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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. Seven Days: A Brief History. During the week of November 7th to November 13th of 2011, there were a vast number of events that occurred worldwide that made headlines and affect people in some way. In this following paper, the events that have passed in t

    United States officials also warned that hotels occupied by foreigners in Nigeria may be bombed by a radical Muslim group as the Nigerian death toll have rose to more than 100 people.2 For the day of November 8th, there were events that included the resignation of Greece's prime minister and already finding an interim prime minister because of how their government has gone downhill over the past days and months. Also from this happening, the country of Italy is also going through a downward spiral.

    • Word count: 2054
  2. Theory of Knowledge People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the chaos of events (adapted from John Gray, Heresies, 2004). In what ways and to what extent would you say this claim is relevant in at least two areas of knowledge?

    Perception and reasoning affect whether one will require an appreciation of order amid chaos; however, the interactions between these ways of knowing are different between the arts and the natural sciences, and thus, the necessity of order in a chaotic situation will vary slightly in each area of knowledge. A knowledge issue to consider in examining the prescribed title claim is: In what ways and to what extent does human perception in the arts and natural sciences affect whether an individual requires order in a chaotic situation?

    • Word count: 2069
  3. TOk Discussion - Do we impose mathematics upon nature or is it naturally inherent in the physical world? Does mathematics mimic nature or does nature follow the rules of mathematics?

    It could be a biological aid in understanding the mechanisms of our world. It has been posited before that beauty signals safety and security. The ideal Savannah landscape features open spaces, trees with forks near the ground, and nearby water sources. Cross-culturally, people find this type of landscape in paintings beautiful, as it fulfills our primitive basic needs for survival. A: So are you saying that mathematical beauty does not need to be applied to nature for us to perceive natural beauty? V: Well, you don't need to know the mathematical formula behind nature's beauty to find nature beautiful.

    • Word count: 2421
  4. Vemos las cosas tal y como son, o tal y como somos

    lo hermoso o lo bello como la han expuesto, sin embargo, es una representaci�n ordenada o desordena de los sentimientos de una persona, que esta misma obra se puede interpretar de distinta manera dependiendo de las circunstancias. Por ejemplo, Kant define a las artes y la est�tica como una ciencia que le da prioridad a la sensibilidad. Bas�ndome en esto puedo afirmar que la est�tica es objetiva, pues cada quien percibe las cosas de distinta manera, "vemos las cosas tal y como somos, no tal y como son".

    • Word count: 2671
  5. Tok essay 2009

    Es decir que actualmente no vemos las cosas de igual manera que como las ve�amos hace veinte a�os. Ninguna otra persona o sujeto ve los mismos objetos de igual manera que como los ve uno mismo. Esto est� fundamentalmente determinado por las diferentes historias, culturas, pensamientos y sentimientos de cada uno de nosotros, de cada sujeto en particular. A medida que vamos adquiriendo conocimientos propios, tanto sea por medio de la experiencia1 o por medio, contradictoriamente, de la conexi�n de impresiones2 o incluso como muchos otros piensan, por medio del uso de la raz�n3; nuestro an�lisis y comprensi�n de los objetos mejora, sin importar cual sea el medio por el cual obtenemos el conocimiento.

    • Word count: 2063
  6. How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true?

    To support these I have accompanied each of the ways of knowing with examples from various areas of knowledge mainly using math, science, language and history. Truth can be divided into two separate entities: subjective and objective. Objective truth is usually a fact that has been proven true, meaning it has been discovered through science or math rather then created. Empiricism arises from sensory experience and relies heavily on experimentation and evidence, which is used predominantly in science. Empiricism is a fundamental part of the scientific method where all the hypothesis and theories should be tested against observations in the natural world.

    • Word count: 2059
  7. Tok Essay - Question 5 2010

    The strongest theories are those that have withstood the most attempts to disprove them, and even those which seem to have stood every kind of test are liable to be caught out by an exception sooner or later. Newtonian mechanics, formulated in Principia Mathematica in the year 1686, remained unchallenged for over 200 years and in 1900 Lord Kelvin, a prominent physicist, stated "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement"2.

    • Word count: 2005
  8. shareholders

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  9. Context is all. from the novel The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood brings a curious topic into light and presents a challenging question: Is there no such thing as truth?

    It is important to note that ways of knowing act only as impulses to attain truth and their dependence on context is of negligible importance. My discussion will focus on how truths in different areas of knowledge are context dependent. I start my discussion by analyzing the few truths, for example those given to us by mathematics and pure science that are considered to be absolute truths devoid of all contexts. Consider the statement, "1+1=2". Given Peano's axioms for arithmetic(2), this statement can easily be proven.

    • Word count: 2068
  10. Does Language Determine or Limit Thought?

    Also, are the same factors that limit thought applied to more than one form of communication? Written language for instance, can include ambiguity, vagueness, sarcasm, metaphors and irony.4 These are all used to create an effect in conveying the message. An ambiguous sentence can have a number of different meanings, therefore different people might comprehend the sentence in a different way from others. Does age play a role in how the sentence is comprehended? Will it be understood the same way by a seven year old as by a thirty year old? These questions often occur when dealing with written language, showing that it can cause limits in thought.

    • Word count: 2523
  11. To what extent is truth different in mathematics, the arts, and ethics?

    In order to discern the difference between the truths in mathematics, the arts, and ethics; we must first question whether or not mathematics is an 'absolute' truth. The mathematician Joel Spencer once claimed that mathematics is "as close to absolute truth as [he] can see [it] getting."1 Mathematics is considered to be axiomatic and based on axioms; where the truth is self-evident and undeniable. It is as such because it is based on numerical theorems and formulas (that are universally accepted as true).

    • Word count: 2281
  12. Show Me Some Stats

    What is this, multiple choice on the Chemistry HL test? And you are in IB? Joy: (To audience) Don't give me that look you know couldn't get perfect either. Candice: This is all part of a larger scheme. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to announce that I have just proved that Joy here, an IB Year II student, knows statistically significantly less about the world than a chimpanzee. Joy: But what do you mean I know less than a chimpanzee? Candice: A chimpanzee would be right half of the time! Joy: What? How? Candice: If I gave a chimpanzee two bananas, one representing Sri Lanka and the other Turkey, they would be right half of the time.

    • Word count: 2576
  13. Difference of Truth and knowldge

    It may be more closely linked to the category of emotion and perception as a way of knowing and, in general, be affected by human experience and therefore may differ from person to person.?These two phrases, however, are commonly misused. One could say "It is certain" when one should be using "I am certain", as the statement is not backed up by any form of reliable evidence. I once knew a child who believed the clouds moved because he pushed them with his mind.

    • Word count: 2449
  14. The Law of the Universe: Entropy

    In this case, I am making the knowledge claim that low to high entropy is a valid concept. The issue here is, 'why'. Can we ever rationally know why entropy naturally leads from the low complexity to high complexity when all we have ever known is our own universe? Probably not. Recent developments suggest that every universe has its own set of 'constants' which define how the universe works - for example, in our universe thus far, one plus one has always equalled two. In another universe this may not be the case. Similarly, in other universes perhaps there was originally high entropy and the universe has lead to an ever increasing trend towards lower entropy.

    • Word count: 2789
  15. Seek simplicity and distrust it. (Alfred North Whitehead). Is this always a good advice for a knower?

    We shall seek simplicity as it enables us to understand reality and to detect 'truth' to a greater extent than possible otherwise. However, a knower has to comprehend, that this has to be understood as a model and that the 'reality' is far more complex and that truth in this sense can never be detected. This essay will discuss the value, role and restrictions of simplification and, on the basis of this, investigate whether Whitehead's statement can always be regarded to be good advice for a knower.

    • Word count: 2096
  16. TOK essay

    If the premises and logic are true, then the ultimate claim that is arrived upon is true. This adds a solid foundation to the knowledge, one that makes comprehension straightforward and simple. For example, we know that it is warm in Mumbai and we also know that heaters are only required in regions where the temperatures are low. Now, if one uses deductive reasoning3, these premises would give the conclusion that the number of heaters in Mumbai will be low.

    • Word count: 2033
  17. Are the WOKS controlled by language?

    Most of the documents on the web, for example, are encoded in HTML. Since it is standardized, web browsers merely have to conform to the standard in order to process the document as display it on your screen. In this way, we can have Apple's Macintosh's Safari browser, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, or Mozilla Firefox in Linux all being able to process and display HTML pages on the web. It is about the same with language. A language is a standard in that it has certain words that mean certain things, and its grammatical structure that strings words together into more complex sentences.

    • Word count: 2278
  18. Whats going on in Gaza?

    * International law states that an occupying power has the responsibility of the civilians that are under its control. It seems that either Israel did not understand this requirement or simply preferred to ignore it. * In an effort to guarantee that civilians do not suffer as they did in World War II, several principles were instituted in what is known as the Geneva Conventions. * One of the world's leading violators of these set principles would be Israel which on a regular basis imprison possibly innocent civilians (children as well), confiscate privately owned land and abuse inhabitants in numerous ways.

    • Word count: 2358
  19. Coherence Essay

    Our disagreements all come from different perspectives on what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful. Perhaps these truths do not have any concrete existence, but rather our reality is defined by ourselves and our cultures, a coherence way of thinking. Perhaps the answer is that truth, morality, and beauty are hard-fast, universal laws, a correspondence view on the universe. These two theories differ almost as much as a California Grey Squirrel and a Great White Shark, and these dissimilarities would affect almost every aspect of our lives; politics, economics, and the arts. However, despite the problems that arise from having a coherence view on the world, correspondence seems to be faulty at its very core.

    • Word count: 2177
  20. Context is all (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean that there is no such thing as truth?

    However, trough perception and reasoning I have no reason to doubt that those would be true. Or at least quite accurately represent the truth. Consequently we can consider the question: what is reasonable doubt? The people who lived before the 16th century and Copernicus' heliocentric model of the solar system had, in fact, no reason to doubt that the universe is geocentric i.e. that everything, the sun, the stars, the moon in fact the whole universe would orbit the earth. It seemed probably very plausible. The people observed the sun go up in the morning and they saw the sunset in the evening, therefore it seemed that the sun orbits the earth.

    • Word count: 2915
  21. Agua Potable

    v�as urinarias, y principalmente habr�a deshidrataci�n que llevar�a a una baja de defensas y provocar�a dolorosas llagas en la piel a causa de recibir tantos rayos solares. Se dice que el promedio de vida llegar� a ser de m�ximo unos cincuenta a�os. La industria quedar� paralizada a nivel mundial, y el desempleo ser� dram�tico. El precio del agua ser�a el m�s alto alguna vez conocido, m�s que cualquier pieza de oro, o cualquier diamante. Mientras que el promedio actual de vasos de agua diarios de una persona es de ocho vasos, en esa �poca lo m�ximo ser� de medio vaso.

    • Word count: 2265
  22. Food Aid, who benefits?

    On average, every five seconds a child dies from starvation. There is no doubt that many countries are facing a huge shortage of food and the people in these countries are greatly affected by repeated famines, and thus need food aid as a source of survival. Food aid does indeed help these people to brace through these famines and survive through the storms. For example, in Ethiopia, six million people are in dire need of assistance, and require immediate food aid to avoid a tragedy.

    • Word count: 2117
  23. Emotion Vs Reason

    A belief derives from one's personal and cultural background and is steeped with personal experiences and the resolutions behind them. In elaboration to this, when a belief undergoes an investigation of its pre-existing ideas, and hereby gains a fluid verification of that idea, it can finally be labelled as knowledge. As we draw light to this, the differentiation between the two can be a difficult one, which is how we are introduced into the other ways of knowing. While differentiating between beliefs and determining knowledge, it is largely accepted that reasoning plays the most significant role.

    • Word count: 2116
  24. TOK essay

    In denial, Peter tears the door open but only sees his wife. The predicament summarizes the four tools one can apply in many situations to reveal the truth. Each one concludes with a potential truth, but proposes conflicting facts. Thus it illuminates problems that arise with ways of knowing and the reliability of truth. With an emotional approach, Peter follows his intuition which denies any sin commited by his wife. Using deductive reasoning, his wife is definitely adulterous, which the neighbor, an authority (language), confirms. His perception, however, plays tricks on him: he hears "strange noises" but sees nothing.

    • Word count: 2050
  25. Reliability of Sigmund Freud's claims

    Determinism versus free will also has a role to play. If we accept Freud's ideas as true, then we remove the responsibility of the individual's actions, good or bad, because the criminal's actions are merely a natural response to a cause: the parents. If Freud's ideas are discredited, and it is shown that an individual can develop freely from its parents, then the knowledge is useless because it doesn't apply to the perceived reality. Since Freud's ideas are neither accepted or rejected, the knowledge is neither useless nor useful.

    • Word count: 2775

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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