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TOK History Essay

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Introduction

TOK History Essay In what ways could it be said that interpretations in History are more effected by the different Ways of Knowing (language, reason, emotion, perception) than knowledge in Mathematics is? History is the study of the past. Mathematics is the study of concepts such as quantity, structure, space and change. Therefore, since the two areas of knowledge differ, the acquisition of knowledge in these areas will also differ. For example, the methods used to gather historical information/data cannot be used in mathematics: one will not try and find historical objects such as archaeologists do in order to acquire knowledge in mathematics because the result has no link to the knowledge area of mathematics. It is therefore clear that acquiring knowledge in the knowledge area of history will be different from acquiring knowledge in mathematics. The Ways of Knowing (language, reason, emotion, perception) are instrumental aspects in trying to acquire information in any Area of Knowledge. The way that these Ways of Knowing affect the acquisition of knowledge in the different Areas of Knowledge varies because the methods for acquiring data in the knowledge areas vary. This difference is particularly noticeable in the acquisition of knowledge in history and mathematics. ...read more.

Middle

Mathematics also has a considerable link with the Ways of Knowing. Firstly, I am going to observe the link between mathematics and emotion. Emotion is largely linked to mathematics because of the feelings involved with mathematicians or problem-solvers when acquiring mathematical knowledge. For example, a personal experience is that I have experienced joy and delight at solving a problem and hence acquiring mathematical knowledge. Such an experience can only change an approach one has to acquiring mathematical knowledge when solving a problem again. Mathematics can also produce heated arguments in a discussion of mathematical concepts. In addition, continuous work with mathematical problems can develop a sense of familiarity with the problem-solver as there are patterns that the problem-solver is able to notice. Since there is intellectual cognition involved when observing patterns, this is an emotional quality. Although mathematicians do not discuss it most and mathematics is seen as an unemotional acquisition of knowledge, there is a certain level of emotion involved. Language in mathematics mainly takes the form of symbols that are used in order to represent certain functions. Mason, a great researcher, said that "words generate more words in explanation, but often draw us away from the experiences from which they stem" (Worrying about emotions in history). ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, sources can be biased as they as subjective and hence historical interpretations cannot be based on them. In mathematics, perception is only needed through sight, in order to interpret the problem, which can only be interpreted in one way as the mathematical symbols only have one representation. In terms of reason, history once again is more affected because in mathematics, proofs can be developed to outline why certain aspects occur they way they do. However, it is often difficult to outline why certain historical events occurred because of the lack of information. In addition, the other Ways of Knowing also play their part when looking at one Way of Knowing ex. when analyzing perception, the sense of hearing can be affected through the use of language at that time in history. In conclusion, the effects of the Ways of Knowing on history and mathematics have been analyzed. I have concluded that history is affected more because it is more subjective, while mathematics is based on logical reasoning. History is affected more in all the four Ways of Knowing because mathematics is very systematic and has one firm representation in its language while history can have several, making it more difficult to interpret. ...read more.

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