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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. Doubt is the Key to Knowledge

    Emotion tends to alter the way each and every person perceives something. I believe that skepticism can influence the amount of emotion we have when dealing with the arts. Hung over my fireplace is a modest size oil painting of a lighthouse isolated in the middle of the ocean, the sky blanketed with dark purple and black clouds with a thunderbolt stretching down towards the water. The first time I looked at the painting I used little skepticism, which hindered my ability to know what I enjoyed about the piece of art.

    • Word count: 1393
  2. Tok History. My thesis is that although history and our ethics will always be part lies, part truth and part belief, we have to study them and apply them because its what the majority of us do and what ultimately drives us to act in the present and devel

    Do we really know every single thing that happens, the exact way that it actually did? The answer is obviously no. People forget that we are unquestionably all human beings that in a daily basis have certain perceptions, emotions, ethics and cultural backgrounds that will have an impact on everything we do, everything we say, everything we see and every piece of information that we pass on. People are what make events and what make history. Since this is the case, then clearly the history we study and gain knowledge from, comes from an origin that is always subject to change, never is direct and whose components are singularly not the same in any shape or form.

    • Word count: 1733
  3. A historian must combine the rigor of the scientist with the imagination of the artist. To what extent, then, can the historian be confident about his or her conclusions?

    The use of rigor is crucial when it comes to studying history. The use of a scientist's rigor implies accuracy, which means that there wouldn't be biased opinion, therefore objectivity. Objectivity is necessary for the job of any historian. Historians record and observe main facts with objectivity, while being subjective in getting the cause/results, purpose etc. A noticeably subjective historian will be subject to criticism or questioning because of inaccuracy and a bias; be it cultural, religious, political, etc. Objectivity entails eliminating bias and increase consistency of a neutral stance.

    • Word count: 1432
  4. History is part myth, part hope and part reality. Discuss the validity of the quote and its implications in the overall importance of knowing history. Replace the word history with two other areas of knowledge and compare the

    Thanks to our social and psychological nature, we tend to make historical facts sometimes more sensationalists than they really are, or just our independent perspective of the world makes us change the true complexion of a historical event, making history part myth. Also, history is part hope because it is about recalling events that you are told they happened, but for the most part you weren't there and you will never know what really happened (because of all the variables and factors that affect history), so you have to conform yourself with the information you have, and hope that it actually happened the way you're told.

    • Word count: 1473
  5. Determinism. Minority Report is very similar to a book called, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. These two sources speak of Determinism as something that is set in stone and cannot be changed.

    These two sources speak of Determinism as something that is set in stone and cannot be changed. In the book, a mans life could not be saved and he was meant to die. Many people tried to stop it and avoid the murder but in the end no one could do anything because once it was spoken his death he was dead. Can that be considered something that was determined? Or can it be fate? Well I believe that fate and determinism links together. The definition of determinism from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws or it can be considered as a belief of predestination.

    • Word count: 1086
  6. Critical consideration: ethics of use of embryonic stem cells

    While Kevin Wildes from Georgetown University who represent Islamic views thinks that the research on the successful stem cells made by Biotechnical intervention in the early stages of life, which means embryo or fetal is "an act of faith to show the ultimate will of God" as god gives life to them, they will cherish it and as long as the purpose is improving Human health, they can accept that and encourage people to do it. Also they think "embryo cannot be considered as possessing moral status" until "perceptible form and voluntary movement are demonstrated."

    • Word count: 1267
  7. In his work, Confucius represents wisdom through the way of being (concerning Ren) and through living in the world of thousand things (concerning Li).

    This is relationship between you and your parents, you and your friends, you and your colleges and so on. To be Ren means to fell kind to people who are around you. For instance, when your parents become old you take care of them, because they looked after you when you were a child. They give you home, education, food and clothes to make you fully-grown so you have to be kind with them, love them and respect. According to this issue responsibility also the quality, in my opinion, that Ren have to has. You are responsible for your parents when they become old and weak.

    • Word count: 1398
  8. What is Gentleman? What are the characteristics of the Gentleman? Is it possible to be the Gentleman? According to Confucius, the gentleman is a person who is respectful among all communities and respects others.

    He takes benevolence as his burden..." [Book VIII.7, "Analects"]. It means that showing benevolence is hard for man, but the gentleman should achieve it. Also being benevolence for gentleman means being strong and it is one of the purposes of the gentleman. This quality of the Gentleman separates him from the animals. This idea was derived in my mind from the Book II.7 where was written about being filial. Confucius said there that even horse provides his family with food and the difference between horse and person is that person should show benevolence (reverence).

    • Word count: 1663
  9. Ways of Knowing - the question is whether we can perceive, communicate, reason, or learn through emotion something without experiencing it.

    I know that my skin color is what it is because I have perceived it. I know that cancer kills because others who have experienced it or observed it have communicated it to the world. These are two examples of the four ways of knowing - perception, language, reasoning, and emotion. So, more specifically, the question is whether we can perceive, communicate, reason, or learn through emotion something without experiencing it. It is arguable that almost every theory we have come up with is false. It has the possibility to not be true because it is a theory - a speculation of nature using the facts present.

    • Word count: 1128
  10. One definition of knowledge is true belief based on strong evidence. What makes evidence strong enough and how can this limit be established?

    When we compare two number sequences "1,3,5,7,9" and "2,4,6,8" we see a consistent pattern. Look at sigma notation, a mathematical formula, below: This is a summation of a sequence of numbers using addition, which, in this case, is from 1 to 100. You can represent "i" as K or Z or even an image of my teddybear and the results will still be the same: 2050. In mathematics, every formula such as algebraic formulas could be proved and gives the same results: they are sustainable, valid , accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory. Deductive logic is always used in mathematics: because the information the mathematician deduces is always right, the conclusion deduced is definitely right and the outcome is consistent.

    • Word count: 1613
  11. Free essay

    If someone says I know this music, how can the claim be evaluated? Compare your answers with the evaluation of claims in areas of knowledge other than arts.

    There are many areas of knowledge which include mathematics, natural and human sciences, arts, and etc. When music is examined in terms of the areas of knowledge, such as mathematics or sciences, the difference between them is obvious as they view knowledge different than one another. Let us consider mathematics as an example. Music contains incredible amount of mathematics. Music is based on specific musical scales meaning that there is a sequence of musical notes in ascending and descending order. These scales are divided, with regard to the intervals between the notes they comprise, into categories like major, minor and others.

    • Word count: 1551
  12. Art is a lie that brings us closer to the truth- Pablo Picasso. Discuss.

    To talk about truth, we must first define it. In this context, truth adopts a far more general term, which refers to everything in reality- emotions, relationships, pain, joy etc. By far, the greatest example that complements this quote is a painting called "The Treachery of Images", which was painted by a Belgian artist- Rene Magritte. The painting is of a pipe, but below the pipe is a line in French saying "This is not a pipe". Magritte justified himself by saying that if he had written on the painting that this was a pipe, he would have been lying, because it was just a representation of a pipe.

    • Word count: 1228
  13. Seeing James the Red Engine cry, prompted me to ask whether a machine could ever actually experience emotion, which raises the centuries-old philosophical question: Can machines have minds?

    Some even believe that animals are completely mindless. Furthermore if we create a machine then it would seem that it is our minds that have created programs for the machine, not the machine that thinks them up itself. People would like to think that we are entirely different to machines though in fact the human body is just an extremely complicated biological machine. Nonetheless most people will distinguish between a biological 'machine' and a fabricated machine whose existence is dependent on the actions of a human creator.

    • Word count: 1876
  14. Knower's profile. My history and experiences are responsible for the knowledge-seeking-individual I am today. As a knower, I am someone who is often intoxicated with knowledge, and driven by marks and attention.

    However, I never let that hinder my thirst for thinking outside the box. The feeling I get as I analyze books and poems or as I successfully solve a challenging mathematical problem is like no other. Yes, I love school, education, and my thirst of knowledge. Be it scientific or literary, I believe that all knowledge is worth having. Unlike others who follow a certain approach or method during their studies, I refuse to limit myself to one resource. Knowledge isn't always tangible, though it comes in many forms and sizes.

    • Word count: 1148
  15. Compare and contrast knowledge which can be expressed in words/symbols with knowledge that cannot be expressed in this way. Consider Creativity, Action and Science and one or more areas of knowledge?

    So if we see a building as a way of learning language, the variety of bricks (word /symbols) used is critical to express meaningful thought," so no matter where we go in the world, it is quite important for us to say that people mainly use words and symbol to convey meaning. Therefore, it is important to think that our knowledge or thoughts can be expressed in words or symbols. In addition, it is true to say that words or symbols to be combined to connect ideas can be enabled by grammatical systems. (Dombrowski, 2007)From here, people will ask: how exactly do words or symbols create the full understanding of meaning that normal people suggested.

    • Word count: 1671
  16. TOK speech - Does experience with mathematics influence perception of beauty?

    A: There was a time when my uncle challenged me with a math problem. I fumbled through with it but I gave him the correct answer. My uncle being well-versed in math traced through my steps and laughed. He then gave me a much shorter, less complex method to solve the problem. The kind that seems obvious once presented to you. My uncle's experience enabled him to solve the math problem elegantly, while with less experience in mathematics, I could only stagger through with a correct, but clumsier solution.

    • Word count: 1638
  17. Using history and at least one other area of knowledge, examine the claim that it is possible to attain knowledge despite problems of bias and selection.

    Nevertheless, does that show that one cannot claim to have knowledge of global warming owing to anthropogenic? Whether this is possible or not, utilizing two areas of knowledge such as history and natural sciences, this essay seeks to examine the claim and hopefully would provide a conclusive answer. To begin with, the definitions of bias and selection should be made clear in order to prevent confusion and to preserve the explicitness of the essay. According to the Oxford Dictionary's definition, bias can be either a concentration on or interest in one particular area or subject; or a systematic distortion of a statistical result due to a factor not allowed for in its derivationi, for instance: when a

    • Word count: 1660
  18. We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing.

    Furthermore, the reality of something is not subjective, but rather objective. What this essay examines is how sense perception, language, and emotion interact with reality and how, in certain cases, they shape it into something that is not reality. To begin with, Sense Perception and its role in the area of knowledge, Natural Sciences, will be examined. In the field of natural sciences, sense perception often alters the way a knower perceives things. For example, when a straight stick is placed under water, a knower would see that it looks as if it is bent.

    • Word count: 1523
  19. We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing

    This is because without any stimulus from the real world, we cannot assemble reality in our minds. However, our input in processing the reality can be affected by factors ranging from our objective and subjective beliefs to the culture we are most influenced by, and this results in difference in our understanding. Although one may attempt to be objective in his view of reality, it can be argued that subjectivity fundamentally exists in all our understanding of things. What we "see and understand" can also be affected by the context in which we view the subject.

    • Word count: 1689
  20. Science cannot be separated from ethical concerns. Discuss. Choosing what type of babies we want as if shopping for a toy doll is morally unjustifiable and goes against natures free course. When we trade away organs from our body as if they are mere

    People who accept euthanasia believe that it is cruel to let a deathly ill and in pain patient to continue suffering when there is a way to let him or her die painlessly and hence, end the suffering. Those with religious beliefs, though, argue that we should not have the power to control death for that power lies in the hands of God. Moreover, any action that has the intent to purposely kill is unethical. Murder, even if painless and with a harmless intent, is a violation of nature.

    • Word count: 1146
  21. Discuss the claim that some areas of knowledge are discovered and others are invented

    However, I believe that this initial impression is misleading, and in fact mathematics does not come under the category of discovered knowledge. Consider a circle. Its mathematical definition is 'the locus of a point at fixed distance from another fixed point'. This would imply that the circumference is infinitely thin, and infinitely smooth, but such a construction cannot physically exist. What, then, do theorems about circles mean? For example, one simple theorem is that a triangle whose points are on the circumference of a circle, with one side forming the diameter of the circle, has an angle of 90�.

    • Word count: 1609
  22. Discuss the roles of language and reason in history.

    Indeed language is a powerful tool that can communicate beliefs and facts but also manipulate such facts. Language has an effect on our emotions, our perception and what we believe in and can lead to history being manipulated over generations. Therefore, it is justifiable to say that this affects our reasoning. Therefore, I will be looking at how these ways of knowing affect the way in which a complex topic is taught: the Second World War (WW2) and some of its events. I will be addressing knowledge issues, which are questions that relate to our understanding of the world and us, combined with our desire for knowledge.

    • Word count: 1706
  23. ToK Language Essay. The extent and type of our language defines our knowledge of the world

    Within this range we find language, as it is often considered crucial to one's identity with a clear example being its inclusion in the Information Section of the Facebook Profile feature2 and almost every other social network website. Now, culture is defined as the "the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action"3. This presents us with two crucial pieces of information. The first one is the fact that culture is a term used to describe the compilation of every single factor that determines our view of the world.

    • Word count: 1400
  24. ToK- Sense perception

    These two ways of knowing have limitations in finding the truth about Natural sciences and Ethics. Sense perception is based on the usage of our five senses - our five senses being the ability to touch, taste, feel, hear and see. In the natural sciences, sense perception allows us to observe the world around us whilst gaining knowledge through the use of 'The Scientific Method'. The first step in the 'Scientific method' is observation. Scientists use sense perception in order to make these observations which lead them to forming generalisations. From there, they form theories and try to prove or disprove whether their theory is true.

    • Word count: 1505
  25. Theory of knowledge essay outline

    Senses: Topic Sentence: Throughout time our senses have developed in order to help us work on grow and develop throughout our daily life to have a better understanding of life Senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch (definition and importance of each one of them in our growth and development) * Discoveries: Isaac Newton * Inventions What aspects of our life can we trust ourselves to understand the true reality of what we believe is happening? Explain the biological level of analysis and how senses react to different hormones and neurotransmitters which process information to the brain which makes us certain that what is happening is the actual truth.

    • Word count: 1308

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