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

Do we learn more from the arts or the sciences?

Extracts from this document...


In areas of knowledge such as the arts and the sciences, do we learn more from work that follows or that breaks with accepted conventions? It is widely believed that science is the most successful form of human knowledge, and that it has developed progressively from its early beginnings in ancient Greece. Comparatively, the value of the arts is often held to be giving pleasure, being beautiful, or communicating feeling, rather than conveying knowledge. Kant's successor G.W.F. Hegel argues, however, "the value of art is neither hedonic, aesthetic, nor emotive, but cognitive, valuable as a source of knowledge and understanding".1 But as it is known, by its very nature, works of art cannot be easily understood by ones other than the creator. And, while scientists ultimately aim to root out facts, imagination is needed to float ideas. Thus the two areas of knowledge-the arts and the sciences- must be taken as modes of enlargement of knowledge in the broad sense of advancement of the understanding. Because neither the arts nor the sciences fully follow or break with accepted conventions, it is just to say that such areas of knowledge are of equal value as a source of learning. ...read more.


At a glance, his works seem effortless. Mondrian justified his simplistic style by saying, "...perpendicular and flat lines can be seen everywhere in nature; by using a diagonal line I would be canceling that out. But I'm inclined to say that this cannot be combined with perpendicular and flat lines or with different kinds of slanting lines."2 As is seen with Mondrian's works, artistic insights cannot be paraphrased; whatever Mondrian has to tell, the others can only be told as Mondrian told it. If a paraphrase was to be substituted, that would result in destroying of the artwork itself since the arts is consisted of self-determining acts. Consequently, in the arts, we learn through the process of understanding that a mind goes through in an effort to speculate the contained messages that artists intended to convey. The sciences direct the mind through a progress of thought in a similar way. Admittedly, much more is required than a hypothesis and an experiment in this area of knowledge. An idea must be confirmed over and over and finally arrive at an accurate and universal state to be accepted in the sciences. But prior to anything, scientists use their imagination to float ideas as an artist would before further steps are taken to yield the facts. ...read more.


Learning does not necessarily mean learning from a school textbook, or memorizing scientific formulas. Established scientific theories are undeniably phenomenal in a sense that each one of them took decades or even centuries to progress from an idea to a universal truth that is widely accepted all throughout. Still, the arts and the sciences both have something very valuable to teach us. The formative process of creating a work of art can influence one's own being. Knowledge is also gained by anyone other than the creator who takes the mind through the process of finding the end or the purpose of an artwork. In the sciences, the mind is directed by first making imaginative conjectures, then constructing proofs and assembling evidence. Once an idea is established as 'truth' after it is acknowledged by the majority, then the knowledge can be shared by all. After all, whether an area of knowledge follows or breaks with accepted conventions is not significant in assessing how good of a learning medium it is. In any area of knowledge, we will learn as much as we desire to as long as we put our minds to work. 1261 words ENDNOTES 1 Gordon Graham, An Introduction to Aesthetics (Routledge, 2000) 48. 2 Carel Blotkamp, Mondrian: The Art of Destruction (Reaktion Books, 2001) 120. Woo 1 ...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. "The arts deal in the particular, the individual, and the personal. While the sciences ...

    They are simply, as is explored in the crux of this essay, two different approaches, both of which need to be utilized to better understand and accept the different ways of knowing and different areas of knowledge, linking the two to provide a greater understanding into the theory of knowledge.

  2. "In areas of knowledge such as the arts and the sciences, do we learn ...

    When Albert Einstein concocted the theory of Special Relativity, this defied the common logic and assumption which society placed upon gravity. With this new style of thinking, his name has been evoked for generations, for we attain much knowledge from his absurd way of thinking.

  1. In Areas of Knowledge Such As the Arts and the Sciences, Do We Learn ...

    be termed superstition, or fancy; forbidden is any kind of search for truth which is not in conformance with accepted practices"2. They had regulations they had to follow, in order to be in the Surrealism Movement, which stated that they couldn't follow previously accepted conventions from society.

  2. TOK summer assignment - Art Questions. Experiencing art, artists reputations and "what is ...

    From room 107, I noticed the use of solid colours to appear, being bolder and giving emphasis on the outline rather than the finer details. Contrast between light and dark colours continued to play a role in most of the final rooms, however these were again bolder than the paintings I observed in the previous rooms.

  1. TOK - Accepted Conventions

    In a sense, conventions act as standards for society to base scientific research and ethical concepts on. Thus, this would in turn lead to a faster rate of human development and a more efficient learning process.

  2. "The arts deal in the particular, the individual, and the personal. While the sciences ...

    about the divisions between both areas of knowledge, as is reflected in the statement. In exploring the impact these set "rules" of separation between both areas of knowledge have on obscuring them, it is essential to determine that they do certainly have basic differences in their fundamental explanations.

  1. In areas of knowledge such as the arts and the sciences, do we learn ...

    A clich�d example of this would be during the 17th century when Galileo Galilei disproved the Ptolemaic theory which was based on the dominant earth- centered universe against Galileo's theory of a Copernican, sun-centered, universe. Moreover, Galileo preached that the earth, which was believed to be flat at the time, was in fact round.

  2. Theory of Knowledge - Arts

    If all the details are there, the listener of my story would be more then inclined that I was telling the truth. In addition, Shakespeare's Macbeth could be to show the attention to detail aspect. Macbeth is a play about a man who kills the king of his country, and lives with the burden of high treason.

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