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

TOK essay "role of language in areas of knowledge"

Extracts from this document...


Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge? Areas of knowledge make different claims and communicate them to the public using language in various ways. Language certainly plays a role in all of the areas of knowledge, but whether it has always the same importance is questionable. It would be extensive to discuss all the areas, an evaluation of three would be more effective. Considering mathematics first it has to be established that it has a rather different language then the rest of the areas - it uses symbols which is a great distinction. Another area which is, in my opinion, a good example for consideration is history, where so much depends on the use of language. Lastly, the arts are an appealing area, because it contains both visual arts which one might say don't make any use of language, but then there is literature, which is the opposite. It only uses language. Before giving this question more thought, mathematics came to my mind as an area, where language doesn't play a significant role at all, but of course I was only thinking of language as the body of words and nothing else. But obviously it is much more than that. ...read more.


It is almost impossible for a report of any given incident or experience to be unbiased. This does lead to the distinctions between reliable and unreliable sources, but even two reliable sources can have completely different takes on one event. Looking at historical events of a conflict we find that there are "two sides to one story" - each side using a fully distinct vocabulary than the other. Considering the Crusades as an example, there is an obvious difference of opinion about the events that happened in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The Europeans called it "a liberation", whereas the Muslims saw it as "an invasion". Sources originating form Europe try to convince whoever reads them of the European rightful course of action, using cleverly persuasive language, and the other side does naturally the same, defending their own truth. Language in historical texts can be very distinctive and swaying in gaining knowledge from them. But the knowledge does not come only (if at all) from being convinced by the sources, but by learning to consider and question the motives of their authors because of the language they use. The arts is one area of knowledge, but it contains two separate fields that are very different in ways - particularly when discussing the role of language. ...read more.


Some might see a whole new meaning in a poem whose themes were evaluated differently by a literary scholar. But that is the beauty of it. It is not like in history where the assumptions made from sources conclude our view of world history. The knowledge that we gain form literature and visual arts, the whole area of arts, is different form the others. Because it is knowledge about ourselves - how we understand the books we read or the paintings we see, and what that says about us. The language that the arts represent doesn't necessarily always communicate something to us but from us. Although it might not seem that way, all areas of knowledge are made up of an important component, language, which defines what they are. Even though it may not always be the language which uses words to express claims, but rather something else more characteristic of that area. Whether the roles of language are equally important in each, is hard to decide because of the variety of the languages, making it hard to compare them. But it can definitely be said, that in each of the areas discussed language does play an important role, and there is not one are which would be complete without it. Word count: 1 296 Natalia Tothova 3. IB A TOK ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...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. ToK Language Essay. The extent and type of our language defines ...

    This would effectively disprove what has been said so far, since language would become a by-product of culture instead of an aspect that contributes to its formation, having no effect whatsoever in our ability to acquire knowledge. For instance, an example of one of the rules that form part of

  2. TOK essay: The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our language, it shapes ...

    The word "LOL" is in a way replacing other forms of expression and vocabulary. However if something does exist people are most likely to develop a word for it. This can often be seen when scientists discover or invent something new.

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

    Do you think is matters if an artist is recognized in her or his lifetime? Do you think commercial success affects the pieces that an artist would make? Does this affect the art as 'art' or does it become a 'product'?

  2. How does vocabulary shape our knowledge?

    Afterwards, I learnt the meaning of "daughter", with a weird feeling to absorb this new information into my vocabulary. It shaped my basic knowledge of this moral connection to "the identity of a girl to her parents". However, later on I realized the existence of other possible ways to become "daughter" in both biological (e.g.: artificial insemination)

  1. Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge?

    different people who have taken part in the event or was alive when the event took place. So they can analyse and understand the events. In the arts, language is used to let the other generations understand and share the artist's feelings, as the arts are a way of expressing one's feelings.

  2. Should emotion play a role in the evaluation of knowledge claims?

    However, his emotion or the question "How will you live with the outcome?" did not change the conclusion. It could be that his reason was much stronger than the emotion and he forced his emotion to live with the consequence, even though it would be hard for anybody.

  1. Theory of Knowledge: History Essay

    A paradigm shift in history can place a huge impact on the society as much as a paradigm shift can in other areas of knowledge. The obvious example is the book "1421 - The year China discovered America" by Gavin Menzies.

  2. Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge?

    However, I am not completely sure if it is right to mention this ?equal? here.

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