TOK Essay. We see and understand things not as they are but as we are

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“We see and understand things not as they are but as we are” 

It may be physical or psychological, and a cursory observation of human interactions makes it apparent that we engage psychologically in at least two different, not necessarily mutually exclusive types of “seeing”. One is where we employ external inputs to perceive the outside world. The other is the unadulterated gazing inside of our own conscious: genuine introspection. Both varieties of “seeing” are a part of our daily interactions and are shaped by our environment and backgrounds.. It could be an interesting measure of one’s emotional maturity as to how little dichotomy is allowed to exist between those two types of “seeing” in daily transactions.

The area of history can be displayed to support the statement. Hitler is a subject of endless debate amongst historians: a judgement of his massacre of the Jews would be based on personal perspectives, cultural beliefs and moral values. Even though it is widely accepted Hitler was unethical in his actions, a staunch Nazi would have justifications that only other Nazis would be able to relate with. They understand Hitler not as he is, or accepted to be, but as they are – followers of Hitler.  Emotion as a way of knowing demonstrates this, as the passion of the Nazi followers for the party, be it through love for themselves or their leader, blinds of the reality that Hitler committed immense crimes. German philosopher Nietzsche, who’s ideas are interestingly believed to be the foundation for Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, stated “love is the state in which man sees things most widely different from what they are.” With the divorce rate increasing day by day, it is evident that the emotive force of love has capabilities to cloud one’s mind with dillusion.

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Religion and culture are areas where there was always been misunderstanding. France being a secular country has banned headscarves in school, generating opposition. Emotion comes into play here as women who have worn the burqa as part of family tradition may feel either obliged to or pressurised to wear it in school. To view the issue in a positive or negative light, it depends on the intensity of the ones beliefs. If a person is open-minded enough to view a variety of situations that could arise, such as internal family conflict, repercussions within the school as well as Muslim community ...

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