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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. How important are the opinions of experts in the search for knowledge?

    No one else in the world had even started thinking on those lines, thus, all accepted this fact when they saw that it was a justified true belief. Thus, we see that expert opinions play a very important role in formulating the knowledge we know. But, at the same time, experts are fallible, because, almost 30 years later, it was discovered that humans have only 23 pairs of chromosomes and that Painter had simply made a counting mistake. Thus, though we rely on experts for our knowledge, they can be wrong.

    • Word count: 1358
  2. Socratic dialogueAre reason and logic purely objective and universal, or do they vary across cultures?

    But that is not our reality. We have social problems: r****m, poverty, and powerful weapons that could have easily destroyed our planet. Frank. We don't have to believe in the same thing but we can think in the same way. Do you think that we should care for our environment? Susan. Yes, of course. Frank. Do you recycle? Susan. No, that is not my job, the cleaners will sort out the trash at school and at home. Frank. So, in recent years, environmental issues have become a growing concern in the world.

    • Word count: 1187
  3. Imagine a world without colours

    What a beautiful world! Jubilee Kingdom got its name because the people were always happy and enjoyed their gorgeous environment. The colorful surroundings and the pleasant smell of nature with sweet fruits bought joy to everybody. It was at the very moment that King Davis closed his eyes to enjoy the rhythm of the carriage, that something strange suddenly happened. The melody of birds stopped, the sky turned black and the wind became wild. "What, what is going on!??" cried the King as he opened his eyes to check on his family.

    • Word count: 1364
  4. Capital Punishment and why it should be abolished, with particular regard to the Human Declaration of Rights

    Countries such as the USA are also abolishing the death penalty. As of now, only 38 of the 50 states have abolished it. I would say that capital punishment has its disadvantages and advantages but overall, I would support the abolishment of capital punishment. This act of murder has been popular along the years but must be stopped now. According to me, execution of a person is just like legal murder and devalues the respect we place on human life.

    • Word count: 1792
  5. How important are the opinions of experts in the search for knowledge?

    However, we must realize that those experts are humans after all, thus they -like all of us- are subject to commit mistakes and errors, and hence I believe that opinions of experts -in most cases- are useless. We must also consider the process of making an expert, an expert is someone who has gained his expertise from another authority (weather it was another expert, a book, a professor etc.) this process will keep tracing back to someone who has actually tested the fact and received sufficient empirical evidence that the statement (whatever it was)

    • Word count: 1612
  6. How does vocabulary shape our knowledge?

    To what extent can the truth of a knowledge claim be fully interpreted in the hands of language? History consists of many factors that cause the evolution and the invention of many words; some are formed exclusively in a certain language under specific environment and culture, where other languages might be hard to interpret. As different cultures develop through time, languages are formed and began to vary themselves to fit the growth of their culture. Take Italian as an example, there is a word to describe the mark being left on a table by a moist glass: culacino, while the

    • Word count: 1699
  7. How Inner nature and survival of the fittest relate to the relationship of mind and body in the case of Floyd Mayweathers boxing match against Victor Ortiz.

    Many people believe that Mayweather won in an unfair manner by throwing a knockout punch at a defenseless Ortiz in the fourth round of the fight, but was it truly unfair, what were the factors that played a role in Mayweather's actions, such as the philosophical concepts of the relationship between mind and body, and inner nature such as survival of the fittest. Floyd Mayweather is considered by many to be one of the greatest boxers if not the greatest boxer in the world today and perhaps of all time.

    • Word count: 1856
  8. The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our knowledge; it shapes what we can know. Evaluate this claim with reference to different areas of knowledge.

    We are able to not only conceive thought, but build upon it, ultimately creating a whole new concept overall. When you peel back this concept, exposing down to the core, you will discover two hemispheres upon which it is built: knowledge and vocabulary. Now I challenge you to participate in this exercise. Simply think of one thing, whether it be an object, a person, an idea. Now think of all the words in your bank of vocabulary to describe it. You probably could not rein in the overwhelming number of words that have come to mind. You are now probably thinking of all the words that exist but of which you have not thought.

    • Word count: 1355
  9. To what extent is it possible to overcome the ambiguity and vagueness in language? In what contexts might ambiguity either contribute to or impede knowledge or contribute to it? Does the balance between precision and ambiguity alter from one discipline to

    We use language in ways other than it is intended to, which causes problems. There are five problematic uses of language which makes languages very unclear and confusing: Vagueness, as I have mentioned above, it means that the words are not being expresses clearly; ambiguity, as I have mentioned above, it means that the words are very vague and unclear; secondary meanings, which are words that have two different meanings. For example: the word 'right' means right side like left side but it also another word for correct, metaphor, is a figure of speech.

    • Word count: 1017
  10. Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge?

    For example, one day I saw my friend shaking her leg when she was sitting down, this made me realise that she was nervous about something. She didn't tell me she was nervous, but her body language made me realise that. All those are forms of communication because using those types of languages messages can surely be successfully sent and received by individuals. Furthermore, areas of knowledge are the areas in which individuals can gain knowledge. Types of areas of knowledge are ethics, history, mathematics, natural science, human science and the arts.

    • Word count: 1550
  11. What is it about theories in the human sciences and natural sciences that make them convincing?

    In the natural sciences, the only theories that could be unconvincing are the theories that deal with subject matters that are small or matters that could clash with religion and ethics. In chemistry, the theories are less convincing because the scales of studies of these subject matters are so small. For example, we accept the Atomic Theory that states that matter is composed in discrete units called atoms, but no one knows for sure the existence of an atom or an electron.

    • Word count: 1513
  12. Faith as a Basis for Knowledge

    By comparing faith to reason, we are able to determine that by using faith as a basis for knowledge, we, as a society, are able to decide or determine what we believe in the world without having a truly sufficient amount of evidence to provide what the scientific community considers to be definite proof. Every single area of knowledge and way of knowing eventually leads itself back to faith. From mathematics, to arts, to the sciences, and everything in between, faith provides the true basis for belief and understanding of all knowledge.

    • Word count: 1278
  13. There are no absolute distinctions between what is true and false. Discuss.

    While this frame of thought is quite popular, the contrast with the opinion set down by the topic is stark. The topic, by itself is similar to archaic Buddhist principles that are tied to the idea that there are indeed no absolute distinctions between the true and the false. The topic is also lacking in the sense that it raises a lot of problems because of the wholesale approach in the description of these 'truths' as suggested by it. It proposes a valid proposition but fails to elaborate on it extensively.

    • Word count: 1763
  14. Doubt is the key to knowledge (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?

    improving their doubts, not like in old centuries where the society was controlled by the rulers, like what happened in Europe the Pope of the Vatican in Rome did not let the parish learn and explore things to gain more knowledge which finally lead to a lack and suppression of thoughts and education in the society. Doubt can be used to improve the basics of knowledge, to modify and add to the knowledge infrastructure in different areas of knowledge, because doubt increases the rates of our curiosity to know if it is true or false or if it can help

    • Word count: 1640
  15. TOK IB IA presentation. On what basis do spiritual beliefs rest? I have read about famous examples of scientific proofs of re-incarnation, the most famous being that by Dr. Ian Stevenson.

    He even matches birthmarks and birth defects to wounds and scars on the deceased, verified by medical records. His strict methods systematically rule out all possible "normal" explanations for the child's memories. Boy 1: I am still skeptical about that. I think it is just man's desire for immortality that gets expressed, rather strongly, as this spiritual belief of 'Re-incarnation'. Boy 2: Before, you go too far in assuming that as a possibility, please look at a video featuring Dr.

    • Word count: 1686
  16. Problems With Interpreting Meaning. What do the problems with interpreting meaning discussed by the keys and the textbook tell us about the nature of language, its capabilities and its limits? Be sure to consider the four theories of meaning (van de Lage

    However, language is susceptible to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. The four theories of meaning and the five categories of problematic meaning are of aid in the intricate task of defining and acknowledging the concept of language. The four theories of meaning are the definition theory, denotation theory, image theory and meaning as know-how theory; they each find meaning in dictionaries, the world and the mind while the last one further develops the three preceding theories, finding meaning in the social practices embodied in language ( 1). In the area of knowledge of mathematics, the definition theory is pertinent and effective because this theory is only valid with a subset

    • Word count: 1539
  17. Truth is that to which the community ultimately settles down (Charles Peirce). Analyse and evaluate this claim.

    The smaller group of all scientists is often referred to as the scientific community. Even a ToK class is a kind of community. Depending on what truth we seek, we may tie it to the community of the whole world or to a smaller community that reflects a focus on a particular area of knowledge. For example, although a Catholic may tie his or her theological knowledge to the 15 leadings of the Catholic community, he or she probably does not tie them to the theological knowledge of the world community, or even of the western world.

    • Word count: 1635
  18. TOK essay: The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our language, it shapes what we can know.

    English language has many words originating for instance, from Latin, like the words mass and communion have derived from the Latin words missa and communio. There are also many words in scientific language that originate from Latin, like sternum and appendix. Also words relating to classical music have been borrowed from Italian language words, such as concerto, allegro, tempo and soprano. Hence there can be many words that have meaning for things that some English speakers may not even know about.

    • Word count: 1597
  19. How can different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true?

    1 In order to discover or experience the objective truth we must use our senses, emotions and language. It is important to mention that it is really difficult to express the exact meaning of the truth, by looking at the "Man is the measure" which discuss both the Correspondence and Coherence Theories of Truth. 2 According to Plato's definition, Knowledge is justified as being a true belief. The true knowledge should be based on facts (absolutely certain) and not on beliefs (uncertain)

    • Word count: 1538
  20. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis of knowledge in religion and one other area of knowledge from the TOK diagram.

    The knowledge of faith strengthens the worshiper by accommodating them with a way to connect to their god and to practice their religion fully. Similarly, faith strengthens one's knowledge in ethical practices (moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior) by providing examples on how to act. Each religion possesses its own ethical background, but faith is the only aspect of the religion that is able to set a path of just behavior. For example, having faith in Christianity's ten commandments permits one to become fully knowledgeable in their religion's moral behavior.

    • Word count: 1518
  21. When should we discard explanations that are intuitively appealing?

    However, I believe that emotions can be unreliable and tend to make even an explanation to a simple event heavily subjective. If this holds true, then emotions can make it difficult for a person to discard intuitive explanations when they truly should. Are intuitions deceitful then? If they are, how can we ever determine which ones to act upon, or can an intuitive explanation seem to be better than it truly is? Of course it can, especially when interacting with others.

    • Word count: 1367
  22. Knowledge is generated through the interaction of critical and creative thinking. Evaluate this statement in two areas of knowledge.

    What makes this show a good example to distinguish critical from creative thinking is the differences between the two main characters on how they approach solving the murder case. The detective analyzes the case according to the evidence obtained in order to create a solid case against the suspect. The suspect cannot be tried for just speculation. On the other hand, the writer is also essential to solving cases because he generates different perspectives and finds relationships between seemingly unrelated things, which, if his ideas are reasonable, can also help solve the case because his extensive knowledge of looking into a killer's mind.

    • Word count: 1454
  23. Freewill vs Destiny and Science vs Religion essays

    If someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol was it really their fault? Is it predetermined that someone will be addicted to drugs? If it were discovered that destiny was real what would people do? Would they just decide to stop trying and to stop Is it easier for people to blame everything wrong on destiny and god? In the world there are people that try to manipulate things to their advantage. Are the manipulators we encounter really manipulating or are they being manipulated themselves? Have we ever made a real choice? What if destiny is real?

    • Word count: 1049
  24. Assess the claim that 'we value art because it expresses the feelings of the artist'. (30)

    Aristotle raises the idea of catharsis, which is the idea that we (us personally and the artist) use art as a way to experience emotion in a 'safe' way. As an example, when I watch a sad film the sadness I feel is 'purged' from my system without me having to feel sadness in the real world. Thus, even a negative emotion can have a positive effect on the audience. On the other hand, Tolstoy and Collingwood have a different point of view and state that we appreciate the skill of the artist in conveying the emotion in the piece.

    • Word count: 1534
  25. What is it about theories in the human sciences and natural sciences that makes them convincing?

    For example, the television advertisement of the drink "Actimel", the supposed benefits range go from reducing the incidence of diarrhea and rhinitis reduction for young children, to improvement of the immune function in adults and seniors and reduction of duration of winter infections for elderly. But anyone could say that... the difference with this product is that there is, proof, scientific research and evidence. In the TV advertisement a guy states that 9 out 10 subjects feel the difference when consuming, but, how can we believe this statement without any proof, just because the scientist on TV says so?

    • Word count: 1274

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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