• 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...

Introduction

"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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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. 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.

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

    Attempting to express a new scientific idea becomes merely a matter of "trying to find the right words". But what is the "right" to say in sciences and how to define the "right" explanation all affect the scientific experiments differently, one error in any sentences would make a huge mistakes.

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

    This gives a logical scientific conclusion that proves that green light is not used by chlorophyll during photosynthesis.

  2. 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

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

    Relating back to the knowledge issue, this essay has explored the extent to which Anais Nin's statement that "We see and understand things not as they are but as we are" holds true to our attainment of knowledge.

  2. work based project

    Five service users seemed enthusiastic and said they'd like to take part. I decided to give the questionnaires to them and asked them to fill them in whilst they were in their rooms and that I would collect them the next day.

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

    Historians supplied with the same evidence impose their own beliefs and unavoidably preconceptions in their reasoning and source selection. As a result, they often conclude with different, often opposing yet at the same time feasible interpretations. Faced with the same sources, historians are divided into different schools of thoughts to the origin of the Holocaust.

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

    be changed to "we see and understand things not as they are, but as we interpret ourselves to be." Emotion. It is in this other way of knowing, emotion, in which another issue of knowledge arises. Honestly, at first, I did not accept this statement to be true.

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