What is Arts?

“Unlike the arts, science tells us something valuable about the world.” 

Defining the statement: Valuable is something that benefits the world and allows people to obtain some form of prossession such as knowledge .

Arts does not offer us knowledge about how the world works and is not essential for living. Unlike the science, it does not help explain how stuff works in real life. It doesn’t provide knowledge that we are required to have in order to survive. For example, robots can live although they don’t feel emotions, meaning that there is a possibility that they can not understand or interpret the meaning behind the art piece or the emotion felt and do not create art.  In contrary, science gives us valuable facts, data and explanation to the phenomenon and directly gives us suggestions and knowledge. We wouldn’t be able to survive without science, for example, all of us would have gone extinct if we do not have an understanding of the diseases and medications that could kill them. Art might be biased, different people might view the art piece and interpret them differently, people might find it hard to understand a particular message conveyed from a piece of artwork.  The piece itself does give us any form of knowledge,  information comes from the sharing of information and opinions of a collective group about the artwork.

Art has it’s place and purpose in society. Art allows us to understand the world better in different subjects, such as psychology, history and the sciences. It tells us about human behaviours and the existence of human. Through novels and literature, the characters’ inner thoughts, actions and how they react to situations allow us might help explain the behaviours of certain people. It also allows us to have a better understanding of the history or the living conditions. For example, photographs taken during the war time help us or the future generation to better visualize the situation and the human emotions captured in these photographs again help us understand emotions of human.  Arts can also be in form of diagrams or models. These diagrams and models are extremely helpful in the sciences. Some people are able to learn in science through diagrams as it helps us visualize subjects that are not visible. One example of knowlege from art would be looking at drawing of atoms and drawing of graphs. These art pieces give us knowledge of how the atomic structure looks like or how a certain equation looks like.

 

Intro to NS

Reflecting on our discussions in class, and with inspiration from the TED video, what distinguishes Natural Science from other AOKs?

Science participates in deductive, inductive method as well as in modelling. Science is a special area of knowledge where they develop a hypothesis, they then deduce its consequences, observe those consequences. This type of deductive method which most experiments follow along proves that science is objective and is bias.  As we set up a hypothesis, we are already biased towards one side, we then unintentionally or intentionally find evidence that supports the claim and diminish the importance of the pieces of evidence against the claim. In inductive methods, science usually starts with observations and a hypothesis was generated. As scientists like to find out the causes of how things work, they would often create models to test things out. Science is a consense of the scientific experts who have judged the pieces of evidence and come to a conclusion. Therefore paradigm shifts happened rarely because it requires powerful evidence to initiate and sustain them, and has to ability to convinces all of the experts. Therefore, to some extent, science appeal to authority. Science also cannot prove but yet it can disprove theories. All it needs is one counter example and the entire theory has to be amended. Therefore scientific theories are constantly changing and amending. 

 

 

Faith and Intuition

Faith as WOK

Faith doesn’t necessarily have to relate to religion, it could also mean trusting or having confidence in something or someone completely. It acts as a guiding path, it motivates humans to complete certain acts and keep improving. In Natural science, many things are based ion faith; for example when scientists make hypothesis all they’re doing is creating statements without any proof of their success or if they are accurate. Faith offers a structure in our lives and even though it may not seem like a very important aspect, most people need something to believe in. For most religions, there is almost no evidence to support their beliefs but still, people believe in them because they agree with their morals, or because they actually believe there is someone out there who can always help them and that brings hope into their lives. Faith also establishes our ethics and morals which helps us to understand ourselves better and determine the choices we make.

Problems’ with faith as WOKs

  • Faith does not need any justification or proof. Those who hold the faith may see the belief as self-evident, while others may not. Therefore, it is not convincing for everyone, people will start questioning if what they believe in is actually true or not. For example, in religion,  Jihadis, when they receive their training, are implanted with the misleading faith that God will promise them paradise as a reward for acts of martyrdom. It lacks certainty as some people might disagree with the way they act.

Language

 

 “The vagueness and ambiguity of language always limits the production of knowledge”.

Humans have been using language to express our thoughts, connect with others and also share our knowledge since the beginning of time. The combination of sound that is used to communicate with people forms one of the fundamental parts of the community. In some ways, language allows us to facilitate our thoughts and help us to develop them well. Without language, our thoughts would make no sense as thinking also requires a natural mental language. Therefore much of our knowledge acquisition is mostly based on our language.

However, there are times when language becomes vague and ambiguous and limits our production of knowledge, people have hard times associating things together to show patterns which explain how the world works. For example in Natural Science,(chemistry)  there are specific terms for different compounds. There are organic compounds which look similar to a structure drawing but have vastly different properties. One example of disastrously different effects of very similar molecules is thalidomide. There are two isomers, only differing in their stereochemistry. The (R)-isomer is responsible for the sedating effect it was initially used for. The (S)-isomer lead to horrifying birth defects in the children of woman that took that drug. A slight error when describing the structure of compounds due to the vagueness of language might limit our understanding of the compounds.

 

Another aspect that can be considered is the Arts. Arts, similar to language is also a very effective way of conveying concepts and emotions in a way that others can understand and recognise. Metaphors are often used in commercials nowadays. However, a lot of the commercials are targeted towards a specific type of people. The Macdonald advertisement showed below are targetted towards Muslims. Muslims may see something in this text that non-Muslims may miss, the french fries which represent the fingers of hands that are praying. NOn-muslims might not be able to understand the culture of the metaphor and therefore the message they receive will be limited.

 

 

 

Memory and Imagination

 

  1. 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.

Both imagination and memory as a way of knowing are imperfect. Imagination can mislead people on how they interpret situations as fantasy might lead us to imagine things that are impossible for logic to prove. Our memory can be unreliable at times as people have the tendency to fill in gaps of missing information with what they believe is true so that a logical chain is made. Research shows that what we feel when experiencing an event, has more to do with remembering it, even if it was insignificant or worth remembering. Sometimes we may not realize it, but every day we are forming new memories with imaginations, discarding old ones and recollecting those that we thought we’d never see so clearly in our mind’s eye.

To overcome the challenges in history, people started to record history in different forms. Before words were invented, human used oral tradition which is the passing of history through verbal communication as a way of preserving memory. The problem with oral tradition is that it might be biased.  This is possible because of nature of transmission itself. Oral transmission is full of imagination, exaggeration, creativity. Oral tradition does not go very far in the past. The transmission of information depends on the power of memories of successive generations. Therefore human started to record history in written form. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, beginning with Sumerian Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC. Through the documents of the written communication top executive can present the information more accurately and clearly. Also, in this communication system information is recorded permanently. So, there is less possibility of distortion and alteration of the information. Natural Science is another area of knowledge that has overcome this challenge. For example, when we were to understand the growth and division of cells, we would first read about the process in textbooks and imagine the movements in the cell in our minds. However, this is not reliable because the picture we have in our mind might be completely different in reality. There is no way of explaining it in real life. The invention of the microscope allowed us to view very tiny organisms and rely less on our imagination.

 

Reason

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.

Simply post your thoughts with reference to at least one AOK.

I agree with this statement. An argument can be invalid even if its conclusion is true, and an argument can be valid even if its conclusion is false. We often try to make sense of something through a series of statements using two types of reasoning- deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning starts with a broad general principle and examines the possibilities to reach a certain conclusion. Deductive reasoning usually follows steps. A common example would be “ Every A is B, This C is A.” The two premises would lead to the conclusion “This C is B”. 

In deductive reasoning, if something is true of a class of things in general, it is also true for all members of that class. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that the argument is valid. An example is shown above:

“All psychological scientists conduct empirical research.

I conduct empirical research.

Therefore, I am a psychological scientist.”

It is assumed that the premises “ All psychological scientists conduct empirical research.” and “She conducts empirical research.” are true. Therefore, the conclusion is true and logical. Yet it is not a valid argument as All psychological scientists conduct empirical research and so do I. However, that’s not what tells us that I am a psychological scientist. I might be someone who conducts empirical research but isn’t a psychological scientist at all.

There are also times when the premises are false but the argument is valid. Consider the following example:

“All bald men are grandfathers.

Harold is bald.

Therefore, Harold is a grandfather”.

In this situation, the generalization is not true but it manages to come to a logical conclusion. The premise is false “”All bald men are grandfathers”, there are grandfathers who are not bald, but the entire argument is valid logically.

Inductive reasoning, on the contrary, makes broad generalizations from specific observations. We often do so in science experiments. We created an experiment to test our hypothesis, we collected data and through the data, we create a conclusion based on the data. Yet, there might be loopholes in conclusions. Here’s an example:

“Harold is a grandfather.

Harold is bald.

Therefore, all grandfathers are bald.”

Both “Harold is a grandfather” and “Harold is bald.” are facts, yet the conclusion does not follow logically from the statements. Even if all of the premises are true in a statement, inductive reasoning allows for the conclusion to be false. 

Sense Perception

Even though there are problems with our perceptual systems, this doesn’t mean that knowledge gained from our senses is completely unreliable.

Discuss this claim with reference to at least one Areas of Knowledge.

*Try to keep this within a few paragraphs.

**Use real examples to back up your arguments

***Remember to explore counter-arguments

Today in class, we discussed about Sense Perception which is categorised under Ways of Knowing. We learnt that there is no direct connection from mind to the subject, instead, it is affected by how our mind perceives and interpret. We would often fill in the unknowns in our minds through our expectations or personal experience in order to understand why something is the way it is. We would often search for meanings and patterns within these subjects. We see things highly subjective as we don’t take account of the context of the subject. We only believe things that we see true. We cannot interpret the world purely based on sight, as the way we perceive things involves the search for meanings and patterns. For example, when scientists do experiments, they tend to only focus on the observations that favour their hypothesis and completely ignore the ones that go against their hypothesis. As different people may perceive in different ways, by using only our sense perceptions to analyze information, it may lead to wrong conclusions.

There may be problems with our perceptual system, that doesn’t mean that knowledge we gain is unreliable. For example, we were taught that something is blue, however in the lens of other, they might see my blue as their yellow. This is something we can never find out. But we all agree that that is the certain colour and we accept them. In terms of Art, different people have different interpretation of an art piece as how we interpret the work is influenced by how we were brought up, our past experiences and expectations. These factors all contribute to how we see it. For example, seeing the colour of blue for some people might trigger sad moments in the past experience while others might trigger calming and relaxing moments. But there really isn’t a “right” or “wrong” perception, as the reliability of this perception is dependent on the individual themselves.

 

Emotion

The arts are all about emotional expression: emotion is the most important thing in this area of knowledge. 

Arguments that support the claim:

Emotion plays a key role in arts.Emotion does not have to be shown physically directly from one person to another, it can be shown through the hours of effort put into a painting or performed through other people. It is a way for people to communicate and express their feelings. A lot of the themes are embedded in the art pieces are the artist’s emotions felt when going through certain experience or their opinion towards a particular issue. In order to understand an art piece, one would often associate it with past emotions. For example, when we were observing painting or photos of bring and open landscapes, it often provokes a feeling of beauty, relaxation, and happiness as we felt the same way from past experiences. Visual images of dark and obscure portraits would typical evokes the emotion of anxiety and fear because people might have encountered unpleasant feeling when interacting with dark.  Another example of emotions found in art is the artwork of Ai Wei Wei.  His artwork shows his anger and criticism towards the Chinese government. Without incorporating his emotions and criticisms into his artwork, Ai Wei Wei would not have been as popular as he is now.  This example clearly shows the emotional expression in form of art is an essential way of expression in this area of knowledge.

Counter-arguments:

  • Although arts may contain emotion expression, it may not be the most important factor. Techniques and styles are sometimes considered the most important aspect. If you attempt to make an art work based only on emotion, not all people are able to understand the message within the artwork and appreciate the work that they produced. For example, people have a hard time understanding the artwork that babies created and their artwork may not be as valuable as the ones created by famous artists. In music, a song can be created without expressions. There are so basic structures that all songs need to follow through, such as having a Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus or other combinations. The melody can be randomly created or based on scales.

I agree that arts to some extent require emotion when trying to understanding to artwork or to create the artwork. However, it is not the most important factor, I believe that having the technique to create artwork is the most important aspect. Without the techniques, people will not be able to see the emotions and messages that are conveyed.

 

 

Intro to WOKs- Sense Perception and Natural Science

Outline the role of 1 WOK in 1 AOK in the production of knowledge.

Sense perception is particularly relevant in natural science. Natural science derives knowledge through science methods which follow the step of making observations where scientists look for patterns under microscopes through the use of the five sense: hear, smell, sight, taste and touch, creating inductive hypothesis which are results of observing patterns and and drawing conclusions based on the observation they see in the data. An example in biology would be to determine the approximate time it takes for a cell to pass through the stages of mitosis. A knowledge claim is that it takes the longest amount of time for cells to pass through interphase. To conduct this experiment, we would have to look at an onion tip under the microscope and count the number of cells in each stage. identify the stages of mitosis seen under the microscope, we would have to compare images of cells in different stages in our textbook and under the microscope. Experimental tests are done to investigate whether this theory is true and the results can only be observed through human senses, sight in particular.

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?

On the other hand, sense perception might not be reliable as different people may perceive in different ways, one person might see things that the other might not necessarily see. As the results rely on our sense perception to analyze the information, it might produce inaccurate conclusions.   Using the example above, one person might identify certain cell in interphase but it may not look like the cell is in certain stage to another person. There are also human errors which causes the experiment to be inaccurate and some of the cells might be too small to see. All of them contributes to the inaccuracy of the results to the extent that the claims might be falsified due to human errors.