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

TOK Essay. We see and understand things not as they are but as we are

Extracts from this document...


"We see and understand things not as they are but as we are" It may be physical or psychological, and a cursory observation of human interactions makes it apparent that we engage psychologically in at least two different, not necessarily mutually exclusive types of "seeing". One is where we employ external inputs to perceive the outside world. The other is the unadulterated gazing inside of our own conscious: genuine introspection. Both varieties of "seeing" are a part of our daily interactions and are shaped by our environment and backgrounds.. It could be an interesting measure of one's emotional maturity as to how little dichotomy is allowed to exist between those two types of "seeing" in daily transactions. The area of history can be displayed to support the statement. Hitler is a subject of endless debate amongst historians: a judgement of his massacre of the Jews would be based on personal perspectives, cultural beliefs and moral values. Even though it is widely accepted Hitler was unethical in his actions, a staunch Nazi would have justifications that only other Nazis would be able to relate with. ...read more.


Taking an example from personal experience, during my internship I came across an atheist doctor who subscribed to the principle of relative morality with liberal views on abortion right up to 21 weeks of pregnancy. A patient asked him whether aborting voluntarily at 21 weeks of pregnancy would be tantamount to depriving a life a chance to exist as well as what his thoughts were on the foetus' ability to perceive pain, and in my presence he dismissed those concerns in private. He did, however, have to transcend his own perceptions on this topic and project the known facts in relation to this patient's enquiries. Whatever the personal background and views of the doctor, he had no choice but to see the consequences as they actually were. In fact, that is what most competent doctors do day in and day out. History also provides examples where not just individuals but nations have demonstrated how it has been necessary for them to see reality as it were rather than getting stuck in the wrong lane with their perceptions of individuals or events. Taking India before independence, the British had a strategic motive based on their perceived national interests when it came to judging and dealing with Mahatma Gandhi. ...read more.


This brings us to a time-tested understanding that although it would be within one's immediate comfort zone to see things mainly on the basis of one's personal interpretations, the actual truth is always out there, irrespective of whether we are restricted exclusively within the cocoon of our own views or not. If these views are a product of a mature, empathetic and knowledgeable mind, then the way one sees things will approximate the way things actually are. Anything less could be counterproductive for a person or a nation because it is inherent in the nature of the truth to eventually prevail. At that time, if one is on the good side of the truth, there is no more cause for misery and the icing on the cake is confirmation of the value of insight: enlightenment as it were. In conclusion, I feel everyone has to some degree a bias on something because we have all developed in different environments, raised to believe different things and inspired to do different things. The closest one can get to seeing things as they are in reality is through science for situations where scientific laws are widely accepted. Otherwise, a moderately neutral outlook considering the majority of viewpoints and consequences would be a good starting point. ? ...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. We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. Discuss ...

    The essential role of language is to transport a cargo which is variously described as meaning or content. In physics, the language is usually expressed by a mathematics equation, deductive reasoning, in order to find out the "truth" I have to measure every data precisely even uncertainties.

  2. Tok Essay. We see and understand things not as they are but as we ...

    This has lead me to believe that the human sciences are unreliable in relation to that of the natural sciences; and thus the reason for my opposition to the knowledge claim when looked at through sense perception. Unlike sense perception, I find that emotion applies a great deal to the claim.

  1. ToK Essay What similarities and differences are there between historical and scientific explanations?

    Hitler will be used as an example to prove a point. "Why did Hitler dislike Jews?" The answer to this question may remain irresolute forever; Hitler himself might have not even known the exact answer to it. The best a historian can do to answer this question is to merely

  2. We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. Discuss ...

    In fact, researches show that absolute pitch is more prevalent amongst tonal language speakers.3 It seems that we perceive differently due to our varied personal experiences - in this case, the language we have learned. This example demonstrates the vital role we human beings play in imposing ourselves on reality

  1. In order to understand the truth, we must understand the filters of how we ...

    To conclude, there are three basic filters that affect our opinions and ultimately how we perceive the world. There are also other filters that can fall in between. But how do these filters affect our world and the truth in it?

  2. TOK Essay 2009 - We see the world not as it is but as ...

    Absorption of light is the mechanism behind photosynthesis in plants and green light is reflected by chlorophyll, causing the leaves to appear green in color. To prove this scientific explanation, an experiment can be conducted to determine how different wavelengths of light affect the rate of photosynthesis.

  1. Salt, governments, beliefs, and celebrity couples are a few examples of things that can ...

    Faith is a spiritual force from God and fear is a spiritual force from devil. It is usually the beliefs of a man that are responsible for the inculcating of faith and fear in a man. If a man believes that he can achieve something, he will achieve it indubitably.

  2. We want to investigate on whether the development of computer technology brings more positive ...

    Secondly, they should be aware of their privacy setting. Users should avoid showing all their posts and photos to the public unless it?s necessary. These two basic measures against privacy infringement could help users to protect their own information from access by strangers.

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