Ewing, Caterina

May 26, 2021

34. In What Ways Do Our Values Affect Our Acquisition of Knowledge?

Object 1: Agent Hannah Wells

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This object is Agent Hannah Wells, a character that when working for the USA President, was instructed to detect the bomber of the capitol. Wells asked her colleagues to illegally trace numberplates of cars and locations through mobile phones. By doing this, she was getting closer to revealing the bomber whilst consciously breaking the law. In the image above she got caught in a suspect’s apartment.

This character is enriching to my exhibition as Wells is shown to go to great lengths to catch the bomber as she valued knowing their identity to bring justice rather than valuing following the legal path towards this knowledge. Being an FBI agent, the characters job is to identify felons and that changed the values of other characters which could be a reason for the lengths she took, illegally, to identify the bomber in the show. In the real world, like Wells’ character, one’s job can affect the way one acquires knowledge, for example the police would be more likely to follow the law when acquiring knowledge than a hacker.

Another way this character adds to my exhibition is how she influences others to partake in the illegal activity to find the bomber. Influences on others can change people’s values, affecting acquisition of knowledge. In the show, Wells convinces an IT technician in the FBI to illegally trace the phones of potential suspects. At first the technician’s character was unwilling to break the law as he valued his job security but after persuasion by well’s character, he valued the bombers’ identity more, leading him to illegally acquire it. My object represents that persuasion can influence one’s values and that changes one’s method of acquiring knowledge.

Object 2: Article written by Crystal Raypole on moxibustion

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My second object is an article written by Crystal Raypole on moxibustion. In this article it is explained that moxibustion is an ancient Chinese medical treatment of heat therapy where Chinese mugwort leaves are burned on or near the skin. It explains that moxibustion is said to have many health benefits such as turning a breech baby (Christopher). Although there is no scientific evidence of its outcomes, as this article mentions, practitioners believe that the heat from the mugwort stimulates points of the body, improving one’s flow of qi (energy) (Raypole, 2021).

This object is enriching to my exhibition as practitioners today performing this type of treatment acquire the knowledge through stories of ancestors, valuing their culture and heritage, without doubting its origin although there is no scientific proof that it works.

Practitioners that believe in moxibustion also believe in qi which is a theoretical energy in one’s body that is rooted in the Chinese culture, being the basis for many ancient Chinese medicines and philosophies such as my object. Chinese descendants might overlook the non- existent scientific evidence of this practice and rely on acquiring this knowledge by word of mouth of other Chinese ancestors as they value their culture over scientific evidence.

Another way that moxibustion adds to my exhibition is how people who have the treatment done might value spirituality and ancient medicine, meaning they acquire the knowledge based on their personal values. Individuals who have this treatment would value ancient cultural medicine and qi, believing that moxibustion could help heal their issues but others who value science more than spirituality, would acquire help in other ways. For example, one who personally values this type of treatment would go to a moxibustion practitioner to help themselves heal, whilst others who personally value science and proof would go to a hospital and have themselves treated by a medic. The value of science or spirituality can therefore change ones method of acquiring knowledge.

Object 3: The Giant Buddha of Leshan

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My third object is the largest stone buddha in the world, the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun (Hill, Brian 2018). This statue was allegedly carved in 803 during the Tang Dynasty and found in the Sichuan province, China. The statue is believed to be buddha Maitreya but is given its name due to its placement near the city of Leshan. This mountain was enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is visited by millions each year, including Buddhist monks.

This object is enriching to my exhibition as some Buddhists who value their faith and religion will go to lengths such as traveling between continents to enrich themselves with the knowledge of sites like the giant buddha of Leshan. The pursuit of knowledge of ones own faith can be highly valued to many and depending on personal values and their interpretation of religion, can lead individuals to acquire knowledge in different lengths. For a real-world example, a Buddhist monk who greatly values his faith would go to greater lengths to physically visit the Giant Buddha of Leshan, unlike a catholic who would not go to such lengths as typically traveling abroad to acquire the knowledge of the history or the unique architecture of the statue.

My object is also enriching to my exhibition as it is interpreted in different ways, affecting the acquisition of knowledge by the different beliefs/values that individuals have. Whilst some believe the tales of Buddhists passed down from generations as concrete knowledge, others value the historical aspect of this statue. The acquisition of the knowledge gained by visiting the statue would be different for the two who value separate things as these two perspectives change the interpretation based on their values. If one valued its history, they would acquire that knowledge, such as that it was built to calm the turbulent waters that killed many and by a Hai Tong Monk Leshan, but the religious Buddhist would acquire knowledge by speaking to other Buddhists to understand the tale of the buddha depicted (Vredeveld).

 

Reference:

Exhibition 1:
Lee, Jess. 18 June 2019. Designated Survivor star speaks out after character exit in season 3. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/ustv/a28080910/designated-survivor-hannah-wells- death-maggie-q-netflix/

Exhibition 2:
Raypole, Crystal. April 16 2021. What is moxibustion? Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.healthline.com/health/moxibustion

Hafner, Christopher. Moxibustion. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/moxibustion

Exhibition 3:
Hill, Brian. 2018, July 23. The Leshan Giant buddha: Largest Stone Buddha in the world. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/leshan-giant-buddha-largest- stone-buddha-world-003398

Vredeveld, Peter. The Oldest Buddhas in the World. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://antique-buddhas.com/antique-buddhas/the-oldest-buddhas-in-the-world/

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