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Theory of Knowledge People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the chaos of events (adapted from John Gray, Heresies, 2004). In what ways and to what extent would you say this claim is relevant in at least two areas of knowledge?

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Introduction

"People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the chaos of events" (adapted from John Gray, Heresies, 2004). In what ways and to what extent would you say this claim is relevant in at least two areas of knowledge? Order, from my perspective, can be defined generally as a methodical, structured arrangement employed to aid in the completion of an objective or purpose. Opposing this is the force of chaos, which I believe is a spontaneous condition of psychological disorientation that counters a knower's equilibrium in an environment. It is, of course, a subjective concept and can be defined differently in the arts and the natural sciences, the areas of knowledge I will be limiting analysis to. In natural science, I define chaos as any such outcome that contradicts experiments or current scientific postulates of the universe, while in the arts it will be defined as a resistive force that opposes how a creative vision is formed. The term "people" will represent those specialized group, particularly practitioners of the arts or the natural sciences. The ways and the extent to which a knower's interpretation of chaos influences the individual's contextualization of order is the centralizing knowledge issue of the essay. ...read more.

Middle

The late psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl, while a prisoner-of-conscience in a Nazi concentration camp, survived the harsh cruelties of forced labour and death around him by explicitly deciding not to surrender his individuality, an integral part of a man's life, to his oppressors.4 One could say that Frankl, in discovering that his existence had a greater purpose, discarded the necessity of order for the chaos of his confinement. This extreme example underscores that when one is accustomed to chaotic pressures, they may not necessarily need order. Having said this, my exploration with poetry more strongly suggests that most individuals rely significantly on an intrinsic core of order, to varying extents, so that the pandemonium of their perceptions and emotions can be turned into a tangible product, be it an accurate scientific theory or an artistic vision. Another related knowledge issue is: In what way does the human reasoning impulse create order in the arts and the natural sciences? Firstly, reasoning capabilities in the arts, varying amongst individuals and their specializations, ultimately interact with the individual knower to shape our need to see order in chaos. American avant-garde pianist Keith Jarrett defines this notion; he abruptly halted a Royal Festival Hall concert because an audience member coughed, for he hastily inferred "an implied boredom"5 of his concert according to his inductive reasoning processes. ...read more.

Conclusion

This investigation also assumes that "chaos" is not beneficial to the knower, which should be challenged as well. If chaos is advantageous to a certain perspective, the knower likely does not require order. Recently, my local newspaper published articles on increased radiation therapy bunkers and an expansion of the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre.9 This may be detracting funds from other provincial causes like Internet funding at the Halifax Public Libraries10, but the natural scientist might find this "funding chaos" to be beneficial and order would not be essential nor needed. In summation, the ways and the extent to which artists and natural scientists require order in chaotic situations depends on their reasoning and sense perceptive processes. The artist's creative vision, for one, might get malformed if their reasoning is infiltrated by an exterior force or if their perception of chaos adds a stress to their system. On the contrary, if the perceptions of the natural scientist do not match the experienced, representational data of their experiments, or if their reasoning is faulty in reaching a theoretical conclusion, a chaotic situation may develop much like smallpox or the ultraviolet catastrophe. Despite the numerous counterarguments, both conceptions of chaos seem to equally rely on the investigation for order amidst chaos, and so Gray's claim is thus somewhat relevant in both the arts and the natural sciences. ...read more.

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