Technology is a vital component to human evolution, encompassing everything from theancient Egyptian pyramids to Apple’s newest iPhone X. Recent developments have seen thehuman race explore Space, communicate intercontinentally at the click of a button, and ultimatelydrive the future. This technological growth is said to influence the production of knowledge; yet,what can “knowledge” be defined as by a philosopher? A key term like such is considered as athick concept, which conveys that the idea can not be described with a single phrase1. It isassumed that experiences are required to obtain knowledge, which are outlined by the eight waysof knowing (WOK)2.
For example, the WOK of emotion, sense perception, and imagination areinfluenced by the growth of technology; as a result, the production of knowledge is either enhancedor limited in the field of the arts. In order to establish an accurate response to the prescribed title above, it is reasonable toinitially define the arts as an area of knowledge (AOK)3. The arts are a compilation of severaldisciplines, including dance, literature, visual arts, and music. However, these categories can besplit further, which derives fields such as architecture and photography. To an even greater extent,the concept of art also entails the latest developments or progress of a certain product, such as inthe use of the phrase “state of the art”. Therefore, as was the case with the interpretation ofknowledge, it is difficult to summarize an underlying definition for the arts. The value of the piece,in comparison, could be evaluated more accurately by analysis of the intention of the artist and theresponse of the intended target audience4. Philosophers and scholars claim that the arts can beconsidered as an AOK, as mentioned previously; thus, which ways of knowing alter the knowledgeobtained and what is the influence of developments in technology? Emotions are key to the human perception of their surroundings and can be considered asan important aspect to the arts as an AOK.
They are organized into primary emotions, includinghappiness or anger, and more developed secondary emotions, such as anxiety5. In the arts, theseemotions can be stimulated by the piece to generate a variety of reactions by the audience. Forexample, a painting of a vibrant Dutch flower field can provoke the primary emotion of happiness.Similarly, an Independence Day performance in the United States can provide a sense of pride,which is a secondary emotion. Although the arts can spark emotional knowledge, this AOK oftenattracts a substantial amount of criticism. The emotions are often perceived as conflicting withone’s sense of reason, as portrayed with the phrase, “Don’t be too emotional”. In essence, thisphrase corresponds with the concept of distorted perception, which states that humans aresusceptible to believing in their own “false reality”6. Technology has provided a crucial development 1 Lagemaat.
“The nature of knowledge”, pg. 232 Lagemaat. “The problem of knowledge”, pg. 7-93 Lagemaat. “Areas of knowledge”, pg. 307-3084 Lagemaat. “The arts”, pg. 4435 Lagemaat.
“The emotions”, pg. 173-1746 Lagemaat. “The emotions”, pg. 180 Philip NicklDP1B in the area of the arts, namely through the digitalization of the visual arts. In the past, painters likeVincent Van Gogh (1853-18907) were able to portray emotions through their artwork, which allowedthe audience to gain perspective in their personal experiences. It seems as though the art ofimitation was utilized as a medium between the artist and their audience. The sheer quality of thework, in terms of artistic intention and style, have resulted in astronomical prices in modern society.
However, one perspective may perceive that the art of imitation and accompanying knowledgehave greatly diminished due to developments in technology, including the camera. On the otherhand, the improvement in the technology of cameras enables us to produce more emotionalknowledge, such as the engagement with creativity and different interpretations of reality. Developments in technology are also able to significantly impact the WOK of senseperception. The human senses, for starters, are vital to one’s understanding of the world aroundthem; the most well-known senses include touch, sound, taste, smell, and sight. In addition, it isclaimed that the human body is capable of more sensory abilities, such as equilibroception (senseof balance) or thermoception (sense of temperature)8. Despite these natural abilities, it seems asthough there must be a limitation to the human senses. The human senses, like vision and smell,are only able to process a limited amount of sensory information.
However, it is evident thattechnology can eliminate this deficiency to an extent, while still enabling the production ofknowledge. The natural sciences have seen the introduction of the microscope, which allowscientists to observe matter at the atomic level. As a result, technology is not only able to producescientific knowledge; however, microscopes have also enabled the production of knowledge withinthe AOK of the arts. “BioArt” is a practice of using living tissues and organisms to produceastonishing pieces of art9. This procedure is said to date back to 1928, when renowned scientistAlexander Fleming was known to create artworks using bacteria in his Petri dishes.
Eduardo Kacreintroduced this form of art in 2000 with his creation of a luminescent genetically modified rabbitnamed Alba. It was dubbed as unethical and inhumane, yet it seems as though there is anunderlying idea beneath this concept. A biological artist can incorporate technology to betterprocess the findings in the natural sciences; this creates a more artistic interpretation that can beunderstood by a wider audience. Recent developments in technology have also been able to significantly influenceimagination as a source of knowledge. Presumably, this WOK can be divided into three categories,namely fantasy, realistic imagination, and creativity. Fantasy, for starters, is often characterized asunrealistic and disconnected from reality, such as dreaming of fire-breathing dragons10.
Realisticimagination is often considered to be imagination as the result of realistic facts, which couldpossibly be displayed in a science fiction novel11. Lastly, creativity entails the ability to use animagination to bring about a product, like developing an original computer game or building a Legobaseball field12. The introduction of technology has increased access and prompted thedevelopment of artistic possibilities.
For example, the Adobe Illustrator software has completelyaltered an artist’s way of working. It may be seen as an expansion to their creative knowledge, asthere are now able to digitalize a larger array of ideas. It has never been easier for an artist topresent their ideas, as the flexibility and precision of the software is developing at an enormousrate. In contrast, easy access to such technology is said to have decreased the imagination of 7 Biography.com. “Vincent van Gogh”8 Lagemaat.
“The senses”, pg. 1179 University of Virginia. “Green Grounds UVA”10 Lagemaat. “Imagination”, pg. 225-22611 Lagemaat. “Imagination”, pg. 22712 Lagemaat. “Imagination”, pg.
227-228 users. A study by PNAS America has shown that daydreaming boosts creativity; yet, recentdevelopments in technology and the increased use of devices have reduced the need for suchthinking13. The AOK of the arts has been subjected to enhancements and limitations as a result of theevolution of technology. An alteration in the production of knowledge has presumably influencedthe WOK of imagination, emotions, and the human sense perception.
It is evident that technologygenerally increases the production of knowledge. Some developments may limit certain forms ofart, such as imitation. However, technology can also enable society to digitalize work, introducecompletely new forms of art, and extend the human sensory perception.
In conclusion, it seems asthough society cannot escape the clenched hand of technology, yet are required to constantlyadapt to changes. The burning question remains: Where will technology lead the human race inthe future? Bibliography: Book: 1236 words Lagemaat, Richard van de. Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma. 2nd ed., CambridgeUniversity Press, 2016. Websites: Stillman, Jessica.
“Daydream a Lot?” Inc., 14 Nov. 2017, www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/daydreaming-is-a-sign-of-intelligence-new-study-says.html. University of Virginia.
“What Is BioArt?” Greengroundsatuva.wordpress.com, 9 Dec. 2015,greengroundsatuva.wordpress.
com/2015/12/09/what-is-bioart/. “Vincent Van Gogh.” Biography.
com, A&E Networks Television, 14 Aug. 2017, www.biography.com/people/vincent-van-gogh-9515695.