The Paradox of Progress: Technology's Impact on Expanding and Limiting Knowledge in Science and Arts

Published: 2024-01-26
The Paradox of Progress: Technology's Impact on Expanding and Limiting Knowledge in Science and Arts
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Technology Science Art
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1792 words
15 min read

To what Extent Does Technology Expand or Limit Knowledge in Science and Arts?

Knowledge is significant in society because it enhances purpose. Also, the purpose of knowledge is action. People can use various multitudes in their pursuit for knowledge. For example, people can gain knowledge through understanding technology. Technology plays a significant role in everyday life. The advancements of technology have impacted individuals’ knowledge in disciplines, such as arts, science, history, mathematics, and religion. The two areas of knowledge that will be discussed in the paper to answer the question are science and arts. Regarding science, new discoveries, such as those made through space technologies, have improved knowledge acquisition among scientists. Concerning arts, artists have discovered new ways they can improve their performances. The paper will answer the question; to what extent does technology expand knowledge in science and arts? The paper answers the question by using knowledge from various scholars that use their theory of knowledge to explain the issue. The two ways of knowing explored in the paper are sense perception and reason. These two ways of knowing influence the way technology may or may not develop their knowledge. Thus, in response to the topic, the whole point of knowledge is to provide meaning and purpose in science and arts. Based on the areas of knowledge of science and arts, it is agreeable to an extent that technology expands people’s knowledge, even though their sense perception and reason might convolute that knowledge.

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How Technology Expands Knowledge in Science

The area of knowledge of science is connected to purpose. It is important to acknowledge how technology expands knowledge by finding purpose in the area of science. To explain how technology expands knowledge, I will use the example of space exploration. The International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) indicated that the first satellites, designed to study the space surroundings and test initial abilities in Earth orbit, contributed important understanding and talents for growing satellite telecommunications, worldwide positioning, and advances in climate forecasting (ISECG, 2013). Space exploration initiated the economic improvement of space that these days, year after year, promises high returns for invested funds in space (ISECG, 2013). The demanding situations of space exploration have sparked new medical and technological knowledge of inherent value to humankind, main to better understanding of our Universe and the solar system in which we live (ISECG, 2013). Knowledge, coupled with ingenuity, gives people around the globe with answers as well as beneficial services and products (ISECG, 2013). Information obtained from space exploration has also introduced new perspectives on our character and collective area inside the Universe (ISECG, 2013). Regarding technology and the expansion of knowledge, scientists have managed to discover new aspects that have expanded their knowledge as well as that of the wider community.

How Technology Limits Knowledge in Science

Technology can also limit knowledge in science. To support this theory, I will use arguments from the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas S. Khun. The author, one of the most prolific philosophers of science, gave his opinion of how technology limits knowledge in scientific explorations (Khun, 2012). He argued that the study of finished scientific achievements through technology is misleading (Khun, 2012). The author’s central claim is that in any scientific field, the development of any scientific field occurs in phases (Khun, 2012). One of the phases the author focuses on is ‘normal science,’ which he said that comprises of myriads of community researchers who share a common paradigm (Khun, 2012). In his discussion of normal science, the author argued that progress in scientific developments has been slow because of the advancements in technology (Khun, 2012). According to him, technology has made scientists learn from primitive models, which makes it challenging for them to see the profound difference between science and technology (Khun, 2012). He also argued that the community of researchers participate in problem-solving puzzles that are full of anomalies through their experiments and observations (Khun, 2012). He added that in most cases, the community of researchers uncover the anomalies through observational or experimental errors (Khun, 2012). He also added that when scientists do not resolve their anomalies, they begin to question the paradigm itself (Khun, 2012). From my perception, Khun argues that technology is confusing, because when it constantly changes, scientists begin to question their research. Seemingly, the key argument is that technology does nothing to expand knowledge on scientific discoveries.

More so, in the book’s preface, philosopher Ian Hacking asserted that normal science discovers what it expects to identify, and does not aim at novelty but satisfying the majority of the population. According to him, transformations such as technology help in turning an anomaly into a crisis (Khun, 2012). From both Khun and Hacking’s perspectives, normal science is about solving puzzles. Their descriptions of the scientific exploration suggest that individuals’ quest for knowledge is comparable to doing crossword puzzles and is hindered through technological transformations. Also, the authors’ arguments imply that scientific explorations are based on irrational grounds, which do not result in knowledge development through technology, rather limit them. In response to the argument, through reason, individuals’ quest for scientific exploration can enable them to determine what knowledge is useful and which one is not. More so, their perception of the particular natural science topic would expand their knowledge about the world of science.

Ways Technology Expands Knowledge in Arts

Technology increases knowledge in Arts. Freeland (2002) argued that art expands people’s knowledge of how to perceive the world because it does not base on propositions. As the author explained further, art requires knowledge of context and culture, and that people can expand their knowledge by understanding the meaning of art (Freeland, 2002). An example of how technology expands knowledge in art can be described using the example of music, particularly, opera. Through advances in technology, music lovers gain new knowledge in opera music. Pernelet (2015) indicated that evolutions in digital technology, such as streaming services lie YouTube and ITunes, Dailymotion, and Vimeo, gives users the opportunity to access a wide array of opera music online. Such streaming services have enhanced visibility and give audiences access to archived footage where they enhance their knowledge and enrich the heritage of opera music Additionally, technology has also expanded knowledge as opera singers can now increase their vocal power. Unander-Scharin et al. (2014) talked about the vocal chorder, one of the instruments brought about technology, that helps opera singers to get more power in their performance. The authors indicated that opera singers who have used the instrument reported affirmatively as they stated that it improved their interactions during performances. To answer the question of to what extent technology expands knowledge in the arts area of opera music, the answer is that people find purpose in technology, and it enables them advance their practice in opera music. Based on the discussion, there is no doubt that technology can expand people’s knowledge of art, as they are able to enhance their experience of different forms of art. Artists use different forms of technology to express their art. In their quest for finding new ways to express their art, they expand their knowledge. Also, when individuals see the different forms of art expression, they improve their sensory perception of the technological tools used to advance their art.

How Technology Limits Knowledge in Arts

Critics argue that technology limits people’s knowledge through art. In his essay, Arthur Danto, one of the prolific philosophers, discussed ‘the end of art.’ He explored how artists in history manage to expand their art and some remained stunted (Danto, 1998). In her book, Freeland asserted that according to Danto’s theory, some works of art communicate better than others. In his arguments, the author affirmed that up to the end of the 20th century, art was divided into a multitude of movements that appeared concurrent (Danto, 1998). He also argued that he argued that art came to an end because of artists’ behavior of imitating and mimicking other forms of art (Danto, 1998). He added that the commitment to imitation began to fall in the 19th century due to the rise of photography and film. According to him, technological advancements such as photography and film made artists explore their identity (Danto, 1998). He also stated that in his life, he has gone to New York galleries and seen various exhibitions that contain art imitations (Danto, 1998). He also mentioned movements such as Cubism, which raised questions on the significance of visual representations in art (Danto, 1998). More so, he discussed the Japanese printmakers who could not achieve solidities because of technological slowness (Danto, 1998). Based on the author’s arguments, advances in technology limit people’s knowledge because instead of them being creative, they imitate the various forms of art that they see from other people. According to him, art came to an end because of the problem of imitations in different art exhibitions. As he indicated, the imitation made art to become stagnant. As he implies, technology makes it challenging for people to perceive new knowledge because their mind is stuck on mimicking other works of art. Regarding art, Danto might be right in his argument that technology limits knowledge because some artists imitate other forms of art. Arguably, other artists tend to imitate exhibitions, while others do not. Through that imitation, however, artists can expand their knowledge and find more creative ways to express themselves.


Overall, the quest for knowledge on science and arts is far from over. Based on the essay, my belief is that technology expands knowledge in science and arts to some extent. Through technology, people can acquire a significant amount of understanding in the new space technologies. The authors discussed in the paper offer insights on the topic based on their theory of knowledge. By examining both sides of the arguments, however, I hold on to my belief that technology expands knowledge in science and arts. A conclusion drawn from the knowledge inquiry is that both space exploration and opera change individuals’ perceptions of the world. It is arguable that the belief, which technology expands or limits knowledge regarding scientific and art areas of knowledge depends on an individual’s perception and reason. On the one hand, for other people, their technology can make them be more knowledgeable about space explorations and music. On the other hand, other individuals may perceive that technology limits their knowledge of scientific explorations and arts as when new advancements are discovered, it changes their perception of previous science and art explorations. Individuals should understand that technology is condensed in society. Due to that, they should make use of the available technological advancement to expand their knowledge in areas such as science and arts knowledge areas.

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The Paradox of Progress: Technology's Impact on Expanding and Limiting Knowledge in Science and Arts. (2024, Jan 26). Retrieved from

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