- 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.