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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    What is the nature of this emotion and what type of evidence can be used to demonstrate we are really in love with someone? Many people express that they know when they love someone because they would do anything for that person or because it?s just a feeling that meets your expectations and that makes you feel good in some way. Can this really be considered as part of evidence in order to know when a person loves someone else?

    • Word count: 1027
  2. Perception

    Light at different frequencies produce different colors. However, light should not be mistaken for the experience of color. The interpretation of the physical world eventually comes down to the mind. Even before the scientific discoveries of light and wavelengths, the great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, holds that the mind shapes our perception of the world, rather than the other way round. As opposed to British empiricist, John Locke, Kant suggests that the mind is not a tabula rasa, or a blank slate whereby experiences are subsequently written on. Rather, our mind comes equip with a priori conditions of time and space for organizing our sense impressions into some sort of order.

    • Word count: 1491
  3. Can a machine know?

    The knowledge may be situational; a knife cannot be used to pound nails into the wall, due to its design which was meant for a different task. But no matter what the task is, a machine must have certain knowledge. To show an example from that point, Ahmad is a native Malay speaker and can translate a malay text to English easily whereas Muthu, who only speaks Tamil, cannot simply because Ahmad possess the knowledge of translating between the languages as he knows them both, but Muthu does not.

    • Word count: 813
  4. In the development of mathematical and scientific knowledge, how problematic is the problem of induction?

    Actually, we know from chemistry that all the metals can be expanded and we have no doubts that the conclusion is valid. But? What if one day chemists will find the metal, which cannot be not expanded? Therefore the conclusion that has been achieved above will no longer be valid. A lot of philosophers argue, whether the pieces of knowledge that are obtained by induction can or cannot be justified. Most of laws and theorems in science were made using inductive reasoning, therefore generalizing.

    • Word count: 879
  5. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. (Albert Einstein) Do you agree?

    situations, you deal with, and also pushes you to use your brains, which is very important to live life in contemporary times. The foundation of capacity to imagine is build on personal experiences, where you are lacking in experience, the mind imagines the missing components. It follows that, without knowledge one cannot use imaginations. I would like to put a question here: Without ?information in mind? can you utilize the ability to ?form images and ideas in the mind?? Here, mind is on a par with imagination, your ability to rationalize that which is real, is dependent on the capacity of the mind ability to conceptualize that which is defined as unreal.

    • Word count: 1669
  6. TOK essay

    Those are different to each other but putting them together can greatly simplify the way to the truth. They can help with the process of understanding the things in your own way and end up with your own view on the subjects, because language is more about meaning and talking, while the sense perception is related to seeing and believing. Firstly I look at the language. This way of knowing is the main bond between the minds of people on the planet.

    • Word count: 1054
  7. What is it about theories in human sciences and natural science that makes them convincing?

    But here the question is what makes these theory convincing. The fact that our attitude/perspective to take and accept any theory without analyzing or questioning is what makes it more appealing. Knowledge is favorably dispersed among certain classes. The upper middle class and the elite are the bastions of knowledge, art, culture and expert knowledge. The class that exists at the extreme end and is the receiving class is the lower, working class. So, knowledge distinction between the known group of scientist and unknown group of common layman is vast.

    • Word count: 1387
  8. Discuss the strength and weaknesses of using logic as the justification for your knowledge claims

    Logic is probably one of the strongest ways of knowing because something must be logical in order for humans to believe it. Many animals use inductive logic along with sensory perception and memory to figure things out. However, as human beings grow older, they increase their use of deductive logic. Deductive logic is more specific and has certain rules in order to check the validity of statements where as inductive logic arrives at a general conclusion through generalizations or assumptions. Deductive logic goes from a general statement to a particular and personal statement and then a specific conclusion is reached.

    • Word count: 1269
  9. Can it be plausibly argued that art is brought into being only in the response of the audience, that a work is created anew each time it is viewed, heard or read?

    Art comes down to the response of the audience. If an artistic piece is appreciated then it will receive the financial aid to progress in time and the artist will gain from it. If it doesn?t receive positive feedback it will not be successful and won?t manage to gain fame. It can be argued that art is based mainly on the response of the audience. The music industry works around the audience response. Nowadays an artist isn?t merely represented from his talent as an artist but to be successful there are a number of elements the artist is required to have.

    • Word count: 999
  10. Reason as a way of knowing

    are stricter than the rules that define a rectangle (four 90 degree angles, two pairs of parallel lines), thus allowing for non-square rectangles. 1. Reason helps to assess what is true Example: For instance, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes (which are natural phenomenons) were once believed to have formed because of the expansion of the earth. Scientists later discovered plate tectonics and proved that the earth is not in fact expanding. Weaknesses 1. Reasoning allows one to make claims with prior knowledge and can be misleading because it is conditional on whether the supporting information is true or not.

    • Word count: 701
  11. The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility. Evaluate this claim.

    In some perspectives, nuclear research can benefit many people but this research can lead to nuclear weapons proliferation. Do the scientist who acquired this knowledge have the ethical responsibility to indirectly cause a bigger, nuclear problem? Some would say that since the problem began with the research of nuclear energy, it would be the scientists? ethical responsibility to consider if the research can benefit humanity. This side of the argument is stating their ideals on an ethical code which dictates that a person should strive for happiness not only for himself but also for society. Also, because of this idea, scientists would therefore have an ethical responsibility to bring about happiness by withholding information that can potentially cause a huge problem.

    • Word count: 1269
  12. Finding the Good Life - the examples of Siddartha and Martin Luther King.

    He did not care who he hurt to get there, just as long as he got there. He abandons his family, his best friend, his lover, and the son they had together. Siddhartha may have achieved his good life, but how many of the people did he hurt eventually make it there too? Most parents, especially fathers for their sons, want their children to follow in their footsteps of life. Siddhartha crushed his father?s dreams by ignoring his legacy as a Brahmin because he thought there was something more out there for him. By taking his own destiny into his hands and living life to the fullest, he hindered his father?s fulfillment of a good life.

    • Word count: 1186
  13. The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our knowledge; it shapes what we can know. Evaluate this claim with reference to different areas of knowledge.

    In Arts, especially Literature and poetry, vocabulary is a powerful tool of expression and communication. Words like ?soothing orange?, ?mellow red?, ?meditative languor? might be used to convey an author?s actual experience of a beautiful sunset. Although, an intelligent reader does a fairly satisfactory job in re-constructing the image of the sunset, by the time these words are read, interpreted and visualized by the reader, there is a certain loss of ?experience?. On a basic level, this amount of loss depends on the successful comprehension of the vocabulary itself and at a higher level, depends on the imagination aptitude of the reader, cultural gap between the reader and the author, and a host of other factors.

    • Word count: 1745
  14. Context is all (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing as truth?

    or in a mathematical formulae as shown above. In other words, this statement is always true. However this kind of truth is only relevant in certain - mathematical - contexts. In other contexts, there is no such thing as absolute truth. 10 1 ________________ GodeFs1 Incompleteness theory shows us that even in a mathematical context, absolute 20 truth is not possible. He claims that in any rational formulaic sentence there is point of improvability. ?This statement is improvable?2 if one was to prove this statement then it would reiterate its meaning whereas not proving it simply proves that it is improvable.

    • Word count: 1558
  15. IB ToK - The Language of Chemistry - Does it direct or limit our thoughts?

    Many philosophers have engaged in this question, even though they did not have the language of Chemistry in mind, but rather spoken ones, the theory of linguistic determinism also applies to Chemistry. The language of Chemistry can be seen as a cage for our mindset, limiting us to a uniform model set by the scientific community. Furthermore, we cannot be sure that the language of Chemistry necessarily is telling the truth or whether it is simply an illusion which is interpreted by us, and catalogued as empirical knowledge in this broad science known as Chemistry.

    • Word count: 1190
  16. Tok vocabularies - defining terms like "Truth" and "Belief"

    Or some could believe in themselves and gain courage and power. They could think there is nothing to help them so they will work harder. Beliefs could be small things such as believing your family or your friends. It is enough to change the way you act and live. To know is to have certainty on a piece of information. The certainty is gained by seeing, hearing, experiencing, feeling and more. It is very important that people know things. The reason being is that people?s way of acting could be extremely different depending on what they know.

    • Word count: 2609
  17. ToK Essay - Knowledge through Rationalism and Empiricism

    Rationalism is the view that certain knowledge can be discovered through experience and reason alone. Reason may be defined as the process of using known facts to conclude new ones. In this section of philosophy, it is divided into induction, wherein reasoning the hypothesis is always tentative and prone to changes, and deduction, in which the conclusion follows from the general statement. There are problems with each of these. Firstly, the limit to induction is that it?s about the human need to look for patterns in observations over time therefore having to be careful that our need to categorise and classify doesn?t lead us to seeing what isn?t really there.

    • Word count: 423
  18. Como ha sido mi proceso de aprender, conocer y saber?

    O ¿ Debido a mi entusiasmo y mi gusto a las artes me dan la ventaja de querer aprender mas sobre esta ? O Como me veo afectada antes mis metodos de conocer y aprender en la materia de fisica ? El objetivo de este ensayo es hacer un auto analisis sobre como ha sido mi proceso de conocimiento y de aprendizaje a traves del bachillerato y meditar por medio de este como debo mejorar y esforzarme tanto academicamente como personalmente para poder ser mejor en cada una de las areas de conocimiento.

    • Word count: 805
  19. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. (Albert Einstein) Do you agree?

    Knowledge is obtained through experience that is continuously occurs and number of attempts to overcome the certain incident. Knowledge can be obtained by individual, but also obtained by helps of others. Imagination, which is the opposite of knowledge obtaining process, is different from individuals and can only be imagined by individual. In my opinion an imagination motivates continuous experience and number of attempts to overcome the incident, which means it motivates knowledge. And this process repeats to obtain other knowledge.

    • Word count: 1277
  20. Is it easier to have the courage of your convictions or to have the courage to question your convictions?

    For instance, I do not wish to continue my journey in college. I feel as though college restricts me from living my life to its fullest. But, what will my parents think? What happens if I drop out and all becomes chaos? However, I feel with all my heart that college isn't for me. Okay, I've decided.

    • Word count: 432
  21. Can Emotion be rational?

    Emotion is one of the ways of knowing, and can affect all the other ways of knowing, especially reason. According to the James-Lange theory, emotions only have a physical dimension, whereas emotions do in actual fact have a physical as well as an emotional dimension. If emotions only had a physical dimension, then if a person smiled, that person would automatically feel happy. Outwardly, a person can pretend to be happy by smiling, but feel depressed inside. Therefore, human emotions have both a physical and a mental aspect. This mental aspect makes our emotions more or less intense and complex because the mental aspect affects our beliefs which produce emotional bias or prejudice and ultimately our reasoning.

    • Word count: 1100
  22. Emotion as a Way of Knowing

    That is why in psychology emotion can be used to define traits and how the person acts to identify what the person might possibly have, for example ADD or phantom pains. Not only has careful studying a person helped to define more frequently appearing disorders, but technology has helped to advance even further in the study of brain functionality, and its different actions to different behaviors and actions. It may have helped to define different diseases and disorders now with technology and meeting a shrink, but on the other hand emotion plays a large role in religious views.

    • Word count: 703
  23. A good education is important. Why?

    Education gives us knowledge of the world around us. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life. It helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life. People debate over the subject of whether education is the only thing that gives knowledge. Some say, education is the process of gaining information about the surrounding world while knowledge is something very different. They are right. But then, information cannot be converted into knowledge without the catalyst called education. Education makes us capable of interpreting things rightly. It is not just about lessons in textbooks.

    • Word count: 578
  24. Discuss the roles of language and reason in history

    Henceforth, how far does reason and language influence our understanding of the past and thereby, our interpretation of the truth in history? The most obvious and distinguishable use of language in history is seen by the existence of history books, almanacs and encyclopedias that we use to glean knowledge from. Thus, language is something that so completely surrounds us that we rarely think about it or are consciously aware of it. We, as students, have to admit that we rely on these textbooks and resources in our everyday life to learn about the past and widen our scope of knowledge.

    • Word count: 1627
  25. To what extent can we rely on our sense perception to interpret knowledge through art?

    This brings it to my main knowledge issue, ?To what extent can we rely on our sense perception to interpret knowledge through art?? In art, there can be many concepts and theories we can relate to. In this essay, I would be including Plato?s Allegory of the Cave. The Allegory of the cave is a theory by Plato where he believes that if a person is kept in a dark cave full of prisoners and only sees the shadows of the real objects for most of his lifetime and then comes out of the cave to see the actual objects appearance of the object, he will be confused of which is the reality and which is not.

    • Word count: 1515

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