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

TOK Essay: Using history and at least one other area of knowledge, examine the claim that it is possible to attain knowledge despite problems of bias and selection.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Title: Using history and at least one other area of knowledge, examine the claim that it is possible to attain knowledge despite problems of bias and selection. Knowledge is not complete. It is not to say that knowledge is partial; rather, it is not absolute. Whether perceivable or not, bias and selection exert some influence in the process of the Ways of Knowing, and its effect on the acquisition of knowledge is tremendous. But this does not mean we cannot attain knowledge whatsoever. Knowledge can be gained, as it has been since the beginning of human civilization. In this essay, I will examine the nature of knowledge acquisition in two Areas of Knowledge, history and literature, to determine to what extent attaining knowledge is possible. In order to evaluate the validity of knowledge, it is essential to understand what the nature of knowledge is. Knowledge is not just "accurate information." Of course, knowledge may gain higher validity when without individual bias, depending on which scope of the Areas of Knowledge it is placed. However, according to the Ways of Knowing, one can say that knowledge does not have to be entirely objective. ...read more.

Middle

However, even the most neutral perspective is often tainted by bias, as growing international interdependence makes an incident in one area affect multiple other areas. Thus, a completely objective view in History cannot be achieved. This is the main problem of History that haunts its truthfulness. But despite this problem, History is still believed to be a valid area of knowledge. This is not because it is largely objective; historians agree that History is full of national, regional and even individual bias. It is the role of the inquirers of historical knowledge to determine what had actually happened in the past, based on the different versions of historical records from different contexts. This makes attaining knowledge in History relatively difficult. If a person wants to gain knowledge of the Fourth Crusade, for example, he/she has to read records from the English, French and German perspective of the event, as well as the Seljuk Turk's. Different points of view at the national level must be considered such as the political aims of each nation, the extent of Catholic influence, gain and loss of manpower, etc. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, it is valid to say that what the audience feels from their subjective-or "biased"-views are all part of the literary knowledge. Thus bias and selection actually adds to the value of literature. However, it is important to note that this is only one of the methods of analyzing literature, and not all. Analyzing a piece of literature from the audience's point of view is more or less limited, and a "complete" knowledge can only be gained from thoroughly examining the work from all points of view. Only then the value of bias and selection can truly shine its value. Knowledge is not absolute; it is not free of bias and selection. Nevertheless, knowledge is valuable in that they encompass even the products of bias and selection. History and literature, altogether, prove that knowledge can be attained despite the problems of bias. As mentioned, basing a process of gaining knowledge entirely on bias and selection should be avoided. But used properly, they even show that in some cases they can enhance the acquirement of knowledge, adding much to the value of knowledge as a whole. WORD COUNT: 1224 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 History Essay

    Although proofs can be obtained in history, some are subjective as they could be based on primary sources such as an interview with a person who was involved in a certain event in the past, and others are difficult to obtain because they occurred in the past.

  2. Using history and at least one other area of knowledge, examine the claim that ...

    However they do reveal an underlying anger towards his leadership and long standing unpopularity, therefore it is important to consider what knowledge you are trying to obtain from a source rather than taking information at face value. For example, one would not take Homer's Odyssey to be an accurate representation

  1. What is Gentleman? What are the characteristics of the Gentleman? Is it possible to ...

    Obviously, Confucius shown us the way how to live, but I disagree with his some points and I think that according to Confucius, no one is a gentleman nowadays. To prove it, I want to compare his statements with real example from life.

  2. TOK essay

    Truth is defined individually be assigning a belief to a truth subject. Hence the most likely way of knowing the truth is the one in which the belief is the greatest: most often that is perception. Even with untrue dogmatism, beliefs are flexible in the long- run, so one should keep challenging ways of knowing to move closer to truth.

  1. The knowledge that we value the most is the knowledge for which we can ...

    However, emotion is something that can be argued about for years. Due to the fact that emotion is a very abstract thing, there is no proof and solid justification to emotion. I think this is still correlated to the value of knowledge, because I think that emotion is not valuable knowledge.

  2. Theory of Knowledge People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the ...

    The ultraviolet (Rayleigh-Jeans) catastrophe can be considered as a significant real life situation that defines this notion. According to an IB Physics lecture, the total radiated power of a black body in thermal equilibrium was unlimited at high frequencies according to classical physics equations2; calamitously, experimentation proved these equations incorrect.

  1. TOK. Consider the extent to which complete certainty might be achievable in mathematics and ...

    But have we seen God to complete that absolute truth? Here is the answer to certainty. There is nothing that can be given and understood in complete form: there must always be an obstacle stopping us from knowing the complete truth.

  2. Examine the Claim That It Is Possible to Attain Knowledge Despite Problems of Bias ...

    It is probably fair to say that nearly every historical event and its interpretation have been shaped by the bias and selectiveness of different people. History?s purpose is either to keep record of the past or prove a point of view.

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