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

'We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

?We see and understand things not as they are but as we are.? Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing. As humans, we instinctively turn to the belief that we are all unique and that our conceptions of the world are exclusive in their individuality. Being unique equates to being special, and thus our predisposition turns towards the idea of individuality; we are inclined to believe, as human nature entails, that we see and understand things not as they are but as we are. Yet consider child development: a child matures as they form an understanding of their life based on their surrounding influences. And so, if all of our so-called ?individual? conceptions are formed by exterior factors, to what extent can we truly consider ourselves unique? Who are we really, but a manifestation of everything around us? We may see and understand things as we are, but because we are essentially alike, conceptions of the things around us are not altered by our individual understandings. Language is one of the predominant means by which different ethnic groups distinguish themselves. The theory here is that languages have different roots and therefore the meanings of each specific language differ slightly as the understandings between each culture alter. ...read more.

Middle

the sight in the same way. When the sun rises in the morning, this is comprehendible as the beginning of a new day, or were we to see a woman walking a dog, it is automatically assumed that the dog is the woman?s pet. Using the AOK of Natural Science, we are shown that such a similar understanding of certain events is logical; Piaget?s work on cognitive development reveals that children form an understanding through schemas, defined as ?a set of linked mental representations of the world, which we use both to understand and to respond to situations?[2], which are stored in the brain as behavioral patterns. Effectively, Piaget?s discovery illustrates that in order to create an understanding, an individual first perceives a pattern, which they then relate to their surroundings. As such, our understanding of the world around us stems from the patterns we associate with our environment, and therefore we do not see and understand things as ?we are?, rather, we see and understand them as how ?they are? within our environment. Yet, what of those whose environments differ? Are we to believe that a rich, privileged woman in the Hamptons would view the world in the same way as an undernourished child growing up in Botswana? ...read more.

Conclusion

As such, when we observe certain sites, our body?s physical responses to what we see are the same, and thus we interpret the sites in the same way. Overall, through explorations of the WOK?s of Language, Perception and Emotion, as supported by evidence in the AOK?s of natural and human sciences and history, we can discern that while each individual may see and understand this as he/she is, rather than how it is, because our understandings are formed from the experiences within our surroundings, these individual understandings do not change between each person. Abraham Lincoln?s quote, ?books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren?t very new after all?[5], reiterates the idea that our understanding of our surroundings is not unique. However, current research shows that our comprehension of the things around us go even further; theory of mind, a hypothesis that targets both Human and Natural Sciences as Areas of Knowledge, explores the human affiliation to folk psychology, which is defined as ?[the human] ability to make predictions about what?s on others? minds?.[6] As such, the research conducted conveys how humans are able to see and understand things not as ?we are? but as ?they are? and further proves how one?s understandings are merely a manifestation of their physical surroundings. ...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 ...

    Many Americans became Islamaphobic and, as a result, protests were carried out and several Muslims - such as the Iranian American nail salon owner, Zohreh Assemi - were discriminated against and beaten (The New York Post - Muslim Biz Gal Beaten).

  2. Which is the most reliable WOK?

    Emotions are inborn. They need not be learnt, but are experienced. Yet the experience of two individuals in one case may be different. For example, while bungee jumping one person may be petrified and scared of dying, while another may be thrilled and excited for the new adventure.

  1. Free essay

    "In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters ...

    information people receive to be able to build an understanding of how things really are in the world themselves. The issue of Nazism and their beliefs can be considered as an example of the effects filters, which are created by the culture they live in, have on people.

  2. Theory of Knowledge People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the ...

    not consider these to be interfering too much with my creative expression. Therefore, if an artist's reasoned cognition is interrupted beyond a particular threshold due to a chaotic event, the individual may require knowledge of order so that their psychological equilibrium can be maintained.

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

    To what extent is logic the truth and how does it help us see and understand things? Immanuel Kant argued that logic should be conceived 'as the science of judgment,' not as a law. If two people see the same apple it is possible for them both to describe it

  2. TOK. In this essay I will use two ways of knowing to discuss the ...

    Instead of seeing this as an appalling act that victimizes Hassan and inflicts great pain on him, he sees it as something that is hurtful to himself. Amir feels that he is the victim, but in actual fact his neglect to aid makes him as guilty as the doer.

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

    This example illustrates the difference that can occur between individuals' perception of the same thing. The cause of this dissimilarity can be traced down to one's background, such as genetics and language.

  2. As an IB student, how has your learning of history and science ...

    Thus the scientific theories do help us understand man and society as a whole. If Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Dickens stand as the pillars of wisdom and sapience, our knowledge is incomplete without Galileo, Newton, Edison and Einstein. Darwin?s theory of evolution is legendary in explaining to us how man and society evolved from apes and monkeys.

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