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

Examine the Claim That It Is Possible to Attain Knowledge Despite Problems of Bias and Selection

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Examine the Claim That It Is Possible to Attain Knowledge Despite Problems of Bias and Selection. The claim that I?m attempting to evaluate in this essay is if it is possible to gain knowledge even with problems of bias and selection. It is necessary to define what the terms ?bias? and ?selection? mean accordingly to several dictionary sources first before we have a preconception of them. Bias is stated as a penchant that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation; basically the formation of opinion beforehand without any examination. Selection is stated as the act of choosing or selecting a preference; resulting in a carefully chosen and representative choice. Another important keyword in this title is "knowledge", which can be defined as "facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject ". Bias and Selection both affect our knowledge in a very serious way, as they can lead us to gaining knowledge that can be one-sided or away from the truth. Although knowledge attained without any bias or selection seems to present a fairer and a more objective, independent point of view, the knowledge attained would be too much to be of any use. ...read more.


Say for example, there was a history book that covers everything in the past with unbiased records, being complete, fair, and objective. Though it may be a lot of information, the knowledge could be useful. If it were written as a narrative, it would be like going back in time to when the historical events actually happened and you could experience an imitation of the actual events. The knowledge you could get out of it could be the emotions that you felt and the historical context in relating to events all over the world. After we saw this issue from both sides, we can now tell that although both of these claims seem valid, the area of knowledge, history, seems to revolve around the individual interpretations of history and how they would want to portray it. Most historians go through past events just to select the ones that they need to prove their points. So the end result would be a perfectly supported narrative but does this mean it is true? Their method of researching was already influenced at the beginning with their purpose of proving a point. So does this mean the end result is what they think it should be? ...read more.


This is a process that could be good for bringing us closer to the truth. In conclusion, although knowledge attained without any bias or selection seems to present a fairer and more objective view, the knowledge attained come in a humungous package in which it might overflow your brain with knowledge, whether useful or not. Whereas, knowledge attained with biases and selection may be subjective but gives a specific knowledge that can be evaluated and easily compared with other knowledge for confirmation. But the offside is that the knowledge has the potential of being wrong and completely misleading. Knowledge attained with biases and selection is more convincing in leading me on the trail towards the truth of the knowledge. Because there is actually somewhere to start justifying knowledge claims, rather than having a bunch of knowledge that have no particular leads to what is true. So I disagree to an extent to the claim: ?it is possible to attain knowledge despite problems of bias and selection.? Because, it is possible to attain knowledge claims without problems of bias and selection, but knowledge claims that go through some reasoning and justification can lower the generalization and thus, bring us closer to the truth of the knowledge. ...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. Are scientific models useful, despite their inaccuracies?

    As the electrons orbiting the nucleus are illustrated in defined rings in what would appear to be a set position, when in reality, the electrons are part of an electron cloud in which the particles are moving at very high speeds.

  2. TOK Essay: Using history and at least one other area of knowledge, examine the ...

    Thus, it is impossible for knowledge to be without the slightest stain of bias and selection, and in some areas, this trait is more directly projected than others. One of such areas is History.

  1. "Relying on the Unreliable", thoughts on bias in history. This report will consider ...

    and "are there competing versions of the source?". All these questions should really be answered before deciding that something is correct or incorrect. The question of "how soon after the event was the source written" (by an eye-witness) is usually especially important.

  2. TOK. "Truth is that to which the community ultimately settles down" (Charles Peirce). Analyse ...

    The idea of settling on truth is itself problematic because the term 'settles' is ambiguous. How do we know when a community has finished settling? A resting place along the road to truth need not be the destination. The community may be at a lull in its growth.

  1. TOK notes. The problem of knowledge There are three ...

    12-hour clocks 'seem right' since they have been used since our birth There is a lot to learn from different cultures School - Education or indoctrination? School should not only make us learn but THINK as well The Internet - Usually the first source of information but not always

  2. Using history and at least one other area of knowledge, examine the claim that ...

    person either concentrates on one area of the subject and ignores the rest which might be against his/her interest or distort statistical results to serve his/her own purposes. Similarly, selection means the action or fact of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitableii, for example:

  1. Reliability of Sigmund Freud's claims

    He would never be able to do it more satisfactorily than inductive reasoning can be justified. In addition to that, he used women suffering from hysteria as evidence, which seem to me as not being a representation of the population: not all are suffering from hysteria.

  2. The Possession of Knowledge carries an Ethical Responsibility. Evaluate this claim.

    nuclear fission.? Although nuclear energy relieves ?13-14% of the world's electricity demand, which continues to increase rapidly in the developing world,? numerous debates regarding their dangerous drawbacks were often raised, especially after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. The raised awarness of the knowledge issue, ?How do we know

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