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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. 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
  2. Justification, what distinguishes a good justification from a bad one?

    In 2006, what was believed as the truth by many at that time, turned out to be false as they discovered that Pluto does not orbit the Sun. This ?true? statement in the future may also be proven wrong, and as a result it is really hard to be certain of the truth. When you believe something, you are accepting that it is true and that it exists. If you claim to know something, it must be true and you but must believe it to be true.

    • Word count: 1764
  3. Which of the three Theories of Meaning is most useful in distinguishing meaningful words from meaningless ones?

    There are three different theories of what distinguishes meaningful words from meaningless one. The first theory is the definition theory. It states that meaningful words can be found in dictionaries. The problem with that idea is that it is difficult to come up with a good definition of a word. And if a word is not found in a dictionary, does that mean it is meaningless? Another problem with the definition theory is that most definitions are imprecise, vague, and only explain words by using other words. For example it is really difficult to know the meaning of the word ?love? in a dictionary, but it is easy to find and understand the meaning of the word ?rectangle?.

    • Word count: 769
  4. Evaluating Scientific Method as a Way of Knowing

    The scientific method involves a set of steps which are used to investigate claims and phenomenon in the world. The steps mainly include; 1 aim; 2 hypothesis; 3 method; 4 results; 5 conclusions and 6 evaluation. As a high school science student, the scientific method works as the fundamental rule for investigating any scientific claims or properties of the common world around us. One such example can be taken from my Physics class where we investigated the properties of light as it passed through different mediums.

    • Word count: 1230
  5. Tok Essay. If you had the chance to communicate with the spirit of one of the leaders of the past, who would it be and how would it affect the way you gain knowledge?

    Being in this adolescent period of life, we make decisions that often don?t produce a good result. A majority of us teenagers often perceive ourselves to be smarter than adults who have lived for a longer period of time solely because of our peers that occupy our minds with invalid logic. If given the chance to establish contact with Aristotle, he would mold my mind in such a way that helps me to incorporate certain crucial aspects such as to logically introspect instances and come to a suitable conclusion and to also bring the ethical perspective to it.

    • Word count: 906
  6. A Streetcar named Desire - We can evade reality but we cannot avoid the consequences of doing so. Discuss

    While Blanche explicitly states; ?I don?t want realism,? through Stanley, Tennessee William?s puts forth the idea to his audience that reality is inescapable, and that the consequences for escaping reality are dire, harsh and cruelly judged by society. Blanche, who escapes her objectively reality is raped and suffers a severe mental collapse, being reduced to talking to imaginary onlookers and admirers, whereas Stanley, a blunt realist suffers no consequences, even getting his desire to be rid of Stella?s sister. By not trying to cope and resolve the difficulties and hardships in a reality, the problems are able to fester and grow, and are exacerbated to far greater, and even epic proportions.

    • Word count: 891
  7. We want to investigate on whether the development of computer technology brings more positive or negative impacts on Internet privacy

    They are all run by newly developed technology such as face recognizing technology, tracking cookies, anti-virus software, keystroke logging technology etc. These technologies are developed for people?s convenience originally. However, they infringe our privacy sometimes due to improper application. Through these sub-topics, we may be able to investigate on these technologies are applied improperly by different groups of people (For groups with stronger influence: the government, worldwide companies. And for groups with less influence: Parents and friends). We would also organize and synthesis previously conducted research and other scholarly discussion in order to broaden the research field.

    • Word count: 4944
  8. TOK speech - Knowledge Issue: To what extent is the use of a dead body ethical?

    Because the cancer had been so aggressive and was taking his life so quickly, he was glad to have time to make this decision of donating his body and die knowing that he could possibly be benefiting mankind through his death. ...and this is how we extracted our knowledge issue. Knowledge Issue: To what extent is the use of a dead body ethical? We are going to use science and religion as our areas of knowledge to discuss this issue through the ways of knowing, which are emotion, reason and perception.

    • Word count: 1998
  9. What are good reasons and bad reasons for funding scientific research ? Refer to science in public domains (astronomy , etc ..) and in private domains (drug and chemical companies). When science is an investment for profit, can it still be good science

    To fund means to provide money, or in other words to furnish a fund. In scientific means it is necessary because scientific research is a very expensive process and a lot of money is needed to buy expensive equipment and reagents and pay scientists. Without money scientists would not be able to have the materials and resources needed to complete the experiments correctly. This capital can be funded either by public domains or private ones. When funded by private domains, it is normally in the pursuit of commercial use. Keeping as aim the acquisition of economic wealth many companies pay scientists to provide them with research to rise their productivity and consequently their profit.

    • Word count: 1148
  10. Man Is the animal that speaks, Understanding language is thus the key to understanding man

    Whether this is true or not might be a matter of personal experience and opinion but we can come to some solid conclusions concerning such claims. The knowledge issue ?What is language?? is a very open ended question that can be looked at from multiple angles of examination. Firstly, we must establish a reasonable definition of language itself to avoid later confusion. However, the problem with definitions is that we are only using words to define more words, which causes difficulty in trying to find a good meaning or explanation to refer to.

    • Word count: 1624
  11. Art is a lie that brings us nearer to the truth (Pablo Picasso). Evaluate this claim in relation to a specific art form.

    With literature, at times when a writer claims something, within his work he does give some example and proves it right or wrong and we accept whatever the claim is as truth regardless of the fact that the story in which he is proving something as truth is fictional. What a writer writes is his point of view hence, when art is displayed truthfully the way it is, it may not have the right appeal to the readers consequently art that is truthful could be labeled as an unaesthetic work ?By ?unaesthetic? I understand a relation of philosophy to art

    • Word count: 1387
  12. Evaluate the role of intuition in different areas of knowledge

    In many scientific discoveries there is always a ?tipping point?, a ?trigger? which sets in motion your experiment and eventually leads to the conclusion which validates your hypothesis. Because of the nature of this area of knowledge, many people consider this to be a result of continuous and persistent experimentation. Ironically, the source and basis of many discoveries are ?hunches?; this is a form of intuition in which the conductor of the experiment has a ?right? feeling about something a nd this new direction taken by the scientist leads to the discovery.

    • Word count: 1122
  13. Are reason and emotion equal in justifying moral decisions?

    So i believe that although emotion and reason are dependent on each other for justifying moral decisions, emotion is more important. Emotions are usually personal to an individual whilst reason is usually shared and understood by others. For example, it is impossible to precisely measure the level of anger felt so as to give others an idea of what you are experiencing but it is possible to explain to someone what is meant by 1+1=2. Others may understand what anger is because they have experienced it but it doesn?t mean that they understand the level of anger you are experiencing at a particular moment.

    • Word count: 1103
  14. Knowledge, for the most part, comes from the outside. There are some aspects of life that we know unconsciously when we are born

    The term ?Hero?s Journey? was not coined until a few decades later. Therefore, there is some knowledge that comes from within, but most of the knowledge we currently have comes from the outside. As we grow up, our parents teach us how to read, how to ride a bike, what our names are, what is ethically good and bad, and so on.

    • Word count: 544
  15. Abortion: Ethical or Not?

    Since the feotus is regarded as a human being, its intentional killing during pregnancy can be seen as murder. Murder, according to the law, is wrong and therefore, states that abortion is wrong. Don Marquis states that circumstances, such as premature death of a human being, where a person is deprived of future experiences are wrong. Although he points out that abortion is not the same as premature death, he claims that they are both wrong since abortion obstructs the feotus from experiencing life and having a ?future like ours? likewise as a premature death would deprive a human being of a future life.

    • Word count: 940
  16. Is it possible to justify the different ways of knowing?

    This seems to suggest that in the pursuit of knowledge, humans use some form of hierarchy when applying the ways of knowing and that it is possible to justify this hierarchy. To have a hierarchy would mean to arrange or classify the different Ways of Knowing according to their relative importance or inclusiveness in giving us knowledge (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary). For this to be possible, we need to find a set of common basis that can be used to judge each Way of Knowing against its ability to deliver knowledge.

    • Word count: 1718
  17. In terms of knowledge, when we name things what is won and what is lost?

    To put it simple, names are obviously words, and without words there is no language, hence with no language there is no communication. This last aspect is precisely the one that distinguishes human beings from the rest of non-rational species, the ability of communicating in the way humans do (bigger abstractive thoughts than animals). Synthesizing, we could consider these characteristics as some of the positive aspects in naming things. When I am playing mimics and I perform an action, the ones that are trying to guess, can actually do it, since they relate my performance to established terms, words or names.

    • Word count: 1419
  18. When should we trust our senses to give us the truth?

    However the notion of truth varies in the areas of knowledge. In the area of the sciences, the truth is made up of hard facts and supported by theories that have been tested, but the truth is only the truth till a new breakthrough has been founded, that will develop on the previous truths. In the area of history, the truth might not be accurate as the events that have occurred were in the past and inference has to be made. Our senses are the ones that gives us information directly from our surroundings, and all five senses work together in order to allow us to understand our environment.

    • Word count: 1779
  19. The Legitimacy of the State. From where does the state derive its authority?

    The peace is kept by a powerful agent, the sheriff. Without him to protect them they might fall prey to bandits so they pay him well and support him when the bad guys come to town. Then everything depends on the sheriff being better at gunplay than his opponents. If he is not then they will overwhelm him, the bandits will impose their will on the townsfolk. Force, not sentiment, is decisive. So the moral seems clear: it is the most powerful who rule. ?Power? is the ability to make things happen.

    • Word count: 1185
  20. Does science have limitations?

    There are many articles (esp. Pinker's work) which seek to answer the question of "what makes reality, real?" Studies are pointing to the notion that reality is a subjective, NOT objective, phenomena. What this means is that your reality is shaped by what you believe, what you've experienced, and what you know to be true. If you believe yourself to be dumb and lazy, chances are you will create that reality in your life and manifest the circumstances which perpetuate what you believe about yourself. If you believe you are destined to live a life free of limitations and boundaries set against you, then you will see the opportunities open up to you and make that your reality.

    • Word count: 755
  21. This essay will attempt to determine whether a point or argument made to an audience repeatedly, can therefore be believed to be truer.

    and media tie-ins. This relentless reappearance of the slogan, as well as the prominent display of McDonald?s infamous trademark (The Golden Arches), in publications, commercials, and billboards, is one of the finest brainwashing exercises of a sophisticated marketing machine. It creates an implied truth to the unsuspecting customer, an illusion of customer satisfaction. While we have established above that McDonald?s are masters of persuasion of their brand to the urban customer on the move and targeted children with their families, we are yet left wondering where the goodness of the food is.

    • Word count: 2000
  22. What do we really see?

    As for reasoning it is defined as trying to understand and to make judgments on practical facts , but then again do we all have the same understanding and judgment on things we perceive?. These two ways of knowing are applied in our everyday life and two important areas of knowledge science and art. A big part of discovering Science is by experimenting on different things in which observation and conclusions which are depended on our perception and reasoning determines the scientific discovery within that experiment.

    • Word count: 1313
  23. Two thirds of what we see is behind our eyes Chinese proverb

    The thing is that we have to study the onion. We perceive the world based on already acquired knowledge, experience, seeing what we expect to see rather than what it actually is. We don't actually see, we just believe that we see. For example I'm staying in front of the class and the students believe there is only one Liza they see, but actually that is wrong. If there are 19 students, not including me, and one teacher in the classroom, hence at least twenty one Liza exists. Everyone has his own image of me in his mind, which is real and exists.

    • Word count: 1250

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