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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. Rational Criticism - TOK

    I believe that most of our knowledge comes from using logic based on the knowledge we already have (which is also known as priori knowledge). Logic is what one uses to judge a knowledge claim through reasoning. Once one has reached a conclusion through logic, it could not be proved otherwise and holds the absolute degree of certainty. For example, if someone says that they need two more pairs of socks, in addition to the pair they already have, in order to have three pairs, they applied logic to reason out their statement and no one can argue with them otherwise.

    • Word count: 1349
  2. We achieve the best results when we use all four ways of knowing in order to come to a conclusion

    By using the four ways of knowing; Language, Perception, Reason and Emotion, I will be able to lay out my knowledge, evaluate how reliable, accurate, and unbiased it is, and then confidently say that the decision I have made on my Extended Essay Question is the "best" choice for me. I will look at all four ways of knowing individually. Language serves as our most primary form of communication in this day and age. If two people do not speak the same language, it is extremely difficult to get convey knowledge between them and any attempt can run the risk of misinterpretation.

    • Word count: 1338
  3. Language and Perception

    Second, you must have perceived it. If you never saw something, heard something, felts something, tasted something, or smelt something, then it cannot be classified as a personal experience. For example, if Johnny was walking down the street and a car splashed water all over him, that is his own personal experience of getting soaking wet. He saw and felt it most likely. The third requirement is that you must remember it. If you do not remember the thing happen to you, then who is to say that it happened or not?

    • Word count: 1113
  4. United They Stand, Divided They Fall

    On the other hand, an explanation involving sand, cactuses and scorpions may cohere with their daily experience, yet it is not a solid explanation but merely fabrication. This constitutes the importance of both the reality and specificity of an explanation. A student who has been caught plagiarizing might answer to the teacher's accusations "It is much easier than to actual write a paper on your own". Not, for the teacher's purposes, an adequate explanation. Carl Hempel was one of the most prominent philosophers of science in the twentieth century, and his covering law model, otherwise known as the deductive-nomological model, puts scientific explanations on the same reasoning footing as predictions; they are both deductive arguments.

    • Word count: 1534
  5. Gain In Translation

    He strongly believes that there is a pattern in all things in nature, and devotes his time to trying to find the pattern. Upon reaching a breakthrough in his work, Max strongly believed that a 216-digit number was the pattern he was looking for, and in his excitement, he shared the discovery with his old mathematics mentor, Sol Robeson. One might predict the latter's reaction to the news to be of pride and joy. Quite the contrary, Sol scolds Max, accusing him of being overly obsessive and fixated on the number itself.

    • Word count: 1383
  6. Which is the most reliable WOK?

    Although all the ways of attaining knowledge are essential in pursuit of the truth, in my opinion reason is the most important means of justifying the belief as I shall in the following essay substantiate that "By doubting we are led to enquire, and by enquiry we perceive the truth." Peter Abelard. Language undoubtedly is the basis for attaining knowledge. It is the mode of communication, means of interpretation and expression as well as intended, regulated and creative. We think, read, write, talk and describe all using the method of knowledge.

    • Word count: 1367
  7. Please consider at least 2 major environmental dilemmas that face your generation from 3 different perspectives: utilitarianism, egoism, altruism.

    Utilitarianism is the idea that an action is determined only by its overall contribution to what it was designed in the first place, in other words its utility. So basically it can be summarized by the quote "the ends justify the means". Meaning that any action taken to reach a moral mean is worth it no matter the way you achieve it. History has given us many examples of this type of ethical perspective, as in the French revolution, when even though the revolutionaries achieved their main goal that was to abolish the monarch system, several people got killed and France during some years was in an absolute chaotic state, such as in the "Reign of Terror".

    • Word count: 1308
  8. How do the 4 WOKS interact to give a picture of a reality?

    We use observation and reason not only in areas of science, but also in other AoKs like history and ethics while language is used to note observation and also discuss them with others. We can distinguish an atrocious act such as the raid in a Manglore pub against women with the help of reasoning and perception. Emotion further aggravates disgust against such acts, and language helps communicate through media, and garner awareness. In love, emotion plays a very important role but there is also a reason for this power of emotion.

    • Word count: 1529
  9. Examine the ethical question of Euthanasia in particular examine the way in which language and beliefs are used to justify positions.

    Passive euthanasia is the most common and most accepted form. It entails the withholding of common treatments such as antibiotics or pain medications or the distribution of a medication to relieve pain, knowing that it results in death. More controversial is the non-active way of euthanasia. It entails the life support in order to let the patient die. In addition to that there is an active way. Using lethal substances or forces to kill is seen as the most controversial way. Additionally there exist forms of assisted suicide which is a form of active, voluntary euthanasia.

    • Word count: 1030
  10. the roles played by reason and imagination in at least two Areas of Knowledge.

    Anything that would be created would not be termed art. The role reason plays in art is much the same role that imagination plays in history or mathematics. One can use reason as well as imagination when creating art. For example, in the History of Math, The Golden ratio which is 1:1.6 was discovered through the use of mathematics and reason and yet is present in lots of art, including paintings and architecture. What does art have to do with logic?

    • Word count: 1381
  11. What power does language have

    Influential power is mainly evident in religion, advertising and the media because each social development forms a sudden desire for safety or acceptance within an individual because it influences us to behave, think, dress or adopt opinions that we can share with others. When discussing religion one most consider the opposing views of the varied beliefs and practices involved in different religions. However, the one thing they all have in common is that they are all written, pronounced, interpreted in different ways, which is what has caused so much conflict and misconception in the world today.

    • Word count: 1103
  12. Belief System or not?

    While some may argue that Christianity is in fact a belief system, it would be wrong to say this and deny that it is a religion, considering the generally accepted definitions of religion and belief system. Christianity fills the "criteria" for a religion according to the definition given above. Firstly, Christianity, as the name implies, is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the son of God, who would have lived on the Earth approximately 2000 years ago, during Roman times.

    • Word count: 1034
  13. TOK essay

    Y en �qu� medida un razonamiento puramente l�gico desencadena dicha valoraci�n? Jonh Dewey, importante filosofo norteamericano, manifest� que "El conocimiento no es algo separado que se baste a s� mismo, sino que est� envuelto en el proceso por el cual la vida se sostiene y se desenvuelve". He interpretado esta frase de tal modo en que no es el hombre el que se acopla al conocimiento que adquiere sino es precisamente el conocimiento el cual se adapta las necesidades que la realidad le presenta al individuo en el transcurso de su vida.

    • Word count: 1386
  14. Logic and reason-tok

    minds throughout history; that's why there are certain linguistic rules and norms so that when people speak or write there is a rational or "logical" structure in their sentences in order that anybody can understand the processing done by their minds to produce an specific thought. - What is reason? Reason is a very difficult concept to define since there are many different definitions about what it actually means; however I think that the most key element about what is meant by reason is that it is a kind of result, conclusion or synthesis of a process of analysis done by your mind.

    • Word count: 1076
  15. Science and Religion; Fact or Fiction

    Science is the second form of knowledge. True, people put a lot of faith in what they'd been told are the undisputed results of scientific research. True, these same people believe that science holds more truth than religious beliefs. But, when it comes right down to it scientific knowledge is simply ordinary, everyday knowledge, based on observations made by ordinary, everyday people; and this kind of knowledge is never long-term and always opens to review and corrections. It's not 'foolproof'.

    • Word count: 1324
  16. Seeking the truth in the ocean of knowledge

    The problem is that every human being is unique, so these ?general rules? are never general and you can always find some exceptions. Sociologists describe behaviour of, for example, an ?average consumer? that is a median of some people living in society, but in reality it does not exist. They create laws that you never know to whom you can apply it. Laws, that are in some cases accurate and in some not, so we are really unable to say whether they are true or false.

    • Word count: 1294
  17. "There can be no Knowledge without emotion...until we have felt the force of this knowledge it is not ours" (adapted by Arnold Bennett). Discuss this vision of the relationship between knowledge and emotion

    I will explain using various knowledge claims in three areas of knowledge for and against Bennett's statement. This will show how the 'owning' of knowledge does, for the most part, require emotion. Let us begin with history: Some claim we do not need to feel emotions to truly understand historical events. It is true that I can know there was much sorrow and suffering during World War One (WW1) without feeling any emotions for the war victims. Yet if I want to appreciate the significance of WW1 on the soldiers of that time, I must have been one there.

    • Word count: 1535
  18. Misuse of Statistics

    This can easily happen when average values are calculated. For example a firm is employing six workers. Three of them earn 2000$ per month and 3 of them earn 4000$ per month. So the average wage in that firm is 3000$ per month. This sounds quite reasonable. Another firm has six workers as well. Five of them earn nothing, while one earns 18000$ per month. The average wage in the firm is still 3000$ per worker each month. Although this is of course an extreme case, that does not sound as reasonable.

    • Word count: 1199
  19. Theory of Knowledge: Environmental Ethics

    Nature has instrumental value to human beings - it offers recreational, material and medicinal benefits. Thus, pollution or any form of destruction to the environment is deemed wrong, as it will reduce our living standards. Thus, it is right that we should preserve the environment for ourselves and our future generations. Shallow ecology offers an interesting approach in measuring the monetary value of preserving the environment in the form of a "cost benefit analysis". Preserving the environment is obviously at a cost, which in economic terms is known as an opportunity cost. For example, if we decide to conserve a rainforest, the next best alternative (e.g.

    • Word count: 1183
  20. Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses of Reason as a Way of Knowing.

    Objective knowledge will simply be the raw data that has been reasoned with to become a statement. Subjective knowledge will be the raw data which has been interpreted to form an argument. Reason will be referred to as an objective process and interpretation as a subjective one. Having defined the crucial concepts I will proceed to state the knowledge issues in the form of questions: To what extent is reason a persuasive tool? Is reason a purely objective process which leaves no room for emotion or interpretation? Is reason equally applicable to all the areas of knowledge?

    • Word count: 1679
  21. TOK essay "role of language in areas of knowledge"

    But obviously it is much more than that. Mathematics has its own language, where words are completely unnecessary. It would have to be classified as artificial language because it did not undergo natural development over time and parts were not slowly molded into what they are today, like most languages. Instead symbols were simply classified with their respective meanings. In this case, taking language (symbols) away from the area of mathematics would leave it with nothing making sense. From the simplest equation to derivatives and integrals, the expressions would be meaningless without equals sign, divisions sign etc.

    • Word count: 1323
  22. Lo que vemos condiciona lo que creemos, lo que creemos condiciona lo que vemos. Analice crticamente esta afirmacin

    O un delf�n que escucha sonidos de hasta 100,000 Hz mientras que el hombre entre 20 y 20,000 Hz. Las creencias son cosas que las personas fabrican a ra�z de lo que les ha pasado, ya sea vivido, platicado, visto, etc. Estas no poseen una justificaci�n racional pues si no se convertir�an en un conocimiento."La creencia es la primera de todas las formas de actividad intelectual y, por tanto, una especie de afirmaci�n"- Friedrich Nietzsche. La forma en que las personas hayan sido educadas, la vida que les ha tocado vivir y las experiencias adquiridas durante la vida por ejemplo, si una persona siempre ha ido a un colegio religioso y acepta todo lo que le dicen en la

    • Word count: 1469
  23. Compare las funciones que representan la imaginacin y la razn en al menos dos reas del conocimiento

    Pues le causo dolos y as� la pr�xima vez que ve algo en llamas piensa "no pues no meter� al mano porque me lastimara" Muchas personas creen que la imaginaci�n es solo un juego de ni�os, de gente loca y/o de artistas que son ideas tontas y disparatadas sin importancia. Lo que no saben es que es uno de los motores m�s grandes de la humanidad impulsados por la curiosidad. Sin la imaginaci�n pr�cticamente no existir�an muchas de las cosas que nos hacen la vida c�moda hoy en d�a.

    • Word count: 1134
  24. In Areas of Knowledge Such As the Arts and the Sciences, Do We Learn More From Work That Follows Or That Breaks With Accepted Conventions?

    We can also look at art as a kind of language in music, theatre and body painting. If we look at indigenous art, for example, we can see that although they do not produce art for entertainment, they are constantly following tradition. They are maintaining the cultural values and spiritual knowledge acquired from their ancestors by following tradition through ritual. Some examples can be the clothes, body paint, ritual dances, objects made out of straw and wood, which we consider to be a kind of art even though they are made for their own community utility.

    • Word count: 1754

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