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Are some ways of knowing more likely than others to lead to truth?

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´╗┐Luanda International School 001903 Candidate Name: SAFECA Ernesto TOK Candidate Number: 001903-002 Page of Are some ways of knowing more likely than others to lead to truth? What is truth? ?Truth is what stands the test of experience?[1]. When we consider the acquisition of knowledge, we cannot help question ourselves about its certainty, but even before then, we cannot help question ourselves, how do we know what we know? Reason, sense perception, language and emotions form the core of how we obtain a great deal of our knowledge. Human beings believe that something is true when they are certain about its validity, meaning that there is negligible doubt about it. However, it is not as simple as saying that something is true and something is false. The concept of absolute truth may seem beyond our grasp, but in order to organize our thinking and draw some sense from it, we must always have some sort of truth in mind. However, when analyzing truth through a relativistic point of view, we can quickly become aware that something may be true in a certain context and false in a completely different context, or perhaps something may be true to a certain extent or false to a certain extent. ...read more.


The experience of being burnt by the flame or even if just very closely approximating any part of our bodies to it and becoming aware of its danger in a short time cannot be substituted by scientific experiments and tests, which would take a lot more time than touching the flame. It is important to say that the main assumption made is that the person touching the flame has not got damaged sensory neurones, but even in that situation, not being aware of the high temperatures does not mean that damage is not being done to the body part in contact with the flame. Therefore, it can make a person aware of an undeniable truth that the flame can be biologically harmful. However, sense perception must be treated with caution because it is subject to experience and interpretation. As a way of reaching the truth, it is helpful, although to very little extent because when our senses are stimulated, our brain goes through a phase of interpretation, which means that regardless of our interpretations, we are immediately unable to experience the raw information. Considering selective sensing, transmits an even greater sensation of inaccuracy when trying to perceive the truth through our senses. ...read more.


Emotions can also be an obstacle to truth, specifically when it affects the other ways of knowing. One?s perception of a certain person might be affected if we do not like that same person. A person might be less open-minded about different perspectives if they are very confident about their beliefs. If a person is in a very strong emotional state, their language might be confusing for the receiver to understand the sender?s intentions. However, emotions also provide us with the passion and willingness to search for truth. On our quest for truth, we cannot help consider its non-linear nature. There is no such thing as a completely comprehensive definition, as some can value truth?s seemingly absolute nature over its relative nature or vice-versa. However, when we consider how the different ways of knowing affect each other, we can quickly conclude that the more perspectives we have and the more ways of knowing we exploit in our quest for truth, the closer we become. Comparing the same emotion in different contexts, studying and learning different languages, heightening our senses or being careful when using our reasoning are all ways in which we can make the path to truth clearer and the destination closer. ...read more.

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