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

Rational Criticism - TOK

Extracts from this document...


Lekha Ravichandran Class # 3 12/7/08 ESSAY #6: All Knowledge Claims should be Open to Rational Criticism. On What Ground and Extent Do You Agree With This? If one makes a knowledge claim it has to be true, there must be justification, and he/she must believe it. In order to justify a claim, there must be physical evidence to prove the validity of its truth - and the most logical way to evaluate that is through rational criticism by using reasoning. But one must take into account the many factors that are involved when using reasoning with all knowledge claims since there are limitations that one must bear in mind. All knowledge claims should be open to rational criticism, but some only can be achieved to a certain degree since reasoning might be irrelevant depending on the subject matter. There are different ways of using reason to asses or come up with a knowledge claim such as inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning - but one must be aware of the limitations that play into it and the reliability of it. Moreover, there are such things as "bad" reasoning which could lead to false generalizations and fallacies. Therefore, there are many things that one must consider when using rational criticism to judge or justify a knowledge claim - such as the role that logic plays, the ambiguity of language across various cultures, one's beliefs, and the certainty of the two methods of reasoning. ...read more.


This is because when Beethoven was compiling his music, they were all guided by his emotions and feelings so it's almost impossible to analyze his pieces objectively. He himself was not aware of how he completed his pieces and did not use self-criticism. Therefore, one's emotions affect the firmness of reason. This is especially true when it comes to love. Love is one of those situations that people cannot explain in this world. Of course, one can argue against it - but even if rational criticism is used to explain "love", it would only be relevant to a certain point. The emotional feeling that one experiences is almost unexplainable - so this, and other such circumstances, demonstrate that one cannot discern all knowledge using reason. Another factor that may affect reasoning would be an individual's personal beliefs. People argue that religion can neither be justified nor proved false through reasoning. One can maintain that since all knowledge claims can only be justified through physical evidence, and since religious beliefs offer none, it would be reasonable to deny the existence of God. This person may regard those who continue to have religious ideas as having mere beliefs, which are beliefs without any justification. But in response to this case, those who believe in God can assert that their beliefs are established by faith. ...read more.


But one cannot always solely rely on inductive reasoning. This is because, in the case of insufficient evidence, people tend to make informal reasoning - which leads to fallacies. Fallacies, such as hasty generalizations, can be misleading. Hasty generalizations are due to four main reasons: ignorance, laziness, pride, and prejudice. All these factors cause "bad" reasoning and limit our reliability of using inductive reasoning for rational criticism. Any claim to knowledge must be shown to be a justified true belief. Rational criticism can be used to a certain extent when trying to reason out knowledge claims. As it is evident, there are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using logic and rationalism to justify the "truth" of a belief. An individual's belief and their cultural background play a major role in relation to how he/she rationalizes and views a circumstance using their reason. Most situations in the world can be evaluated by means of reasoning, but there are also numerous other incidents when reasoning is not always relevant. There are some ideas in this world, gained through logic, which no one can argue against or deny. But one must be careful of when to use reason and to what extent because it could lead to "bad" reasoning and it may not even be applicable to the topic at hand. ...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. All knowledge claims should be open to rational criticism. On what grounds and to ...

    This possibility of certainty, however, does not apply to all areas of mathematics, especially in complex theorems that need to be vigorously tested before publication. Although mathematics may require the use of various syllogisms like logic, the validity of deductive reasoning is based upon the logic of the argument and not the truth of its foundation.

  2. The main causes of bad reasoning are ignorance, laziness, pride, and prejudice.

    When it comes to ignorance and reasoning, what a lot of people tend to do is shift the proof burden, no matter what little proof is available, to one side in order to support their own argument.

  1. Reliability of Sigmund Freud's claims

    Deductive reasoning is easier to believe because it seems intuitively obvious. But sometimes it can lead to far of conclusion, because it can be used to prove anything (Rocks cannot fly, My sister can't fly, therefore my sister is a rock).

  2. What might be meant by Nietzche's comment that "rational thought is interpretation according to ...

    At first I could not agree that this was possible, because the same happenings make people feel differently, and I also could not agree to the idea that emotions would develop from a logic base. Then, after discussing it thoroughly with my colleges and teacher, I reached a totally different

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

    Finding Meaning in Art 3. Art asks us to find our own meaning at times. Find any painting in the Gallery A111. a) How is the artist trying to convey meaning? The painting that appealed to me the most in section A111 is called "3+4+1", by Paul-Emile Borduas.

  2. Science and Reasoning

    The accumulation of facts is part of a knowledge system, but it must be carefully organized and thought of rationally and reasonably in order to begin calling it science. Why is science this way exactly? To me science is exactly as I have stated.

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