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Evaluating Areas of Knowledge.

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IB Theory of Knowledge May 23, 2003 Evaluating Areas of Knowledge Music can affect us in many ways. It can evoke emotion or bring back a long-forgotten memory. It is present in nearly every aspect of life. Anywhere you travel, you come into contact with music. Whether it is on the radio in the car, in the supermarket, or on television, there is no escaping the constant presence of music. Music is composed for various reasons and purposes. Sometimes, composers are compelled to create a musical work to express their emotions, or even opinions. Music is also created to express the cultural aspects. Since there are so many reasons music is created and purposes it is used for, how is it possible to know music and in what ways can music be known? According to the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge, there are several specific ways of knowing that allow knowledge claims to be evaluated. The infinitive, to know, can be evaluated by using reason, language, perception, and emotion. All of these ways can be utilized when evaluating the claim "I know this music." ...read more.


Besides using reason as logic, one can also consider the reason in the purpose of music in order to fully know it. Music is usually always created for some purpose. Composers are inspired and feel compelled to express their creativity. However, despite the composer's initial purpose for the music, its purpose to society may become completely different. For instance, many early classical composers were hired by courts and forced to compose music for the king. Often they would just write so as to get paid and to save themselves from poverty or execution. They would never have imagined that their music would, hundreds of years later, be listened to in the homes of middle class families as their children fervently practice the current assignment from the piano teacher. Music can be written to express opinions of society, culture, and authority. The popular rapper Eminem, constantly criticized for his outspokenness, articulates his views through his controversial lyrics. Similarly, the members of the heavy metal band Rage Against the Machine are known for their radical views of government and have even been arrested several times for protesting on the steps of the capital. ...read more.


In addition, perception is another way of knowing. Perception varies between all individuals. Perception makes each person unique. Therefore, it is difficult to make a generalized statement about perception besides the fact that it can drastically change the way identical events are interpreted. Perception can be influenced by many different factors such as culture, economic status, and religion. These factors can be described as filters through which the world is perceived. When applied to a knowledge claim, perception mainly varies between individuals' views of what it means to know something. Take, for instance, the individual making the knowledge claim, "I know this music." One person's perception of what it means to know could vary from the perception of the person being told. The only way to bridge this gap in perception, is to become tolerant of others' views. Applied to others areas of knowledge, these ways of analyzing knowledge claims are valid yet sometimes irrelevant. For instance, the methods work for theoretical, language, and creativity based areas such as politics and the arts. However, when applied to more factual areas like mathematics and the natural sciences, the above methods are not suitable. For these areas, processes such as proofs and the scientific method are used. Word Count: 1171 ...read more.

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