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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. Revision notes - list of possible topics for TOK questions.

    7. Artificial Intelligence (more specifically robot "beings") 8. WWF: entertainment or exploitation? 9. Euthanasia. 10. The uses and misuses of the Internet 11. UN economic sanctions against Iraq, or any other country. 12. Drug testing in modern sports. 13. Television violence 14. Xenotransplantation: the use of animal organs to save human lives. 15. Violence in the Middle East: Israelis and Palestinians. 16. Animal rights. 17. Mass media reports. 18. Genetically modified crops. 19. Genetically engineered food. 20. Rapid technological development: human implications. 21. Cloning of sentient beings. 22. The ethics of copyright laws. 23. Technology and the ownership of ideas/information.

    • Word count: 630
  2. Outline of There are no absolute distinctions between what is true and what is false, Discuss this claim.

    Consist internal feeling and external forms of behaviour. Main point * This claim may be too objective. * In my opinion, true means, " when you prove it, it can apply to something and is factually correct and reasonable " and false means "you cannot prove that is correct and it is not reasonable ". * Truth and false can also have different meaning in different areas of knowledge. * Perception and emotion will affect what we think. * "If we see something that does not "fit-in" with your overall experience of the world, then the chances are that you

    • Word count: 932
  3. ToK Presentation. My knowledge issue and research question is under what circumstances it can be morally justified to lie?

    Slide 3 * Ever since we were kids, our parents and authority figures whether they are religious or governmental , have taught us not to lie * Scaring us with stories such as Peter and the Wolf, we were encouraged/ ordered not to lie * yet, most, if not everyone has in in some scenario told a lie Slide 4 * In order to answer my knowledge issue "under what circumstances can it be morally justified to lie" I also have to define moral * And in my IB English class we defined moral as "values and customs with respect to what is right or wrong."

    • Word count: 661
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Theory of Knowledge People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the chaos of events (adapted from John Gray, Heresies, 2004). In what ways and to what extent would you say this claim is relevant in at least two areas of knowledge?

    Perception and reasoning affect whether one will require an appreciation of order amid chaos; however, the interactions between these ways of knowing are different between the arts and the natural sciences, and thus, the necessity of order in a chaotic situation will vary slightly in each area of knowledge. A knowledge issue to consider in examining the prescribed title claim is: In what ways and to what extent does human perception in the arts and natural sciences affect whether an individual requires order in a chaotic situation?

    • Word count: 2069
  8. 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
  9. TOK notes. The problem of knowledge There are three possible solutions to the problem of knowledge:

    Depends on the context. By 4 ways of knowing: � Language - 'Someone told me' � Perception - 'I saw it' � Reason - 'I worked it out' � Emotion - 'It's intuitively obvious' Levels of knowledge By saying "you know" something, you are somehow taking responsibility for its truth. Understanding of the same problem by different people may be surprisingly different (e.g. regular person and Einstein on the Theory of relativity) Knowledge and Information The difference between knowledge and information is that while information are just facts that have been memorized, knowledge needs an element of justification, truth and belief.

    • Word count: 3574
  10. According to Theodor Adorno, Art is a form of knowledge. His quote implies that art can convey and generate knowledge to people.

    When people create art, they have to understand it and during that process people found knowledge. Knowledge definitely generated through the creation of art. Art is one of the deepest and esoteric subjects. Everything we learn, mathematics, science, language, emotion, history, ethics and perceptions are all related to the art. Before explaining about knowledge and art, what is art? "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth- at least the truth that is given to understand" (Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973).

    • Word count: 464
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Northrop Frye in The motive for metaphor compares science and art. The common element between the two seems to be imagination. In science it becomes the final element and in art the starting point.

    The more he approaches the goal, the more he takes advantage of the language of mathematics, which is after all 'one of the languages imagination'. On the other hand, an artist sees the world, chooses what strikes him and then with the help of imagination creates a pretend realm. To put it differently, an artist starts with an idea existing in the dimension of his imagination and then draws nearer to the realistic world.

    • Word count: 472
  14. In an article entitled Good readers and good writers Nabokov enumerates qualities a good reader should be endowed with.

    Nabokov warns against reaching for a book with already preconceived views. This would thwart a reader from a proper understanding of a book. A good reader has to bear in mind that any book is merely a work of fiction, not an exact replica of reality. Therefore, he must not expect to gain knowledge on a particular subject from books. Nabokov makes an interesting claim that a good reader is actually a rereader, because he needs time to become familiar with the book and only after a second or third reading can he appreciate all the details.

    • Word count: 445
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Do we learn more history from text books or historical novels

    to historical fact." From this information we can deduct that textbooks have limited information about past events and they cannot go into much details. For example, in some sections over various wars over the years, textbooks have different battles as subtopics; however, they only pick a selected few battles from the war and are sometimes bias with the battles they chose to pick.

    • Word count: 455
  19. Is there absolute truth in society? One can never know if the information provided to him is whole truth, the unbiased and complete account or just another faade for national propaganda. Thus, truths are never quite absolute.

    Artistic disciplines, such as history and philosophy, are founded on the multitudes of insights and varying perspectives of individuals. Studies in this discipline are more reliant on the understanding of relative truth rather than absolute truths, dependant on the accuracy of one account in comparison to another. Since interpretations are founded on the marriage of preexisting knowledge with the revelation of current knowledge, then it is definite that interpretations would differ between each individual as everyone would have unique experiences in their lifetime. In that case, should a bias account be regarded true because it was provided by a benighted individual?

    • Word count: 586
  20. Is conscience a more powerful motivator than money, fame or power?

    One figure that contributed greatly to the success of the civil rights movement is Rosa Parks. She became known because she sat in the wrong section of a segregated bus and refused to move when she was told to move by the white people. Rosa Parks knew she was going to be punished for her bold act, but she fought for her rights.

    • Word count: 437
  21. Can success be disastrous? Macbeth and Julius Caesar clearly demonstrate how stories of success are not always happy endings.

    This can be seen in two compelling examples. Ambition and the desire to succeed are very strong forces that drive people to whatever it takes to reach a goal, be it compromising morals or even hurting other people. This was the case in Shakespeare's Macbeth. When the witches tell Macbeth that he would one day become king if he murders the king, Macbeth falls into a dilemma.

    • Word count: 408
  22. Sense Perception - "The subjectivity of sense perception is an asset in Art but a liability in Science." Discuss.

    Art is certainly rooted from the idea of sense perception. One must let his/her mind wander beyond the reaches of the restrictive human mindset to create what we consider 'art'. Without this trait of perception, such capabilities would be impossible. Art, we probably think of artworks such as modeling, sketching, acrylic, Picasso etc. In the real sense of the word, art is any representation of human creativity which quite honestly, includes most man-made objects. Art is required from designing a sky scraper to organizing the furniture in the living room.

    • Word count: 520
  23. Logic vs Emotion. Logic and emotions are both considered a way of knowing and are both used in various areas of knowledge

    We have the ability to analyze a limited amount of information and draw true conclusions from them. We classify some logical cognitive processing into syllogisms. Hypothetical syllogism (If A then B) is an example: If Pete drives a car, he is above 16. He does drive a car therefore the consequent is guaranteed (he is above 16). There are various other syllogisms which we use and understand such as categorical syllogisms (All A is B). We may say: Asia is on Earth, Singapore is in Asia therefore Singapore is on Earth.

    • Word count: 846
  24. 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
  25. 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

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