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

Tok essay- context is all

Extracts from this document...


"Context is all" (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing as truth? To answer this question it is first necessary to define truth. One of the best definitions of truth is a 'justified true belief', but it can also be defined as a statement proven or accepted to be true. In essence truth is very hard to define, and so we are going to take 'the truth' as something which is believed to be true by the majority of people. This is because as a society, we take to be true what others see as truth, and what our ideals are based upon. Friedrich Nietzsche is known to have said "there are many kinds of eyes... and consequently there are many kinds of 'truths' and consequently there is no truth."1. This implies that because the context of truth and the individual opinion matter so much truth cannot exist, as it is always changing. The context of information is a very important factor in how truth is viewed. However, it has not been agreed upon whether a reliance on context means that there is no such thing as truth. This essay is going to explore several different ways of finding truth, and how they relate to Atwood's view of context, and then a conclusion will be made as to what extent the connection between contextual information and fact means that truth is nonexistent. ...read more.


This theory is based more on thinking about an idea, or truth, unlike the correspondence theory which relies more on experiencing a truth ourselves. Knowledge by testimony can be achieved through this method of thinking, for it involves seeing how coherent a piece of evidence is and using this as a base for finding the truth; an example of this would be the O. J. Simpson murder trial, where there was no clear set of evidence to rely upon. Coherence is also good at establishing the truth of an empirical proposition. It can be particularly helpful as a negative test of truth, and means that we do not need to investigate every outlandish claim. The coherence theory implies that as long as a truth can be taken in context with other beliefs, it is undoubtedly in existence; thus backing up Atwood's assertion. However there are some criticisms of this theory. One of these being that coherence is not sufficient to determine truth. Though it is a good negative test of truth, it is less useful as a positive test. An example being that although it is easy to say that a shark cannot be in a freshwater lake, it cannot prove that just because it is a freshwater lake it must contain freshwater bluegills. ...read more.


This suggests that truth does exist; but that it has to be based on contextual information and that no one method of finding the truth is effective in all situations. Margaret Atwood is famous for her writings of dystopian novels, and they often revolve around possibilities for the future. She herself does not use truth in the official sense of the word, as her novels are mostly fictional, but she has explored the possibilities of truth and how it can change. From this exploration of various theories we have not reached a conventional conclusion. However, the one thing that seems to be consistent in the majority is the fact that truth can, and does exist: one has only to find it. Truths themselves do not change, but the contexts we can see around them do, and thus with changing contexts we find an apparent variation of truth. Truth is also not necessarily a set thing. There are varying degrees of truth, depending on how solid their base of contextual information is. To conclude, context is vitally important to the realization of truth, but it is clear that truth itself still exists: it is simply hard to find. 1 Taken from 'http://overtherainbough.blogspot.com/2004/06/friedrich-wilhelm-nietzsche-1844-1900.html' 2 TOK BOOK 3 De Veritate Q.1, A.1&3; cf. Summa Theologiae Q.16 - taken from 'http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth-correspondence' 4 TOK BOOK 5 Painted by George Claire (1830-1900) - taken from www.intoeuroart.com 6 TOK BOOK 7 TOK BOOK ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Art assignment TOK

    Nature, Mathematics and Art After you are through gallery A114, go into the garden. There is a metal piece of art which looks like DNA. You are allowed to play with this if you choose. Look at the plants more closely.

  2. If facts themselves never prove or disprove anything, what else is involved in the ...

    is sufficient to disprove the claim, Julius Caesar brought Christianity to Rome. The logic works like this. Caesar died in 44 BCE (before Christ), Christianity did not exist before Christ, so Caesar could not have brought Christianity to Rome. Here, one fact is sufficient, provided you allow some logical reasoning, to disprove a claim.

  1. tok essay 6

    But on the objective knowledge there are less convention can be change, only when there are have some mistakes. In this case the mistakes of scientific knowledge are very broad implications, because many of knowledge depend on other knowledge. The bottom of this changed that will change in whole system of the knowledge.

  2. Free essay

    IB TOK essay

    We know that theories once believed to be correct have been proven incorrect and ergo have reason to believe that current theories may, in future, also be proven incorrect. It was once believed that the Sun orbited the Earth and that the Earth was fiat, but evidence now makes us believe differently.

  1. TOK essay

    5 In this book, Big Brother deliberately appeals to people's emotions, in order to make them behave in a certain way. This is commonly known as propaganda. 6A psychologist would probably agree that we are slow to confront erroneous intuitions and get rid of them.

  2. "Context is all" (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing ...

    Rene Descartes' Rationalism is the use of reason, be it inductive or deductive to logically arrive at the truth.[6] Descartes used reason to arrive at his famous; 'Cogito Ergo Sum', I think therefore I am.[7] He was asking the question "How do I know I exist ?"

  1. Context is all. from the novel The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood brings a ...

    Philosophers such as Nancy Cartwright and Richard Giere who study the process of science have documented how the application of laws of pure science to the world is not a neat, axiomatic one but grounded in a rich scientific context.

  2. Context is all (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing ...

    in fact I could say on the basis of what I have been taught that the USSR under Stalin was not a nice place to live in. But does that mean that it is true? It has come to my understanding that the history of that time period is taught quite differently in Russia, even today.

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