For the final project, I chose to focus on The Intuitionist. I chose to write about the prevalent theme in the novel that critiques the reliance on visual data and emphasizes the need for “experiential” data in creating knowledge. I found this theme interesting because it is applied to a couple different aspects within The Intuitionist, which I cover in my paper.
For the application project, I decided to write a lab report about a hypothetical experiment that compared two methods of observation: one using just visual perception (like Empiricists) and the other using “experiential” perceptions (like Intuitionists). The hypothetical experiment involved two groups of observers (one using visual observations only and the other using “experiential” observations) and a group of participants that were observed before and after a “treatment”, which includes observable alterations to their appearances with makeup, hair, and/or clothing changes. The goal of the observer groups was to re-identify the individuals after they underwent the “treatment”.
The goal of this experiment was to tie in the faults in the Empiricist approach to understanding data (and people) using the products that create visual deceptions (relating this to what Freeport Jackson was selling in the novel). The conclusion was that the observers using “experiential” observations were more successful at accurately re-identifying the individuals after their visual “treatment”.