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

Discuss the roles of language and reason in history

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐TOK ESSAY #5 - Discuss the roles of language and reason in history ?Nothing has really happened until it has been recorded.?1 Historians record events that had happened. Therefore, history is a study of historical events that are seen as relevant and of significance to historians. Although it is a historian?s job to record all the events that had happened regardless of relevance and significance, most historians merely present evidence that supports his own case and ignore any counter-evidence. Nonetheless, in order for historian to be able to record and present an event in a certain perspective, they have to use several ways of knowing such as language and reason. Language is no doubt one of the main ways for information to be communicated so that society can acquire knowledge. Another way of knowing, reason, is used in the pursuit of knowledge and this is particularly so in the area of knowledge ? history, where evidence is lacking. Reason is used as a means to go beyond the immediate evidence of our senses and this is particularly useful to historians to record the past events. Despite the benefits that language and reason has in allowing us to glean more knowledge, both have its drawbacks and we cannot deny the fact that these drawbacks would certainly affect our knowledge of the past. ...read more.


Thus, we conclude and interpret truth to be all these information that is presented by historians. Although we do not know who is Hiter, yet based on certain ways of knowing such as language and reason, we know that he is bad and he wants to wage a war. However, there are some drawbacks on using language as a way of knowing to understand the past. Language, by nature, is highly ambiguous and most historians have their own style of writing and tend to write in a single perspective that they are in favor of or are subjected to. There is no doubt that a British historian would report on events in favor of Britain while a Russian historian would report in favor of Russia. In the Anglo-Russian war, newspaper reports from the two countries differed as to which country was responsible for the outbreak of this war that lasted from 1807-1812. Hence, this shows that the views that historians often present to us in textbooks are often subjective to personal opinion. Being presented with two differing perspectives on the war, it becomes hard to distinguish and interpret which report is the truth as well as which country was the trigger for the war. ...read more.


On the other hand, the doubts that arise from reason are quite abstract in nature but in the real world, to doubt and abandon logic, the whole structure of knowledge would collapse. Hence, these forms of reasoning are a norm and what society conforms to and hence, truth becomes what the majority perceives it to be. All in all, language and reason would indefinitely aid us in our understanding of the past and perhaps, an interpretation of the truth about the past. From this discussion, we can see that language and reason play a significant role in analyzing the past and presenting an interpretation of the truth. Much of the evidence produced are so greatly crafted and portrayed with such logical reasoning and accurate language that one feels that it must be true even though it is hard to believe due to high subjectivity. Yet, on the other hand, examples of fallacies in reasoning and propaganda in language are said to be misleading us from the truth. Nonetheless, it is up to our perception and beliefs to interpret what really happened in the past as every individual has their own mental maps and perceive things differently. (1588 words) 1Virginia Woolf , New York Times, 18th August 2012 , web , date accessed: 18th August 2012 , http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/n/nicolson-woolf.html ...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. Discuss the roles of language and reason in history

    For example, while the fact that French Revolution started in 1789 is historical significant event, the fact that I watched movie with my friends last week can't be an important event in history. Because The French Revolution had changed many people's lives and made a big influence on the whole world.

  2. TOK History Essay

    In terms of emotion, history is affected greater than mathematics because the feelings that people in the past experienced is much more important to the significance of certain events in historical context than the feelings mathematicians experience when solving certain problems.

  1. Discuss the roles of language and reason in history.

    19% The actions against the Jews were in no way justified. 77% Indeed, judging by the above results, it is possible that the majority of Germans abhor the Holocaust. The way in which they do so however, is very much linked into their language.

  2. Discuss the roles of language and reason in history

    Moreover languages are not static entities; they change and develop over time. Problematic meanings can be found in every language. The words can be vague, ambiguous, secondary (the same word may have different detonation and connotation), metaphorical and ironical. Translation of a language into other is another stumbling block.

  1. TOK: What are the effects of biased language and unsound reasoning on history?

    and from information provided by other historians (secondary sources). But how do we know whether a particular history is telling us the truth? ?The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history? According to Nikita Khrushchev, ?Historians are dangerous people, capable of upsetting everything? It

  2. Discuss the roles of language and reason in history

    and alter thoughts and ideas, and to formulate thoughts and explain them using words, which is a form of language. Language can also be ambiguous at times. Some of the ways that we alter ideas of other people is via the use of persuasive and manipulative words, and by the

  1. Tok essay- ethics. Discuss the roles of languages and reason in 1 area ...

    since the way they live make them feel like their parents are their friends so it is okay to call them by name, for them it is not an unethical thing. Religion, in some religion people were being thought differently because they have different beliefs and point of views and

  2. Discuss the Role of Language and Reason in History

    Also some have argued that it is possible to reason without language as one can express themselves through pictures. However, this has also been proven wrong using the image theory. 'According to the image theory, the meaning of a word is the mental image it stands for in your mind.'

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