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

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IB Theory of Knowledge


“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 validity of the new statement.

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Beyond the conception that history is just the study of the past, history is the study of the causes and consequences of events that somehow shaped the present and future of humanity. A key part in the definition of this important area of knowledge is recognizing that History is an analysis of social degree, meaning that it deals specifically with humanity and the infinite social and cultural factors that compose it. These factors, such as religion, nationalism, wealth and others, shape the way each individual views an specific event in History, which makes the recollection of facts, testimonies and evidence itself to be somewhat unreliable. In more concrete words, we can deduce that History is an area of knowledge that is much more subjective and analytical, so it gives more space to interpretation, bias, inclusion of emotion, all variables which lead us to the question, to what extent is the study of history affected by perception, emotion and the social nature of humans? This question and the previous analysis of history make the quote “History is part myth, part hope and part reality” acquire some validity. 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. In the other hand, history is part reality because it deals with specifics facts and events that are recorded and are mostly indisputable, such as the dropping of the first atomic bomb.

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The myth component of history is basically influenced in its core by the primitive ways of knowing, which are what we see and what we feel, perception and emotion. These ways of knowing are extremely personal, and they vary in each person, depending on different social, cultural, geographical and economic factors. This makes every person in the world to have an opinion, which is somewhat biased by the previous factors mentioned. Then every person is going to see and feel a historical event differently, possibly altering the causes of this happening and suffering the consequences differently. And this is ...

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