• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the claim that some areas of knowledge are discovered and others are invented.

Extracts from this document...


Tariq Ameer (001369-033) Discuss the claim that some areas of knowledge are discovered and others are invented. To what extent can a person believe that an area of knowledge is discovered or invented? The question allows me to interpret the definition of discovered as a theory that people have realized and learned about through out time and invented as an uncertain theory that has been created by humans from thought and imagination. For years many thinkers have argued about whether various areas of knowledge are discovered or invented. Through my essay I will approve that some areas of knowledge such as mathematics, arts, and ethics are both discovered and invented as they rely and depend on each other. If we define knowledge as a justified true belief, then invented knowledge means knowledge that essentially formulated from one?s self instead of the outside world. John Polkinghorne once said, ?Mathematics is the abstract key which turn the lock of the physical universe.? In my own experiences of at studying the subject I always felt like it is a discovery rather than invention of information, as I only had to prove statements and calculate numbers. However, I believe that my first impression is wrong and that Mathematics does not come under the category of discovered knowledge. ...read more.


It could be argued that Pythagoras and his students discovered some sort of triangle shape in the real world and then invented the theorem, or invented the theorem and then discovered how it applies to the real world. This shows that invention and discovery of knowledge rely and depend on each other. A fellow classmate argued that mathematics is discovered because you just can?t invent such things as ?1 + 1 = 2? because ?it just is.? Well it is on the contrary, ?1 + 1 = 2? is statement that is invented, because the numbers and symbols used are concepts created in the mind. On the other hand, ?by picking up an orange and then picking up another orange, you will end up with two oranges?, is discovered because it is based on observation and experience rather than pure logic. We cannot observe ?2?, but we can observe objects with ?2? as a property such as a pair of chairs. So unless we are willing to accept Plato?s theory, we have to accept that ?1 + 1 = 2? is an invented knowledge. You could ?invent? a new formal mathematical system in which ?1 + 1 = 5? but unless you discover a way in which the system applies to the world we live in, nobody will accept it as it will be considered useless. ...read more.


The final area of knowledge I shall examine is ethics. Ethics and morals are an area of knowledge that relate to each individual personally. So where do morals and ethics come from? Are you born as a ?good? person? Personally, I have formed my ethical values through my experiences as I grow older. For instance my friends, family members, and the media have all influenced me to act in a certain way that is considered ?correct? in my society. In this example ethics, as an area of knowledge, is discovered by each individual. It can also be argued that ethics is invented. When a person is told to act in a certain way from a young age, that person did not discover ethics by himself. The ethics have been passed on from generation to generation, thus being invented by people to co-operate with each other. If people discovered in themselves the idea of being polite then it could mean that this idea existed in the mind of a higher being. In conclusion, examining the nature of the areas of knowledge has showed that our assumptions about them may be completely false. Whether the area of knowledge is invented, discovered, or both, overtime is can be appreciated and understood. We also have to accept that invention and discovery rely on each other and at times create each other. Word Count: 1284 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. What is Gentleman? What are the characteristics of the Gentleman? Is it possible to ...

    According to Confucius, Gentleman is a person who must think about others in society and consider what morality is. Moreover he must think about his spiritual well-being. Nevertheless I could find some people who were the Gentleman and one of them was Ahmet Yassavi.

  2. Doubt is the key to all knowledge. To what extent is this true in ...

    The basic principles of math have evolved over time from counting to dizzying calculus and so forth. It is the factual support that each of these principles has, makes it difficult for any doubts to arise against mathematics that are already proven.

  1. The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our knowledge; it shapes what we ...

    be because of our knowledge in mind, it would only be logical to state that all areas of knowledge are directly achieved through both vocabulary and knowledge. A better statement would be: our understanding of the areas of knowledge depend on the ability to communicate and explain our findings.

  2. Doubt is the key to knowledge (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true ...

    thinking about doubts and test them to come up to the truth is very important in physics but it has limits, like if a physician claimed that the gravitational speed is less or more than 9.8 this is for sure is not a doubt that can lead to true knowledge

  1. Doubt is the key to knowledge ( Persian Proverb ). To what extent is ...

    If people refuse to question thereby raising a doubt, there will be meager scope of advancing in the world. Martin Luther King was right when he emphasized that knowledge and doubt were inseparable to man. Philosophers and scientists are always drenched in doubt.

  2. Doubt is the key to knowledge (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true ...

    It is known as the ultimate justified belief ? the certain way of knowing. There is no doubt that the sun gives us life and plants give us oxygen. It is assumed that the facts science gives us are true as they are based on empirical proof and substantial evidence.

  1. TOK Essay - Can we trust reason in the pursuit of knowledge? Consider 2 ...

    Consider the ?Trolley Problem? in which A train is hurtling down a track and one sees that it is going to hit a group of 5 people and will certainly kill them all. However one happens to be standing next to a switch that can divert the train down another track where only a single person would be killed.

  2. Discuss the claim that some Areas of Knowledge are discovered and others are invented.

    Fibonacci series starts with: 1, 1, 3,5,8,13,21? (Following the formula; xn = xn-1 + xn-2). Ultimately, I discovered that the corresponding pattern is present from the core of a flower, to the spiral of a sea shell, and even the spiral of a galaxy!

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work