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International Baccalaureate: Theory of Knowledge

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  1. To what extent can knowledge produced by history and science be used to foretell the future?

    It can only later be proven false by a better theory, or rejected by newer data. History does not repeat itself, but the laws of science describe and explain predictions. The certainty between science and history is different. The certainty of history is open to interpretation and is related to the subjectiveness or the data. Science on the other hand is believed to have more certainty as it is based on repetitive testing and can be proven correct or incorrect at anytime by a repetition of tests.

    • Word count: 593
  2. Role of emotion

    What would life be without motivation? Without motivation people would live vacantly through monotonous activities living a rather mundane lifestyle. But even further, without motivation - there would be no significance in any task, this could affect our government systems, our global awareness, and also, our art forms.

    • Word count: 414
  3. To what extent is truth different in mathematics, ethics and natural sciences?

    On the other hand, we keep discovering new things, which require new and improved mathematical theories. Although we are certain that three sides of a triangle add up to 180 degrees on a 2 dimensional area, we now know that this is not the case with three dimensions. Similarly, all mathematical laws that apply to our universe, it is probable that in another universe completely different rules would apply. It would be arrogant to say that everything we know in maths is certain because we keep making new discoveries, which make us amend our previous laws.

    • Word count: 1209
  4. TOK- The Ways of Knowing

    Real- Life Example- The concept of "the half filled/ emptied bottle" is completely to do with perception. If a person has experienced hardship and struggled through it, that person will most likely say that it is half filled because he is gracious for everything he/she can get. In contrast, if a person who has enjoyed wealth throughout his/her life, he/she will more likely say that the bottle is half emptied because he/she can get whatever he/she wants without going through hardships.

    • Word count: 772
  5. TOK Journals

    The US will also need less help from other countries to recover from the earthquake, whereas, Haiti in this case, will require a lot of help from other countries to be able to get through this rough period of time. This is why even countries like Taiwan are already so aware of the earthquake that happened in Haiti and are ready to donate and support them. Therefore, I don't think it is coincidence that we hear less about disasters that happen in developed countries, it is the way the media spread information.

    • Word count: 1563
  6. TOK Essay

    It was a mere theory, an assumption that makes up the difficulties in interpreting the problem but nevertheless, it works. "Is hybridization a real process or a mathematical device?" is a question raised. It is just a tool for scientists to advance forwards, to overcome adversity. Same thing happens in history. There is one big assumption that historians have involuntarily agreed, that is there is an underlying uniformity in human nature regardless historical background; in other words, it is assumed people in the past acted just like we do in the present.

    • Word count: 1514
  7. TOK Essay on Natural Sciences

    In addition, being a witness of other's misdeeds and therefore consequence, would allow them to learn from that offense and therefore associate it as a threat or danger therefore establish it is morally wrong for doing it. The love for others is a basis of having great satisfaction and hate produces the opposite feeling. As love for others includes the desire to see their loved ones being happy, fulfilling their desire would often involve unselfishness as well as self-sacrifice and the denial to see their loved one being sad therefore avoiding to hurt them.

    • Word count: 1414
  8. Arts and Sciences essay

    Perception is known to be very subjective which means that different individuals can perceive and interpret the same object in a different manner. What may be deduced by someone may not be the same as the conclusion that another person has drawn. The subjective nature of perception has been known to obscure the nature of science and at the same time, work well for artists. Despite certain exceptions, the subjective nature of sense perception can be viewed as a substantial advantage for artists but it can be a hindrance for scientists.

    • Word count: 793
  9. TOK group presentation

    To what disciplines is this linked? Ways of knowing: perception(because all paranormal activities recoded to date deal with the senses), reason( what men of science believe such activities are in reality) and emotion(what people feel about such activities) Areas of knowledge: science (the scientific method is used to prove or disprove the existence of paranormal activities), history(used to show The implications of the various points of view- A belief in the paranormal benefits many TV shows that are centred around the existence of such activities.

    • Word count: 985
  10. Which sources of knowledge-books, websites, the media, personal experience, authorities or some other- do you most consider trustworthy, and why?

    author can only write from their own perspective, from what they've seen, heard, read and this could give them a completely different spin on something compared to you. And yet even though we know these things one of the main ways we are taught is from books, we base a lot of our knowledge on the secondary knowledge we get from them. We just have to trust them because unless our logic tells us otherwise how can we disprove the knowledge in a book.

    • Word count: 1551
  11. In expanding the field of knowledge we but increase the horizon of ignorance.- Henry Miller. To what extent can a knower agree?

    Upon completion of my experiment the question, at what speed will the ball bearing penetrated the skin, was answered, however, I was face with many more questions, such as what variables affect this and why? Often throughout my lessons, I find myself overwhelmed with questions, and with each door of ignorance that is opened I am faced with three more closed ones. It is because of this that I feel this statement of Miller's to be a perfect literary representation of the emotions I feel every physics lesson.

    • Word count: 1601
  12. La duda es la clave del conocimiento (proverbio persa). En qu medida es esto cierto en dos reas de conocimiento?

    por eso ya no sea utilizada en la actualidad, adem�s de el tiempo y "esfuerzo" por parte de los estudiantes que esta requiere. La duda constituye un estado de incertidumbre y un l�mite a la confianza o la creencia en la verdad de un conocimiento. Esto se da debido a la falta de certeza sobre a qu� decisi�n tomar o la veracidad de una afirmaci�n o teor�a, como la exactitud de una fuente y la imparcialidad de esta. Adem�s, la duda puede permitir que una persona razone lo suficiente acerca de la toma de una decisi�n, dejando de lado las emociones y sentimientos.

    • Word count: 1365
  13. Reason And Emotion

    However, emotion can in fact have an effect on this rational process and even change the outcome. Taking for example two students that possess equal intellectual capacity, and have both prepared equally for an upcoming mathematics exam. An hour before the exam one student experiences an unfortunate event that causes him to be angry, whilst the other remains calm and peaceful. Upon doing the exam the student who is calm and has less distractions in his mind (i.e. 'emotionless') will focus better, and hence perform better than the student whose emotions cloud his logic.

    • Word count: 1268
  14. The Matrix And Plato's Cave

    The idea of enlightenment is emphasized in scene at the end of the movie when everyone is moving around in a trance-like way and neo seems to be the only one in that sense that is awake. It takes the released prisoner a long time to absorb the entire truth, but when he does, and is ready to go back and inform the other prisoners of the truth, they will certainly deny him, as he would be trying to tell them that all that they have been perceiving is false, and the only truth is that which they haven't seen.

    • Word count: 1206
  15. Tok Essay. We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. In order to more fully understand and question this statement, it must be broken down to its core.

    Therefore, the way in which we view the world tells us more about ourselves, then the world itself. The question of whether this statement is true or not will be looked at through two ways of knowing, which will be emotion and sense perception in this case. I do not believe the knowledge claim to hold true for sense perception as my past experiences, upbringing and culture have had no affect on my five senses. I have lead different to every other human being on this planet, but I will still taste sugar as sweet or see the sun to be bright, just like everyone else.

    • Word count: 1472
  16. Why do misunderstandings occur and how to they inhibit knowledge acquisition?

    Grammatical errors are often found when one translating from a "simple language" to a "hard language". I found people having difficulties translating English to German. German has der, die, and das while English doesn't have that in its language: * Der Man translates to the man * Die Frau translates to the women * Das Haus translates to the house This makes it hard for English speakers to translate to German. I also found difficulties translating a whole document due to the fact that it loses it context sometimes.

    • Word count: 547
  17. TOK essay

    This leads onto the idea of personal moral beliefs, which will be covered later. Emotions present the variable in this equation that creates a much larger challenge. Emotions are more chaotic than reason, due to situations where an individual might lose emotional control and not know all the facts to respond in the best possible manner. However, context and personal moral beliefs are just as important in the decision making. They are what create the basis for reason and emotion to exist and perform the functions and duties so that humanity can deduce the conclusion needed.

    • Word count: 1565
  18. Language limits what you can think.

    And it also has to be open-ended which means without limits or restrictions and allowed to future modifications. Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf brought attention to the relationship between language and thought and to show their ideas to the whole world they created the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis which theorizes that the thought is determined or, at least, influenced by language. The first main idea of this hypothesis is the linguistic relativism, a theory that claims that our language determines the things we can think and say.

    • Word count: 499
  19. 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.

    But to what extent is Nin's assumption justified? In order to answer this question, this essay will explore the following knowledge issue: To what extent, and why, do our sense perception, culture, belief system, reason and emotion alter our reality of history, mathematics and ethics? If we follow the same real life issue with regards to the Area of Knowledge of history, we can see that the past is invariable. Every individual can see the below photograph of the "tank incident" and see the same things. The events that have occurred are constant, and in this sense, we see things as "they are".

    • Word count: 1465
  20. Which areas of knowledge are affected by doubts?

    For example, we know this book exist, because we can see the book and also we can feel the book. However, according to Descartes, because these five senses cannot be proven, therefore there is a possibility that the book does not exist. Then what can be said to exist with certainty? Descartes stated that he found himself thinking to the answer to this question of "what does exist" therefore he came up with the idea of "I think therefore I am".

    • Word count: 1536
  21. Is knowledge in mathematics and other Areas of Knowledge dependent on culture to the same degree and in the same ways?

    Culture plays a major role in shaping our knowledge as individuals and as a society but each area of knowledge and the strands of those areas are influenced by culture in a different way. Math is usually considered a 'universal' language that everyone is about to communicate with not matter what your cultural background is. For example, Pythagoras's theorem was said to be discovered by Pythagoras in the sixth century B.C. However, archeological finds show that in Ancient Iraq and in China, prior to Pythagoras, the same theorem appeared to be discovered.

    • Word count: 1553
  22. 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.

    We see the nature of the world by our eyes. Although light rays are reflected from the surfaces of objects in the outside world, we still can see a different thing from various perceptions. Perception is what we believe through the sense of sight and what we are imposed by the external world. Normally, whatever we have observed, the message is always transferred to our brains, seeing as interpretation. For example, John, the man who has visual agnosia, he cannot recognise himself in the mirror and either his wife and or his children, he lives in a world of detail, of lines and shapes, but these lines and shapes are without orders, without structure.

    • Word count: 1562
  23. In order to understand the truth, we must understand the filters of how we perceive the world.

    The more general ones include things such as religion, language and gender. Religion becomes a filter because there are so many different religions, so when it comes to opinions on ideas such as science or statements made towards the "real god" (or other statements concerning religious ethics etc.) of course all those people who are passionate about religion will debate against science and the "real god" because they use religion as a filter, twisting their opinion into the way they perceive the world through the filter of religion. In terms of language, language is more or less similar to religion.

    • Word count: 1046
  24. Comparing Flatland and Plato's analogy of the cave.

    The circle becomes so large it is about to fill the living room of the man in Flatland. He is terrified because he does not understand what is happening. All of the laws of science which state that matter cannot be created nor destroyed are being violated. What he sees is for him a true miracle. Just as he is about to run in panic from the room, the sphere reaches its equator, passes its equator, and gradually sinks out of the plane.

    • Word count: 1413
  25. Does language affect thought

    A good example of this is a history book: through its words (language) it gives us a, sometimes clear, picture of a battle, a signing of a treaty or any historic event. Through its words the book is able to provide the reader with knowledge which is then transformed by the reader into an idea and a thought. The same can happen inversely, a though can be converted into language, as people do in everyday conversations. While this might be true, it does not mean that people cannot think, know, or have an idea without using language.

    • Word count: 871

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