An Inquiry Into The Question Of How Technology Has Expanded Or Limited The Acquisition Of Knowledge

1321 words - 6 pages

The advent of technology in the modern era has caused a number of irreversible and dramatic changes to the daily pattern of our lives. Technology, however, is sometimes misrepresented. It is commonly thought of as a piece of advanced equipment in a laboratory or a giant supercomputer that fills the room. Actually, those things are the result of technology and not technology itself. Technology is a specialized form of knowledge that is used by industry. Once we know what technology is, we can now talk about it properly. Technology has allowed us to see over the horizon and thus has expanded the acquisition of knowledge.According to the TOK Diagram, there are four ways of knowing. All four of ...view middle of the document...

The most affected of the four ways of knowledge is perception. Technological products like the Hubble Space Telescope have vastly expanded our knowledge of the local stars and the stars that could not be seen on earth due to atmospheric distortion. The least affected way of knowing is emotion. Emotion is difficult to expand because of its nature. Some claim that emotion is limited by technology through the impersonal communication of e-mail, chat rooms and faxes. They claim it isolates people and forces them to rely on machines to do their work for them. I disagree because even through those sterile lines of communication there have been ways to express emotion through symbols like :) and :(. There has also been a renewal of interest in emotion altering technology such as aromatherapy and relaxing music. Computers and other means of communication are aids to society and their benefits far outweigh their downfalls. These tools allow the user to use their time more efficiently and not waste it on slower, more traditional methods.The major area of knowing that technology has influenced the most is Natural Science. One of the most technologically advanced pieces of equipment is the electron microscope. It allows us to see the molecular structure of different materials, which has lead to several questions that, for the time being, are left to ad hoc assumptions like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. This principle works under the pragmatic theory of knowledge because it is a tool that does not correspond or cohere with any other web of belief. It simply works. Our perception on the molecular level is based on tools like the electron microscope. Another use of technology to expand our knowledge is the Human Genome Project. This tremendous effort has already yielded numerous insights into how the body functions and grows. This knowledge has allowed us to create new medicines and treatments for those with potentially terminal diseases like cancer. It has also shown promise to extend our natural life span. These tools could possibly distort the reality that we are searching for. All of our sense data in this area comes from these possibly erroneous tools. Technologies like IR detectors and Radar also assist in the acquisition of knowledge through our sense data. Other technologies like Virtual Reality bend our conceptions of reality and what is real.History has also been affected by the implementation of technology. Radio Carbon dating is a useful tool to archaeologists because it allows them to narrow the age of a certain artifact down to approximately 1,000 years. This is useful in cataloging the artifacts and writing the history of an ancient culture or civilization. This tool has lead to greater understanding of how a culture develops and consequently, a better understanding of us....

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