fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Author: Ulysses McGuinness 張越

Ulysses McGuinness 張越
Ulysses is 2020 graduate of the International Master’s Program in International Studies at National Chengchi University, as well as a 2018 United States Military Academy graduate with a BS in History and Chinese. Ulysses is excited to continue pursuing his interests in the wielding of information, geopolitics, and policymaking as an officer in the United States Army.

Contemplations on Reconciling with the Unknown

This year in Taiwan has been a captivating journey of learning, development, and acceptance. When I first arrived in Taiwan, my initial impulse was to jump at every conceivable opportunity offered. I believed that throwing myself into situations where I could learn as much as I wanted to would result in a more comprehensive understanding of Taiwan, China, or my home. Yet, as time went on, I realized that this overzealous presumption was not the case. In short, the breadth of what I sought to experience provided me fewer insights than pursuing fewer, more immersive interests. It took a while to realize this on my own, but I am glad that I did. With this realization, I think it’s important to note two things. First, what we label expertise is irrevocably limited and shaped by our personal experiences. Second, because of these limitations in our personal experiences, it is epistemologically impossible to garner a “true” comprehensive understanding of a region. One may have more insight in one particular area, but they are blinded by the vast quantities of the unknown, which at any moment could render their assumptions or beliefs completely wrong. Taiwan, like any other state, is a great

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal