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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. How does language affect the way we see things?

    Nobody in this world knows languages when they are born, whether it is animals or humans. They learn it from others. This allows biases of the teacher to pass on to the new born. For example, when we were six years old and being taught the names of different colours, we were told that the sky is blue. This was told to us and we could see it, thus, we believed it. But, in the later years as the science taught to us advanced, we came to know that the space is actually black. This was a pure bias created in our minds through perception and later on we believed it because somebody used language and reasoning to make us realize the truth.

    • Word count: 809
  2. In Mrigaa Sethis essay, Facebook: Editing Myself, she talks about how online profiles are diluted, highly edited, flimsy representations of peoples identity. What is so real on these profiles?

    Meaning that we are not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of others in society. Even though social networking gives opportunities to reveal aspects of identity, it could also be deceitful because by giving the option to change the setting and that privacy is no longer a social norm. When making one of these social networks, the person fills out information about themselves such as their hometown, where they go to school, and interest. Except, how do they know if the information is 100 percent true. The way a person edit's their selves, is the way people out there will see it.

    • Word count: 683
  3. Comparison - Plato, Buddha, Zoroaster etc.

    In order to become a worthy person one should develop moral habits and abide by the norms of society. Over time that person eventually reaches the highest level of development of his/her personality and acquires the supreme principle of righteousness. An ideal society according to Confucius would be the one where all individuals have reached the highest level mentioned before. What makes his idea of the ideal society and justice closely resembles the idea of Plato about the perfect society or republic. The difference being that, Plato believes one does not just simply acquire the given virtues, but be trained in order to have them.

    • Word count: 902
  4. Albert Einstein. If we establish the fact that Einstein was not just a scientist but a philosopher-scientist, there is no surprise in reading this quote of Einsteins: Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge i

    But looking at Einstein as a philosopher-scientist, one is able to find that Einstein did not believe in the idea that "knowledge of 'what is' opens the door to 'what should be'". Instead he believed that the destiny of all truth and knowledge-in other words 'what should be'-was set out by God. These ideals that Einstein fervently believed in go hand in hand with the quote mentioned above, where Einstein implies that those who judge truth and knowledge, or in other words dictate "what should be", are intruding into the activity of God.

    • Word count: 781
  5. Dreams vs. Reality

    When you know the technique of lucid dreaming you have control over your dream, and over that "parallel universe" that is supposed to represent a different world from the real one. You create the scenery, you define yourself, and you choose who and what is happening in it. If we look at the rational side of the answer to this question, it would seem quite easy to truly answer it, but the problem

    • Word count: 424
  6. In what contexts might ambiguity either contribute or impede knowledge? Does the balance between precision and ambiguity alter from one discipline to another?

    As language is a part of reality and thought, ambiguity and vagueness is possible to overcome if the common sense view is used, which is we think first and then we express our thoughts. This is also because language is dependent on thoughts. For example like Ludwig Wittgenstein said for a word to have a meaning in a language there have to be speakers who use the words according to the rules and the person must be able to recognize the rules that direct its use (eg: if you use the word note, you should be sure what type of note you're talking about.

    • Word count: 829
  7. Are some ways of knowing more likely to lead to the truth?

    Discussing the "efficiency" of WOK in leading to the truth, I think none of them is better or worse. Each has different features, strengths and limitations. However, used together may provide us very closely, or even fully to the truth. Every belief is based on some knowledge. So the processes of acquainting the knowledge influence leading to the truth. Referring to the first WOK, perception, at first I would say, it is the basic way of recording the external world. By senses, people see, feel, hear everything around, seemingly as it is.

    • Word count: 448
  8. In what sense, if any, can a machine be said to know something? How can anyone believe that a machine can think?

    This is evidence that observable trends and truths in previous data can be summarized and applied to other scenarios by inductive reasoning. This is a form of synthetic truth and a posteriori knowledge. In this sense, machines do have knowledge. They are able to summarize trends and indicate truths. An implication of this claim is that predictions made by machines hold true. This is often not the case, giving rise to the counterclaim that no truth exists in mathematical knowledge.

    • Word count: 764
  9. What are the advantages of discriminating between valid and invalid arguments, good and bad reasons, more or less persuasive reasoning, both for the individual knower and for society?

    Without logos or some degree of rationality, the argument is failed and ineffective. Any given trial is based on factual evidence presented to the jury for them to assess and draw a verdict based on reason. The claim that reason is the most essential to justice rests on the assumption that the most important part of the judicial process is determining guilt or innocence. Some may view the sentencing of a criminal to be the most important part, and it can be argued that emotion plays a greater role in achieving justice in that respect.

    • Word count: 547
  10. In what emotional state do you think we see the world with the greatest clarity and objectivity?

    For example when you are in love you see thing more "happier" because you feel loved and good it yourself and probably you can notice easily the people that are down and see the situation that you are put in a different way.

    • Word count: 391
  11. Chapter 5 Discussion

    Another area of the chapter that I found interesting was the quote by Confucius, "If one learns from others but does not think one will be bewildered. If, on the other hand, one thinks but does not learn from others, one will be in peril." This quote really makes a lot of sense to me because of how it defines that the most important part of knowledge is it being part of a balance.

    • Word count: 589
  12. In this essay I will talk about xenophobia, r****m and human persecution, which is cruel and unfair treatment of a person or group because of their religious or political beliefs or their race.

    I don't really know why, but I think it's due to the way I grew up. I'm a Chinese person, but I'm born in Italy and I lived all the time here, up to now. From one point of view, I should have considered my classmate as foreigners, because they all looked different from me, but on the other hand, I shouldn't consider my classmate as foreigners because in the end I'm actually also Italian because I have always lived in Italy.

    • Word count: 702
  13. Can Mathematics be reduced to logic?

    In fact, according to the previous example, if 1/0 = 0, does 0*0 = 1? Divisions by 0 are always been a problem for most of the students throughout the world, me included. Since the primary school, I always asked my-self and my teacher why we can't divide by zero, but I never had an answer. As I said before, if 1/0 = 0, 0*0 should be equal to 1 and this is not possible. This means that there is no a real answer for this operation and the answer is undefined. This proves that logic is not enough to understand fully mathematics problems; therefore we have to use also reason.

    • Word count: 679
  14. Art is a lie that brings us nearer to the truth. (Pablo Picasso) Discuss.

    In my opinion, referring to this quotation, truth is equal to reality, which is everything that surrounds us, such as landscapes and animals, while art represents our thoughts. This means that art helps us to understand better the world, the real things. In addition, I think that Picasso meant that art is a lie, mainly because it's not a real concrete thing. By saying this, I mean that a painting, for example, is an image of something and not the thing itself.

    • Word count: 881
  15. ToK Essay. Knowledge will never be fully recognized nor be understood without emotion however sometimes that emotion may get in the way.

    Sometimes emotion can be a good thing and sometimes emotion can be a bad thing. Arnold Bennett once said, "There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours." Knowledge will never be fully recognized nor be understood without emotion however sometimes that emotion may get in the way. Knowledge gives us inside information about why we feel the things we feel. You may feel terror at one point in your life and you might wonder why. Is it because of a past experience that caused you to be scared of it, or is it because of no reason what-so-ever?

    • Word count: 836
  16. How achievable is certainty for knowledge?

    For each area of knowledge, the experts are the judges of how achievable certainty is for it and they use different means to justify that assertion. Experts in the areas of ethics and the arts rely on judgment in order to decide things such as whether a piece of art is a masterpiece or whether or not lying is wrong. These areas of knowledge can be compared to others such as mathematics and natural sciences, since in these areas experts can justify their certainty through the use of pure deduction, induction and the scientific method; this is why mathematics and natural sciences are regarded with a much higher degree of certainty than the arts and ethics.

    • Word count: 636
  17. On January 3, a convicted felon was given a new heart at Stanford Medical Center. This transplant was paid for by the courtesy of California taxpayers. With this, people found it extremely troubling that a criminal would receive an organ transplant

    Every individual makes mistakes and in order to fully grasp an understanding of a person's value, everything should be put into context. Their value should be judged not only on one specific action, but several. It is not acceptable to categorize someone due to one poor decision they have made. Therefore, in order to decide whether or not a convicted felon should receive a heart transplant all depends on the severity of their case, as well as their background. It should be acceptable to receive an organ transplant as a convicted felon because there is a difference between the person inside the prison and the person outside the prison that is not always caught.

    • Word count: 591
  18. Autobiography of the Knower. What kinds of knowledge have you taken as true? What have you doubted?

    I accept knowledge by acquaintance to be true. Since it is coming from me, I have an insight into whether something is true or not. This knowledge is rooted in my own experiences and how I am able to implement it to everyday life. I am cognitively aware that something is to be true in one situation; therefore it must be true in another situation. For example, if my foot hurts, I am the only one who knows this to be true. Others looking at my foot can say that it can't hurt because it doesn't look like it hurts, but from my perspective I can cognitively say that my foot hurts.

    • Word count: 670
  19. Perception. The perception that a person has of an event can change the way in which the event is interpreted. In a myriad of criminal trials, it has been evident that juries tend to place a strong emphasis on the eyewitness account.

    The first person to try to show the discrepancy between the eyewitness account's actuality and retelling was Loftus. Loftus gave us a perfect example of this when she questioned a person's ability to "recall" an event. She showed groups of participants movies and then asked questions on the movies. She presupposed that things that weren't in the movie actually happened. This then became a part of the person's memory. For example, she presupposed that there was a barn when she asked, "How fast was the car going when it passed the barn." When the participants came back after a week and when she asked more questions, the participants who had been asked the question above tended to add the barn into their memory, when in reality the barn wasn't there.

    • Word count: 610
  20. Free essay

    When should we disregard explanations that are intuitively appealing?

    Yet, intuition is based on the person who is feeling that sudden burst of creativity. Because of this, many people have conflicting intuitions. If someone recalls, there is a type of knowing that involves group acceptation, so if everyone in a group says that 2 +2 is 4, then that is what it is. If people have conflicting ideas, this raises the issue of "is this actually true?" If people are disagreeing upon a certain topic, there will be a questioning of the validity of that idea. Sometimes intuition seems to justify our knowledge claims in various areas of knowledge, but researchers have suggested that these said intuitions must not be just accepted for what they are worth.

    • Word count: 595
  21. Problem solving in management. Problems come to a manager in all sizes and shapes, and almost always, in a never-ending queue. It is better that a manager perceives this phenomenon in a positive way

    He must develop the disposition of a doctor, who is treating the disease of a patient. To establish a routine, it is necessary to evolve a model. The model will help the manager to proceed in a logical sequence of thought process. It will enable him in terms of an analytical framework A problem is not always prima facie what it appears to be.Usually, there is more to it than meets the eye.The problem that is being brought to the attention of the manager is more often only the symptom of a deeper and underlying malady.

    • Word count: 508
  22. Perception and Art. Someone can view a picture and interpret the meaning of the painting as a positive thing; while someone that is looking at the same image can view something negative.

    how the earth is the place where all life is born and how everything that is alive is because of the earth and how the picture is a tribute to this. But one of the other people in the class believed that the meaning if this picture is to show how the United States is expanding around the world, due to the arm that is coming from the North American continent, and how their growth is hurting the

    • Word count: 523
  23. Does the End justify the Means?

    One of the instances when this could be an issue is when people cheat on an exam. The person would cheat in order to receive a good grade but the fact is that they cheated and essentially lied about the knowledge that they have in order to receive a higher grade/score on the exam. This grade may help them but the grade is nothing but a lie. In the short run the person may have a better grade in a class, but in the future the person will not know anything that they were supposed to learn.

    • Word count: 711
  24. TOK Discuss the theories that claim the 1969 Apollo Moon Landing was either a hoax or reality.

    An example of these pseudoscientific claims would be that a flag is planted by the astronaut and from our sense perception (from images, videos ect.) it looks as if it is blowing in the wind, as a flag would on earth. Yet there is neither atmosphere nor air on the moon, so how can this be? From deductive reasoning we can apply the principle that for a flag to wave the general rules of physics and aerodynamics apply; that airflow can potentially give any object lift, for example a plane.

    • Word count: 544
  25. "Relying on the Unreliable", thoughts on bias in history. This report will consider the companies which have been chosen for the aviation sector, including a PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) analysis of the industry. An analysis of ra

    It is hard to judge the truth of something, when you've never actually saw any reason for doubting it. Problems arise again. Our first topic in history "Chinese History" is a critical topic. One of the problems when studying Mao's China is that of obtaining such reliable sources. In China there has always been the tendency to see the past as it has affected the present. Under Mao the media was always controlled, so many of the sources that we use to study China are western. The immediate question is: "how reliable is Western historiography when dealing with Chinese History"?

    • Word count: 689

The IB Diploma Programme is a demanding and robust programme of education which students follow at the ages of 16-19. The DP has been recognised as being a strong qualification by universities across the globe, and by leading employers. The DP ensures that students: develop their intellect with due ethical consideration, acquire a breadth of knowledge by studying subjects from 6 subject groups (unlike Advanced level where students generally choose three subjects), and undertake in-depth research into an area of personal interest.

The actual subjects studied include a choice of language, anadditional language, a social science, an experimental science and mathematics. In addition to this students then choose an either arts subject or can choose a second subject form the original 5 groups. Three core elements are also required: that extended essay, completion of the Theory of Knowledge course and Creativity, Action and Service (CAS), which is a range of activities which run alongside the academic programme. Assessment is completed by both internal means and by external examination. Each course is marked and students awarded a score between 1 (the lowest), to 7 (the highest). The diploma is awarded to students who achieve a score of at least 24 points.


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, a widely accepted pre-university qualification, was developed in the 1960s as an educational standard for a globalising world. If you want to attend university in another country, or you just want to infuse your education with an international perspective, then the IB diploma could be a good option for you.

Excellent writing skills will be indispensable here: each course is partly assessed on written work, and students are required to submit an extended essay as well. To support you in all your writing endeavours, Marked by Teachers has amassed a collection of student-submitted IB essays covering everything fromthe group 4 projects to world literature. Study the teacher-marked and peer-reviewed examples to learn how to edit your own essays, and produce highly polished work.

After leaving school, you'll have the chance to attend university in another country if you wish; today, the IB diploma is recognised by over 2,000 institutions around the world. But even if you stay at home, you'll be well prepared to build a career in today's globalised economy.


Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • 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.

    "In conclusion, I personally believe that ways of knowing such as emotion, sense perception or language shape our reality greatly. Whether it is our own senses that betray us, the media that influences us, or emotions that affect our reasoning, reality is altered everyday to a certain extent. However, we as humans have come to a point in our existence where we cannot afford to let these things get in the way of truth or objective knowledge. We've become intelligent enough to understand this idea over the decades and decades of the mistakes we have made and knowledge we have gained. That is why, we use reason and logic to put aside our emotions, our sense perceptions, or the thousands of languages of this world, and try to see things for the way they are and not as we are."

  • How is knowledge gained? What are the sources? To what extent might these vary according to age, education or cultural backgrounds?

    "In conclusion the way knowledge is gained and the sources of knowledge vary tremendously according to age, education, and cultural backgrounds. In my opinion, I think that cultural backgrounds are the main reasons for the variations because people that come from different cultural have many different ways of life and beliefs. 1 "knowledge." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008.Merriam-Webster Online. 8 October 2008<"

  • Speech. Our knowledge issue is To what extent should censorship be allow in school. We will also compare the situation in school to censorship at a global level.

    "In conclusion, we believe that its the censorship in our school is a rational option that has to be taken for making sure that students of KGV are going in the right way. However we personally believe that the school should look into more topics to help the students paint the whole picture. This is our belief. There are lots of other views. JT : The Teleologist Approach for this issue would be to look at the advantages and consequences of censorship and come with a result that restrictions to visit certain Internet site and having a no games policy in school is logical however they may come to a result that having a restricted view on history is not acceptable. On the other hand a deontologist, will just look at the ethical side of the argument and will probably support going against the censorship."

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