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

Theory of Knowledge Essay

Extracts from this document...


Theory of Knowledge Essay "In order to find out how things really are, one must understand teh filters through which one percieves the world." Discuss and evaluate this statement. The first thing to do when trying to understand and evaluate this statement is to appreciate the different angles from which it can be seen. The first and most obvious thing to do is to take a closer look at the terminology. It is necessary to examine the key words - in this case above all the expressions "really", "filters" and "perception". After doing this, the statement as a whole needs to be examined, and it needs to be clarified to what extent it can be considered true. The first terms to define and clarify are "perception" and "filters". Perception can be defined as "The procession of outside information, taken up by the five senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting) and sent to the brain in the form of electrical impulses, where this information, in conjunction with the personal experience of the person, creates an image of the outside world." When looking at this definition it becomes clear that there are already three main filters in the process of perception alone: the fice senses, the conversion into electrical impulses and the personal experience of the percieving person. ...read more.


All the noises around us for example melt into one - we don't distinguish between all the diffenrent cars, we just hear traffic. The difference to the scientific filters is that we can percieve them consciously when concentrating on it. This has been found out by neurologists (e.g. Dr Darold Treffert) studying the phenomenon of "savants" (people with extrodinary abilities, such as calculating logarithms in the head or remembering the weather of a random day four years ago) - people in this condition do not process this information sub-consciously, but consciously and are thus overwhelmed by the information arriving in their brain. On top of these scientific filters of information there are also cultural ones. Stereotyping is a good example for this. Stereotyping - putting people into categories - takes away our objectivity and thus reduces the amount of consciously taken up information further. For example when meeting an American tourist, having the prejudice of Americans being not intellectual and having an over-confident view on their own abilities, one might be apprehensive towards this American, not consciously noticing good qualities in him, but rather concentrate on the bad ones. ...read more.


As it has been discussed earlier, perception is extremely prone to mistakes and subjectivity - as perception is a part of the process of reasoning, it must thus be said that reason itself is prone to mistakes and subjectivity too. Thus the concept of using reason to overcome the weaknesses of perception becomes a paradox, because reason itself requires a certain amount of perception, just as perception requires a certain amount of reason ("To gaze is to think", Salvatore Dal´┐Ż). What good is trying to find a reality beyond our own, if we are more than likely to never be able to grasp it anyway? If we consider the cultural and mental aspect, those that we can alter when concentrating on it, it is actually essential. Understanding between different cultures can only be achieved by the acceptance of both sides that one's own perception of reality is not objective, and does not necessarily be as real for everyone else. In conclusion to all this it becomes clear that although the statement itself contains a paradox, it also carries the important message of a non-existent universal reality, whose acceptance is vital for inter-personal and inter-cultural understanding. Words: 1482 ?? ?? ?? ?? Theory of Knowledge Katharina Ziegeler August 2007 ...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. Theory of Knowledge Essay on Choices in the World ...

    off track, and the implications of such a statement are truly horrific: how many things do we fail to notice, with what certainty can we ascertain that what we in passing perceive as being self-consistent is indeed so? How much of our knowledge contradicts itself?

  2. Theory of Knowledge Essay

    The black figure is sticking up his arms. They could also both be swimming. * The black figure would then be breast-swimming. It could also be the grey figure waving in greeting towards friends, and the black figure raising his arms in victory.

  1. TOK essay

    These are just some of the ways one could be hindered by trying to display knowledge through art. Natural sciences and knowledge are partners in the aspect that in human sciences, one must do a 25 chain of experiments before a census is reached.

  2. TOK essay

    Furthermore, the fundamental principles on which reason is based are a major strength. The fact that reason is based on premises means that it sets knowledge into a spiral effect.5 Through reason, experience, reading, learning or other such techniques are used to acquire additional knowledge.

  1. "There can be no Knowledge without emotion...until we have felt the force of this ...

    In fact, even today, many twenty first century people remain quite fearful of getting diseases from contaminated water, we must be sure that it is clean-I do not dare drink tap water even from developed countries. Extending from this is the knowledge claim that different emotions give a different understanding of events in history.

  2. Coherence Essay

    The authority of this religion is unconditional and cannot be argued. For someone who believes that the Christian religion is the source of all that is true, the Ten Commandments and other edicts in the Bible or alternative religious text are the absolute law.

  1. Hebraism and Hellenism by Matthew Arnold. Applying Arnold's analysis to modern day America.

    This is very Hebraic because they just blindly follow this pledge even if it is not the right path for the country. They think that this pledge is their great light even when in reality it is just blackmail. Another form of Hebraism in the world today is still the Bible.

  2. The more falsifiable a theory is, the better it is. Discuss.

    Even though they are not falsifiable theories in the eyes? of professors, they are pragmatic theories that work in practice for people, such as religion. If you say ?God exists?, it?s not ?scientific? in term of ?falsifiability?, but certain people still choose to accept it as their belief.

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