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ToK- Sense perception

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Introduction

To what extent does Sense perception and Reason help us to answer the question "Is this knowledge true?" in Natural Sciences & Ethics? Everyday we use different ways of knowing in order to help us gain knowledge. However, to what extent is this knowledge we gain true? Each way of knowing has its own flaws that can prove our gained knowledge from a specific area of knowledge to be unreliable. When discussing the issue "To what extent does Sense perception & Reasoning help us gain true knowledge in the Natural Sciences and Ethics", it is crucial to note that natural sciences are an area of knowledge known to be the study of the natural world around us. Natural sciences, a broad area of knowing, can be broken down into three general known sciences - Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Ethics is another area of knowledge; the ways of knowing are the ways in which we gain knowledge - sense perception and reasoning are two ways of knowing. Sense perception is when we use our five senses to gain knowledge, whilst reasoning is when we make meaning to explain what we think by changing or improving our opinions/ideas. These two ways of knowing have limitations in finding the truth about Natural sciences and Ethics. ...read more.

Middle

However I later realised that this factor is indeed relevant because in fact, it affects the room temperature and thus, can possibly affect the rate of the chemical reaction that I am attempting to carry out. In a similar situation, the observations made from an experiment can be biased depending on the expectations of the person who is carrying out the experiment. Expectations can influence what we see. An example of this is in the same situation with the metal and acid experiment. If I strongly believed that the reaction would produce some kind of noise, I would claim to hear some sort of a noise, even though if another person were to conduct the same experiment (without expecting any sound), they would not hear one. Although sense perception has many flaws and can often cause us to gain knowledge that is not necessarily true, when paired with other ways of knowing such as reason, the knowledge we gain is more reliable and more likely to be true. Reason, as a way of knowing, is when we ourselves create meaning to explain what we think, by changing or improving our opinions/ideas. There are three types of reasoning: Inductive, Deductive and Informal. The two types of reasoning used in the Natural Sciences particularly, are inductive and deductive reasoning. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example where the first law is used is that when I was nine years old, I felt like stealing a pen from a small minimart because it was so pretty, but then I decided not to because I thought about how if everyone stole pens from the same minimart, the minimart owner would be very upset and would lose a lot of money, my nine year old ethics didn't want the minimart owner to be upset. A second example where the second law is used is that I expect people to respect me whilst I am talking instead of interrupting, and so I don't interrupt others whilst they are in the middle of saying something. There are many different ways of knowing that can be used in each area of knowledge to ensure that the knowledge we gain is true and reliable. These other ways of knowing include Language and Emotion. However, Sense perception and Reason, when used together in a single area of knowledge, such as the Natural Sciences/Ethics, help make knowledge more truthful. Each way of knowing helps to cancel out the limitations of the other way of knowing that they are paired with. It would be impossible to gain knowledge, true or not if it weren't for the ways of knowing. ...read more.

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