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Which sources of knowledge- books, web sites, the media, personal experience, authorities or some other- do you consider most trustworthy, and why?

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Introduction

Which sources of knowledge- books, web sites, the media, personal experience, authorities or some other- do you consider most trustworthy, and why? In this essay I will be looking at the statement above in relation to the problems of knowledge, using where appropriate my experiences as a knower1. To ascertain which source of knowledge one can claim to be the most trustworthy one would have to define them all first. The proposed sources are: books, websites, media, personal experience and authorities. After I have defined each source of knowledge, I will be looking at the reliability of each source, helping justifying my findings with the help of the problems of knowledge we have identified in class. Truth plays a large role in considering which source of knowledge is the most trustworthy. With truth there are many problems involved, for something to be true it has to be believe to be true and there have to bee good grounds for it to be believed to be true. This links to perception, truth I think largely depends on the way one perceives it to be reliable. . When talking about books one can already distinguish between the fiction and non fiction books. ...read more.

Middle

Then according to these findings one can conclude if the information is reliable or not. With websites one can never know who is sitting behind the screen making the site. Can one be sure of anything? This is the next question to ask. This brings on a problem of weight of evidence, how much evidence is needed to prove or verify that a certain website is reliable? Websites are said to be some what reliable because it is a public service, and does have to meet some sort of criteria. Sites that are seen to be incorrect or unreliable in anyway have the chance of being kicked off the web by the server. The next proposed source of the knowledge is the media. With this one can already immediately identify a problem with language. The media is a source that frequently uses emotional language to portray events. Making the public of the media persuaded to believe their point of view. However the media is a tool that is open to bribes and is very sensitive to biased opinions. The media bases their reports on interviews and perceptions of their reporters. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion I think that there is not one source of knowledge that is the most reliable, to get a good overview one would have to consult more than one source or all sources to be more reliable. If one fails to do so then that person should write an note or let the reader know in one way or another that it is not the whole story, or that they where not completely informed before writing the piece. But this then brings the problem of weight of evidence: when do you know that you have consulted all the information possible. This is impossible to do; therefore to ascertain as to whether there is one source that is the most trust worthy, one can conclude by looking at all the arguments that there is not one source that is reliable. This piece as well is only a personal interpretation and should not be taken as fact in any way. Word Count: 1492 Consulted literature: * The Oxford School Dictionary, Revised Edition, page 342 * Class notes made over the period 2001-2002 (IB1 and IB2) 1 From hand out I used for this essay with the titles on it: International Baccalaureate Theory of knowledge prescribed titles. Eva Schreuder IB2 29-11-'02 1 First Draft. TOK essay: Reliability of Sources ...read more.

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