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

One definition of knowledge is true belief based on strong evidence. What makes evidence strong enough and how can this limit be established?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

One definition of knowledge is true belief based on strong evidence. What makes evidence 'strong' enough and how can this limit be established? There are many types of evidence such as empirical evidence, logic and the use of authority but they can only be strong enough if the propositional knowledge it supports cannot be disproved. Strong evidence has to be sustainable, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory through experience. The limit is naturally established at the point in time when a group of experts agree upon that propositional knowledge in its own specific field. In this essay, I will be looking at three Areas of Knowledge: Mathematics, Natural Sciences and History, which use logic, empirical justification-the perceptual or sensory experience-and Authority to succor a propositional knowledge. When an authority, or a community of experts shares knowledge, we have to accept them as how strong they can be. Logic in mathematics is sustainable, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory. In other words, it is concrete and the strongest. One can't change the fact that in an equilateral triangle all sides are equal or the formation of equilateral triangles could form a circular shape: It is absurd if this knowledge could be changed. When we compare two number sequences "1,3,5,7,9" and "2,4,6,8" we see a consistent pattern. ...read more.

Middle

It is now a fact that the Earth is round, evaporation occurs upon heating, the air is made of particles and atoms and the law of gravity applies to everything on Earth. These evidence are strong because they are valid, consistent, reliable and accurate. This knowledge are also accepted by scientists all over the world, and could not be proved to be otherwise and we uses these concepts by testing it again and again. Malcolm Gladwell, a renowned sociologist, states that with only 10 000 hours of practice can one be successful in their own fields from his study of humans and through his observations. For example, he found that Asians excel better at mathematics because of their culture, tradition and beliefs, where it is an essential part of academic study for a brighter future and for the pride of their parents. Long time athletes and musicians who are self-motivated and hardworking achieve rewarding results in their work. By training relentlessly, at the right timing and luck, we could be successful in what we do. Thus, the evidence for successful people: "10 000 hours of practice" is consistent, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory. Sociologists have mainly agreed on this propositional knowledge, calling him a "genius" and Gladwell is named by Time magazine to be the top ten influential people. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hence, from looking at three different Areas of knowledge, I conclude that in order for it to be considered strong, evidence have to be sustainable, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory. On a sidenote, the Mathematician Raymond Wilder stated: "we do not possess, and probably will never posses, any standard of proof that is independent of time, the thing to be proved, or the person or school of thought using it." Consistency is time; and only time can prove propositional knowledge. However, time is infinity, so we can never know when our knowledge is the Truth! Also, the strong evidence for whatever knowledge we have only gives us a side of reality; the supreme reality is something we may never know. There's also the Gettier-proof justification, where it resists the truth by basing belief on luck rather than what that actually justifies the propositional knowledge. One may get a justified true belief but believed on different grounds that support the knowledge. However, for now, we can settle on evidence that are strong for the knowledge we currently have; by having sufficient, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory evidence, we could trust. We also have to trust and rely on the authority, the agreement of the various communites of experts in all Areas of Knowledge, to know certain truths because we could not know everything. We may not live to know the Truth, but our approximated truths may let us live. ...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. TOK Mathematics and Sciences Essay

    For example, a study in the United States shows that people of color are more likely to get Alzheimer's disease.

  2. Does Language Determine or Limit Thought?

    quote, 'The limits of my language mean the limits of my world', supports this theory in saying thoughts are determined in language so our thoughts are limited to the frame that language provides us.10 If the Sapir-Whorf theory states that language determines thought, then how come sometimes we have a

  1. Does language determine or limit thought?

    On the other hand, a counter argument for linguistic determinism might be that thought could bring about the creation of a word; for instance, during a theory of knowledge lesson we were asked to come up with a word for the feeling you get when sitting on a chair that is still warm from someone's bottom.

  2. TOK. How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something ...

    The mind cannot prevent illusions caused due to the refraction of light and hence perceive a pencil as being fatter and bent under water or perceives a presence of an oasis when it is actually not there. We sometimes see dynamic, moving features in inanimate pictures; we imagine a person

  1. ToK presentation

    This is down to the fact that most people write articles to give the spin that they, their boss, the government, or the general public will most like. The result of these different perspectives in media and other sources is a stretching of information, so that it is uncertain where the real accurate stories lie.

  2. What I tell you three times is true. (Lewis Carroll) Might this formula ...

    Therefore, in such a situation, whereby inductive reasoning is the only way of knowing the 'truth', repetition could potentially determine what we believe to be true. However, Authority could play a major role in influencing our induced reasoning, which ultimately influences what we believe to be true.

  1. To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in different areas ...

    in non-empirical knowledge there is no need for experience, testing or observation. The conclusion depends on the validity of the theory and the logic used. Mathematics relies mainly on reason and logic to prove its validity to the world. Now reason is an interesting way of knowing as it incorporates

  2. Ethical judgments limit the methods available in the production of knowledge in both the ...

    Isn?t staying fully clothed during photography causing hindrance in the artist?s work and therefore miscommunication to those that were to gain knowledge from this? Similarly in the same field of expressionist art, Guillermo Habacuc Vargas a famous artist tied a malnourished street dog to a museum door with the sign

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