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compare and contrast our approach to knowledge about the past and our approach to knowledge about the future

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Theory of Knowledge, 2009 Prescribed title number 6 Compare and contrast our approach to knowledge about the past with our approach to knowledge about the future. Maria Stormo 003549102 Arendal videreg´┐Żende skole February 2009 Word count: 1334 Our approach to knowledge about the past and our approach to knowledge about the future are very closely linked, but yet very different. Our approach to knowledge about the past is mainly based on analysing evidence of past events. To gain knowledge about the future, you have to make hypothesises and assume how the past and the present can influence the future. We can never be 100 percent sure that our knowledge either about the past or the future is correct, we always have to be aware of limitation to this knowledge. We can in a way say that by comparing knowledge about past and future, we are comparing knowledge about evidence and knowledge about assumptions. Our past is our history, hence we can say that our knowledge about the past is knowledge about history. There will always be limitations to our knowledge about history, to approach knowledge about history we have to analyse sources to find out what actually happened but we can never completely rely on the facts that one source is telling us. ...read more.


But hypothesises are seldom made without theory to support them; scientific hypothesises are generally based on previous observations or extensions of scientific theories.4 The more theory behind a hypothesis, the more reliable it is, and that counts for hypothesises about our future as well. To make hypothesises about the future, there has to be done a lot of research. Through analysing the past and the present, assumptions can be made on what will happen in the future. If we look at the weather forecast again, hypothesises can be made by analysing the state of the atmosphere. By comparing the state of the atmosphere today and its state in the past, assumptions can be made on how variables, such as high pressure and low pressure, can affect the weather tomorrow. But this will only be hypothesises; only the future can show us if we are correct in our assumptions. But when discussing knowledge about the future also ethical issues comes up to mind, what can we do to make the best of it? It is incorrect to say that we know that exactly what the future will bring us, but what we can do as humans is to prevent expected disasters and improve human situations. The future will always depend on present situations and actions, we have the power to prevent a bad future for this planet, and if we do something today hypothesises about our future has to be changed. ...read more.


An example of this is that we are much more certain of what happened during the Vietnam War in 1963 than what happened at the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. It is easier to find out what happened 42 years ago than what happened 979 years ago. As a conclusion it can be said that even though our approach to knowledge, both about the past and the future, are very closely linked, but at the same time very different. Neither the knowledge about the past nor the knowledge about the future can be trusted 100 percent as there are many factors that limit the accuracy of them. Our knowledge about the past is based on evidences of previous events, and we do not have the power to change the events of the past as it has already happened. On the other hand, our knowledge about the future is based on hypothesises and assumptions. The knowledge we have about our future are only predictions of how we believe tomorrow will be like, and if we do not like the predictions we have the power to change our future. And there will always be some knowledge about both our past and our future that are more correct than others; these are the knowledge claims that are backed up with more research and theory than the others. ...read more.

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