TOK. In this essay I will use two ways of knowing to discuss the claim We see and understand things not as they are but as we are.

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        Rather than something that can be objectively proven, ‘Truth’ is a subjective expression—the ‘truth’ differs from individual to individual. So what exactly is truth? For example, wouldn’t you agree with me if I said that if I saw a pear and described it as ‘green, sweet and juicy’ and you saw the same pear and approved of my understanding that the pear was ‘green, sweet and juicy’, we would be actually visualizing the same thing?  What we can infer from this is that we have no knowledge of the ‘reality’ unless we utilize our minds. Consequently, if there is a clash of understanding between the human mind and reality, the truth of that knowledge claim cannot be accepted. The truth and perception of a certain claim or issue therefore varies from person to person, based on a number of factors, some of which include the family and bringing up of the individual, the previous experiences the individual was confronted by and the culture to which the individual belongs to. In this essay I will use two ways of knowing to discuss the claim “We see and understand things not as they are but as we are”.

        In my opinion, this statement is a valid one. Sense perception of the human body has a major effect on the way we see and understand things. Take a blind man for instance; he cannot see and understand colors such as blue or grey the same way a man with normal vision can unless he turned blind after a particular age. If the blind man was blind from birth, he might not have even understood the concept of color. On the contrary, if he turned blind after a certain age, (i.e. an age at which his mind was capable enough to remember and relate to a particular color) it would be most likely that he could understand blue or grey in a similar way as a normal man, but then again, this would be as a result of his previous experience and memory. Thus vision or how we ‘see things’ is interpreted in the brain which verifies it with our belief or take on that situation.

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        People perceive things or situations in different ways. Taking a literary source for example, in the novel
The Kite Runner, there is an instance when the protagonist, Amir, witnesses the rape of his servant/friend, Hassan. Instead of seeing this as an appalling act that victimizes Hassan and inflicts great pain on him, he sees it as something that is hurtful to himself. Amir feels that he is the victim, but in actual fact his neglect to aid makes him as guilty as the doer. Amir saw the rape of Hassan through HIS mind, not for what is really was and consequently, ...

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