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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Doubt is the Key to Knowledge

    Emotion tends to alter the way each and every person perceives something. I believe that skepticism can influence the amount of emotion we have when dealing with the arts. Hung over my fireplace is a modest size oil painting of a lighthouse isolated in the middle of the ocean, the sky blanketed with dark purple and black clouds with a thunderbolt stretching down towards the water. The first time I looked at the painting I used little skepticism, which hindered my ability to know what I enjoyed about the piece of art.

    • Word count: 1393
  19. In what way does the problem of evil lead to atheism?

    Classical Theism is the traditional understanding of God as worshipped by Christians, Jews and Muslims. Therefore the problem of evil is only a problem for followers of a theistic religion because then it gets some of the followers of theism asking the same questions such as "if there is actual a God out there and if there is why does he let us suffer and why does evil exist?" Word Count 300 In what way does the problem of evil lead to Atheism?

    • Word count: 4258
  20. Tok History. My thesis is that although history and our ethics will always be part lies, part truth and part belief, we have to study them and apply them because its what the majority of us do and what ultimately drives us to act in the present and devel

    Do we really know every single thing that happens, the exact way that it actually did? The answer is obviously no. People forget that we are unquestionably all human beings that in a daily basis have certain perceptions, emotions, ethics and cultural backgrounds that will have an impact on everything we do, everything we say, everything we see and every piece of information that we pass on. People are what make events and what make history. Since this is the case, then clearly the history we study and gain knowledge from, comes from an origin that is always subject to change, never is direct and whose components are singularly not the same in any shape or form.

    • Word count: 1733
  21. A historian must combine the rigor of the scientist with the imagination of the artist. To what extent, then, can the historian be confident about his or her conclusions?

    The use of rigor is crucial when it comes to studying history. The use of a scientist's rigor implies accuracy, which means that there wouldn't be biased opinion, therefore objectivity. Objectivity is necessary for the job of any historian. Historians record and observe main facts with objectivity, while being subjective in getting the cause/results, purpose etc. A noticeably subjective historian will be subject to criticism or questioning because of inaccuracy and a bias; be it cultural, religious, political, etc. Objectivity entails eliminating bias and increase consistency of a neutral stance.

    • Word count: 1432
  22. History is part myth, part hope and part reality. Discuss the validity of the quote and its implications in the overall importance of knowing history. Replace the word history with two other areas of knowledge and compare the

    Thanks to our social and psychological nature, we tend to make historical facts sometimes more sensationalists than they really are, or just our independent perspective of the world makes us change the true complexion of a historical event, making history part myth. Also, history is part hope because it is about recalling events that you are told they happened, but for the most part you weren't there and you will never know what really happened (because of all the variables and factors that affect history), so you have to conform yourself with the information you have, and hope that it actually happened the way you're told.

    • Word count: 1473
  23. Determinism. Minority Report is very similar to a book called, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. These two sources speak of Determinism as something that is set in stone and cannot be changed.

    These two sources speak of Determinism as something that is set in stone and cannot be changed. In the book, a mans life could not be saved and he was meant to die. Many people tried to stop it and avoid the murder but in the end no one could do anything because once it was spoken his death he was dead. Can that be considered something that was determined? Or can it be fate? Well I believe that fate and determinism links together. The definition of determinism from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws or it can be considered as a belief of predestination.

    • Word count: 1086
  24. "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
  25. What is Language? To be honest, I had never thought of it as a whole. Language envelops us, its all around. Prior to my recent encounters with language, I had thought to myself, theres no possible way language is the most important Way of

    How would we be able to think if there was no language to think in? Body language is a language too, isn't it? Language is a great part of life, and as a person, everybody will be using language in multiple ways throughout the duration of even a single day. The odd thing is, you would believe it to be easy to explain as it is such a great part of us, but as it is difficult to describe any colour to a blind person, it is difficult to fully define 'language'.

    • Word count: 525

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