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

TOK. How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true?

Extracts from this document...


Mercedes Benz International School Theory of knowledge: How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true? Name: Rhea Silva School: Mercedes Benz International School Subject: Theory of Knowledge Topic Number: 7 Candidate Number: Exam Session: May 2010 Word Count: 1566 What is truth and who defines truth? Is truth that which is decided by a majority of people? Is something 'more' true if it is told to me by my teacher rather than one of my friends'? Is truth related to a certain time, place, culture, or age group or is truth simply relative? And if truth is relative, is that not a paradox in itself? We all have beliefs and we know that there is some truth in those beliefs. These beliefs which make up reality are fundamental to our lives. Yet, we cannot describe what is real or what is unreal. It is through cross examining our perception of reality that our lives gain meaning. Thus, I have to ask myself: Is the table I am touching solid, is the grass I walk on green, is the planet I live on spherical and so on. ...read more.


We did not want to be considered "stupid" by our peers by acknowledging the contradictory view. I believe that the Earth is round, but that belief is not based only on my perception of the evidence but also on my emotional reaction to the beliefs of the people around me. From the above two examples, it can be seen that irrespective of whether something is tangible or intangible, our emotions and our sense perception play a major role in shaping reality. If we choose to be traditional empiricists, and accept that we perceive reality through our senses, then we have to evaluate the effectiveness of our senses as a way of knowing. Do we perceive things through our senses or do we filter that which we perceive through our minds? Consider a collage with more than a hundred tiny pictures. If the collage is shown to a group of people for a minute and then they are asked to note down what they saw, some of them will recollect certain images that other had not even seen. This shows that even though the eyes may have seen the entire picture, the mind chose only those images that held some significance to the observer. ...read more.


Knowing that our perception is subjective to past experiences, social and cultural conditioning, biological limitations, language and other such factors, is it logical for us to believe that our senses give us truth? However, it is impossible not to rely on our senses in everyday life. I know that fire is hot; I know that chocolate is sweet to taste; I know that the fan is on if it is moving, i know that dead animals smell bad. Pragmatists believe in a truth that "works". We have to rely on our senses to live normal lives and progress. In conclusion, even if our senses are unreliable, it is necessary to form some inference of what truth is. In order to live normal lives, it is necessary to take some truths for granted. However, we should keep in mind that truth is not absolute. And hence, we have to question our sensory perception when it is comes fundamental beliefs and consider its limitations and the roles emotions and reason play in giving us truth. It is important for the individual to decide when his senses give him truth and should be able to distinguish between the senses in order to form his fundamental faith and beliefs which in turns forms his perception of reality and truth. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. To understand something you need to rely on your own experience and culture. Does ...

    When was it produced? Why was the source produced? when they are going to analyse a source. These questions are historians' tools and are impersonal18, wissen-knowledge. Some historians, such as intentionalists perceive "Hitler [as] a strong dictator who was in a position to realise his intentions"19 think that Hitler planned a systematic genocide starting in 193320.

  2. What can be meant by the Panchantantra saying, Knowledge is the true organ of ...

    Many scientists chose not to research into its purpose as like the name suggests, they decided that it was purposeless, and had no significance in the human body. Luckily though, there were scientists who were willing to do further research into the non-coding DNA, they have discovered that it indeed

  1. Can we know something that has not yet been proven true?

    A statement of knowledge must have a certain amount of evidence for it to be proven. Evidence can determine whether or not we regard something as knowledge, so this is an important aspect to consider when discussing whether we can know something that has not yet been proven true.

  2. Our senses tell us that a table, for example, is a solid object; science ...

    Like in the area of knowledge associated with learned languages, it can be perceived to be a one sided relationship. You have the musician and the audience member. Only one has to know music as a language. The other person can however interpret the music in his own way.

  1. What I tell you three times is true. (Lewis Carroll) Might this formula ...

    Reason is present in this area of knowledge in the historians' initial work of gathering and analyzing sources to reach a conclusion assumed to be just for all. Yet errors in reasoning are present in history, indicated by hasty generalization whereby a historian, after reading just one source, makes a general conclusion.

  2. Knowledge gives us a sense of who we are. To what extent is this ...

    Knowledge of how genes are the determining factors of a wide array of physical and pyschological traits gives scientists a sense of who we humans are. At the external level, the number of genes differentieats the humans from other specieas.

  1. Are some ways of knowing more likely than others to lead to truth?

    This theory states that without the bodily reactions, emotional reactions can?t actually occur. This can be true to a certain extent, in the sense that most emotions are preceded by a set of bodily expressions. For example, when a person is angry, they experience acceleration in heartbeat rate, contracted facial muscles and vigorous hand gestures.

  2. How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that ...

    However in reasoning one has to consider the implication that logical fallacies influence the way we reason. Inductive reasoning often leads to hasty generalizations and confirmation bias, where one remembers only what they want to remember. As human beings we tend to follow the fallacy Ag ignorantiam whereby we claim

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