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To what extent is truth different in mathematics, the arts, and ethics?

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THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE ESSAY To what extent is truth different in mathematics, the arts, and ethics? TOK Question #1 To what extent is truth different in mathematics, the arts, and ethics? In order to answer this question effectively, one must begin to identify what exactly the question implies. Because the question is asking the 'extent' that truth is different in mathematics, the arts, and ethics; one must examine how different and similar each area of knowledge is concerning the truth. 'Truth' can be defined as something with justification, so one must examine how justified elements are related in the areas of knowledge (AOKs). One must clarify assumptions that though mathematics, the arts, and ethics are different subjects and require different ways of thinking; one should realize that there are parallels between them. Though truth in the arts and ethics are more similar to that in mathematics, there are connections between all of the truths. One must investigate the AOKs and the associated ways of knowing (WOKs) such as perception, emotion, reason, and language. At a first glance, it can be viewed that there is a 'universal truth' that connects everything, and in this essay, this will be explored in detail. ...read more.


If one were to look at Vincent van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' as an example, there are many people (experts, other artists, the general public, etc.) that view this painting as beautiful. Because so many different people have the same view of the painting, one can say that it has a 'universal beauty' where it appeals to different people. This is similar to the truth in mathematics being 'absolute' in that there is objectivity in the art. Though we are limited to the confines of our senses and feelings because we are humans, the fact that some art has a 'universal beauty' where it is universally accepted as beautiful proves that art can be objective. In this case, truth in the arts refers to the pragmatic theory of truth. Even though it seems that there is subjectivity (due to the fact that emotions/feelings play a part) the fact that there is an agreement through a consensus, makes this type of truth objective. By contrast however, art can be viewed as being more subjective than mathematics. Instead of art being 'universal beautiful', it can be seen as 'regionally beautiful'. For example, I am a fan of paintings from Vincent van Gogh (especially The Starry Night). ...read more.


When considering both sides of the argument, one concludes that when ethics are used subjectively, than the ethical choices become truer. In conclusion, one can say that though there are differences in the truths of mathematics, the arts, and the ethics; there are also similarities. In mathematics, there is generally an 'absolute' truth that is objective, yet there are some uncertainties in mathematics that can classify it as a 'partial' truth. The truth in arts, though it is normally associated with subjectivity, there are cases when in can be objective. And for the truth in ethics, it should be subjective, yet if there were no objectivity involved, there would be no legal power controlling the chaos. The implication for this question is whether or not there are consequences if the truth in each is different. These three areas of knowledge are important in day-to-day, and the fact that the truths are different is beneficial and negative. If the truths in life cover a wide array of different aspects of knowing - perception, reason, emotion, reason, objectivity, subjectivity, etc. then we will be able to comprehend more about our surroundings. However, since the truths are different, we are more perceptible to influence - and therefore to having an inaccurate picture of what truth is. ...read more.

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