusion: Therefore, a Fuji is a fruit.
In relation to the first premise, it conveys that all things that are considered as apples are considered as fruits. For the second premise, it expresses that a Fuji is an apple. The first premise shows a general statement, and the second premise instead, shows a more specific case which is what it means by moving from general to the particular. As the conclusion says that a Fuji is a fruit because of its properties that satisfies it being an apple, does this mean all premises and conclusions are truthful just because the argument is valid? Here is an example in the context of the area of knowledge of religion. All humans believe that the crucifixion of Jesus acts as the atonement of sins. A Buddhist is a human. Therefore all Buddhists believe that the crucifixion of Jesus acts as the atonement of sins.
Given the premises that all humans have this belief and Buddhists fall into the category of humans, it may be logical to assume that this results in all Buddhists believing that the crucifixion of Jesus acts as the atonement of sins. The argument may be valid, but it may not be in fact true. Buddhists in fact believe in the direct opposite of what this belief describes as. Because conclusions are a result of the premises, if one of the premises are not true, then the conclusion would be false as well.
Inductive reasoning however, is reasoning that utilises specific information and makes a broader generalisation that is considered to be anticipated. It is about making a conclusion based off of observations, although it allows for the fact that the conclusion may be flawed or invalid. An example of this would be if someone were to observe and find that many black labradors were being walked by elderly people. Then they would assume that black labradors are exclusively owned by elderly people. But just because this pattern exists in the situation this does not mean it exists for ALL situations. Another example would be in the context of mathematics. In geometry, a person could see that in a couple of given rectangles, the diagonals are congruent. The observer could use inductive reasoning to show that in all rectangles, the diagonals are congruent. Even if this may be true, the person does not have enough evidence to prove so because of the limited observations.However, inductive reasoning can lead to the creation of a hypothesis, which can be proven true later on.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of deductive and inductive reasoning, and it is important to understand that proving something to be universally true can be very difficult if not impossible, for the amount of diversity that exists.
In class, we were asked to think about the claim “even though there are problems with our perceptual systems, this doesn’t mean that knowledge gained from our senses is completely unreliable”. When we choose to believe to believe in something, we often base that on something that we have experienced or have seen, as that acts as evidence or validation for our belief. But this method of validation may not always be reliable, as we don’t always see what is true. What I mean by this is that we are limited by our psychologies. What if we were only able to capture that moment instead of processing it? We have seen it, but do we really understand what it actually means/is? Some other limitations of our perceptual systems include how we assume normal text and filter our abnormalities and how our mind can fill in a picture to fill in our past experience or expectation that may not be true. However, despite these limitations, the knowledge gained from our senses is not completely unreliable.
How do we know something is true? Is it just because it is believed to be universally true? It depends on what we have been told in the past and what we have experienced as an individual or a society. Therefore, even if there are limitations to our sense perceptions, it does not mean that they are totally unreliable. Focusing on the area of knowledge of natural sciences for example. In business, when a company relies on observing the market audience in order to achieve a higher profit when selling their product. Even if it was just by observing, this does not mean that it is totally unreliable. This is because they could use a universally known source to help back up their point of view. For example, according to theorist Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and wants, the business could use this source on top of their own perception to make a decision about the level of needs and wants that need to be satisfied before selling a product or a service.
The arts are all about emotional expression: emotion is the most important thing in this area of knowledge.
Art denotes as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power” on the dictionary. Without emotional expression, art would completely lose its value and meaning, which is why emotional expression is the most important thing in this area of knowledge. This is because emotion comes as a package deal with art, without one, you would not have the other. For example, during the early 20th century, artists developed an art movement called “Expressionism”. This means that the artist focused more on the emotional expression of an art piece instead of depicting realism. A further example of this would be a painting by Vik Muniz which is a reinterpretation of Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman”:
The image depicts a woman who has her hand up to her face, eyebrows raised and a frown to convey her sad emotional state and expression. This painting has a literal image of the subject expressing an emotion, and without emotional expression, the painting would not have existed. Because art is ABOUT emotion and they come in a pair, art would not be what it is without this part of the whole area of knowledge.
Emotional expression is important in art. However it is not the MOST important part of this area of knowledge because knowing how to use techniques and skills such as creativity and imagination to actually create art is the most important part of art. Of course, you need to know how to express your emotions when creating/looking at/devising etc. artwork, but you do need to know how to use methods to convey and create art in order for it to be considered as art. For example, if someone were to create a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen as art, emotional expression is important if it is performed to be enjoyed by the audience, however, learning how to play the instruments required to recreate the track is the most important in order to suit the purpose of performing it to an audience.
My own point of view:
I have chosen to use two examples that both show two people trying to recreate previous and to add their own touch to it for a better comparison. In my opinion, knowing how to use techniques and skills to create art is more important than emotional expression despite emotion’s significance in this area of knowledge. For example, if Vik Muniz did not know how to paint or use artistic techniques to actually recreate the “Weeping Woman”, the art piece would not exist at all because the artist would not be capable of painting even if he had a lot of emotional expression. Emotional expression is needed in art, however, knowing how to actually create art is more important which is enhanced by emotional expression as well.
“How Do Artists Depict Emotion in Art?” Artsology, www.artsology.com/emotion-in-art.php.
In class, we learned more about how different ways of knowing can be connected to the areas of knowledge. I have chosen to discuss about how imagination (WOK) connects to the arts (AOK) and vice-versa. Imagination is a very powerful tool as it allows us to contemplate about the “what if” and situations that may not be as evident to the naked eye – it allows to think beyond and “out of the box”. As for the arts, creativity, empathy, originality and problem-solving is often required and imagination allows for that to happen.
For example, in the movie musical La La Land, the main conflict within the plot was the differing careers/pathways that the main characters Mia and Sebastian wanted to take, which caused the dispute that put their relationship to an end. At the end of the movie, it shows Sebastian playing the piano and Mia watching him with her new husband. Then Sebastian plays their theme song that acts as a motif throughout the movie symbolising their love. The scene then shows the audience a dream sequence of what could have been or happened in their relationship if things and decisions made had been different – it shows the problem-solving aspect of the film. But the audience understands that this isn’t reality, but simply the chimerical, wildly fanciful sequence of the life that could have been true if it was not for certain historical developments in their relationship. Imagining the possibility of a “perfect” life for Sebastian was used when he played the piano piece, but also brings him back to reality with a gloomy and melancholic expression towards the end of the piece as he knows that what he imagined is not true. Which in this situation, can impact the way of knowing of emotion as well.
Knowing that WOKs are double-edged swords: they are sources of knowledge and are also fallible, how do any disciplines in the AOK you chose above guard against the weaknesses of the WOK you chose?
Imagination as a way of knowledge has its weakness of relying on the past memory to contemplate a possible future/scenario. It is very difficult to prove an imagined thought to be true because of its lack of evidence and credibility. When you imagine something in the arts, it can simply be to express your creativity without any reasoning. But the weakness that this offers is that you will have to remember what you imagined and record it down somehow if you wish to share this imagination for future developments. However, as imagination relies on your mind’s eye, it is possible that only certain vivid images are the only things that you remember when re-telling this piece of imagery, which may not be as reliable or credible as a source. On the flip side, the arts can guard against the weakness of imagination as maybe a vivid image is all you need to paint a painting. Maybe you only need a fraction of your imagination to act as a stimulus to complete a song. In this area of knowledge, it is possible not to have every single piece of your imagination to know something is exactly what it is if you simply desire to express your creativity and originality.
In class, we were asked to discuss “in what ways might it be reasonable to suggest that people who disagree can both be right?”. This can be true in ways that focuses on the factual information of that subject, but may not be known by the other person. What I mean by this is that people who disagree with each other on a certain topic may not be aware of another side of the story that could also be true. For example, the topic of the legalisation of marijuana. Various people around the world are violently opposed to this idea for its harmful affects on the human brain and our cells in their opinion. However, many other people look at this as a beneficial situation as marijuana is a useful medical tool. Actually, both parties are right for the evidence that we have seen from the impacts of marijuana. So can’t we agree to disagree but understand that there are many sides to a certain situation that we may not be familiar with or understand?
With this example, one side could choose to focus on the dangerous effects of marijuana and how it could destruct a person. But on the flip side, the other side could choose to focus on how this could help themselves and the human population, which depends on their personal and communal beliefs and opinions.
The world looks at a certain situation and often takes sides on it. Even if they disagree with each other, the rationale for why they would could root back to how they were brought up, their cultural background that could shift their view of beliefs and values. In many ways, topics can be controversial and subjective and often they are not “straightforward” or agreeable to everyone on the planet. Maybe this is what leads to a diverse world?
1. How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
How did you grow through this service?
I have participated in the Mother’s Choice Youth Council at CDNIS and am a part of the executive team, taking the role of the president this coming school year. I developed my leadership skills through this service by being in charge of more projects that the club creates and executes. As a leader, I am required to assign roles to other members and work together to create even more significant ideas that we can bring to our school community.
What areas do you need to work on?
The areas that I need to work on includes organisation. Planning is a huge part of a project and it is important that effective, efficient planning is evident. I find myself going off timetable and not exactly sticking to the action plan at times which is fine if I could justify it, but it was because of poor time management. Improving this area would allow me to complete tasks at a faster speed, leaving me more time to look over anything that I can work on.
2. How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
What did you do for service that challenged you and pushed you to acquire a new skill?
i have done the service of helping to raise money for kids in Nepal who suffered from an earthquake a few years ago through creativity and performance. Through this creative service, I was challenged to improve my performance skills as well as my collaboration skills with others too. I feel that it has helped me by challenging me to become more patience as learning these new songs and dances do take time, but I was motivated by the thought of helping the ones who needed classrooms and everyday stationary in Nepal. Another challenge would be being efficient during rehearsals. This is because we had a demanding time schedule and timetable before the performance date, so staying on top of the choreography and song are skills I learnt.
What does that evidence look like?
3. How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
How did you get your service action started?
I got my service action of the “Empathy Belly Project” at CDNIS part of the Mother’s Choice Youth Council by brainstorming with all group members. Then, we consulted our supervisors to see if it was a good idea that we can implement. Starting by just brainstorming on the whiteboard gives us a good visual of the general areas that we would like to touch on while helping us to remember them more easily after taking a picture of it to add on to the next meeting.
How did you establish a communication group to plan your activity?
We established a communication group by creating a Facebook group chat with all of the executive members in it so that we can ensure that everyone can contribute to the idea and the execution. This chat would also allow for everyone to be updated and informed about any emergencies that may not be communicated to each other fast enough.
How do you know that it worked?
We knew that it worked through the feedback we have gotten from the participants of the Empathy Belly Project and the feedback we received from teachers around the school as well. More specifically, we filmed a post reflection video (found on the last question) in which we asked the participants how they thought it impacted them.
4. How did you persevere in action?
How do you manage to keep working on your service action when things became difficult?
Things began difficult when there was a strict timetable that we had to follow. I managed to keep working with the help of the other group members by helping each other with tasks such as filming, drafting emails and coming up with questions. I encountered a problem of needing to find new actors for our silent film about sexual consent as our old actors had exams to do during our filming times. We needed to complete this before a due date so I persevered by reaching out to students in grade 10 to help out.
5. How did you work collaboratively with others?
How did you plan things and arrange things with others to achieve your service goal?
I planned things and arranged them with others at the family fun fair at CDNIS back in November by brainstorming with all group members. We started off with a huge whiteboard and starting throwing out ideas of what we could possibly do that related to our club and our mission statement. When we all agreed on a topic, we then wrote down everything we needed to do in order to execute this idea. Then on the day of the family fun fair, I collaborated with others by organising different shifts and areas that we were each in charge of. For example, we organised who would be in charge of donations, materials, making the actual bracelets etc.
What does evidence of this look like?
6. How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
Did you have to communicate with speakers of other languages or those from different cultures?
Not really, since most people in Hong Kong of the Mother’s Choice association speaks English as well, but at times it was preferred to communicate in Cantonese.
I developed international-mindedness through our leadership meetings at the Mother’s Choice headquarters in Mid-Levels. There, we met with the other representatives of the Youth Council from other schools, both local and international to understand their perspectives and learn about their new projects.
I have also made a video for the club to introduce the school community about our Empathy Belly Project in the school to show that we should be open-minded towards mothers in general and our own, as they have been through many hardships to get us where we are today.
How can you show evidence of this? (Think video, email, screenshots etc.)
7. How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
This service influenced my target group of teenagers at CDNIS to become more aware of the after affects of unsafe sex which would lead to possible crisis pregnancies. It has also influenced my target audience to become more aware of the hardships that a mother has to go through. I considered making a positive ethical implication to the school community by evaluating how each project can help our school community understand the risks that come with crisis pregnancies as well.
Eat a healthy breakfast at home at least 2 times per week. Real food, not processed. (ex. Eggs, avocado, nuts, cherry tomatoes)
8-10 hrs of quality sleep at least 5 times per week.
I was able to continue the goal of taking part in physical activity 3 times a week by going to my weekly dance class, joining the dragon boat team at CDNIS and going for night jogs at least once a week. I found that this allowed me to become more aware of how exercise isn’t just for improving your physical health, but your mental health as well. I felt that I was in more of a positive mood after exercising and I felt that it helped me improve my relationships with myself and the others around me.
For my goal of eating a healthy breakfast at home at least 2 times per week, I found myself meeting the goal on some schools days, but on some days I would barely eat breakfast at all given that I was in a hurry for school and did not wake up as early as I would have liked to (which also connects to my sleeping goals). But overall, as this goal only required myself to eat a healthy breakfast 2 times a week, this was met.
The goal of having 8-10 hrs of quality sleep at least 5 times per week was met to some extent. What I mean by this is that sometimes I would meet it on one week, but the following week would fail to meet the goal due to poor organisation of assignments as well. But I do feel that setting this goal has allowed me to become more aware of the importance of sleep and how this affects your everyday performance.
I would agree that this experience was useful in promoting health and wellness into my life especially when we do not have PE classes anymore. This is because blogging what I eat, do, when I sleep on a weekly basis reminds me of how I can improve my lifestyle to become healthier, and how that impacts me in the long run. This experience creates a voice in my head saying “Oh, so this is what you’ve done today. How does this help you become healthier? Will you continue these habits?” In which I felt that it does not allow me to take my health and resources for granted.
If I were to do this all over again, I would set more specific goals. For example, for my goal of “take part in a physical activity 3 times a week”, I could specify how long each activity should take (eg.1 hour for each activity) and what I’m trying to improve (eg. endurance, strength etc.). This way, I will have a better understanding of the types of activities that I could do as I am more aware of the areas that I am working on, not just for the sake of exercising. Adding on, I would like to add more posts about my sleeping habits for more of a balance, and this reminds of the progress that I am making for motivation.