TOK Themes

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8LISV]SJ /RS[PIHKIA crash course

What is knowledge?Justified True BeliefYou must believe it You must be justified in your belief Is has to be true

Truth is assumed to be public, independent and eternal

Types of knowledgePersonal Knowledge Impersonal Propositional Knowledge









Ways of Knowing





Sense PerceptionSight Smell Hearing Touch Taste

More sensesBalance, equilibrioception Temperature Kinesthetic sense Pain Direction Other internal senses (esophagus, bladder etc)

SightOptical illusions

SmellWomen have better noses, but there are more male scientists Dogs can smell cancer Love at first smell (peptides)

Touch & TasteTactile illusions Tasting what you smell The power of hypnosis Acquired taste


th 6


Instinct, Belief, Faith

EmotionIs emotional response also a cultural one? Reading emotions: is a smile always a smile? Media evoking emotional response (e.g film music, emotive language). How easy is it to influence emotions? To what extent can emotion lead to knowledge?

LanguageThe functions of languageInformative Expressive Directive Ceremonial Performative

How do we learn language? Body Language

LanguageLost in translation?IJsberen - to pace Baard in de keel - voice is breaking Kruimeldief - Dust buster / Petty Thief

LanguageUniquely human (?) Communicates Uses symbols

Judgement and Classification once you ve put it into words, you obstruct further thought

Language creates reality

ReasonLogicTo define correct reasoning To distinguish good arguments from bad ones To pick out flaws and weaknesses in reasoning To create rules which enable us to test whether our reasoning is coherent and consistent

Deductive logic (syllogism) I need to finish this presentation by Tuesday I only have time to work on it on Sunday Conclusion: I will work on it on Sunday

More logicInductive logicGeneralisations Analogies Based on experience and empirical knowledgeSo far, all my TOK classes have been interesting It is likely that the next lesson will also be interesting

Three tests:Sufficient number Varying circumstance exceptions

Errors in logicMy father is on the board of directors of ISA, soifyoudon tgive me an A in ToKyouwon t have your contract renewednextyear. You must changemyToK mark to an A becausemyfather is seriouslyill, and itwill break hisheart to discover that I amnot a ToK genius. All philosophers are eccentric and Sartre was a philosopher. (What is missing here?)

Areas of KnowledgeHistory

Ethics ArtNatural Sciences

Human Sciences


MathsFormal system of knowledge Define Axioms Apply rules of inference Create theorems

Axiom: fundamental law Rules of inference = forming conclusion from information available (if then ...)If: Then: 1 + 6 = 7 and 5 + 4 = 9 (1 + 6) + (5 + 4) = 7 + 9

Theorems: A proposition that has been or is to be proved on the basis of explicit assumptions.

MathsTennis Club Problem. A tennis club with1025 membersdecides to have a series of matches to determinewhowillbe the champion. The procedure is foreveryone to draw lotsfor a partner, with the oddpersonsitting out. In the secondround, only the winners of the firstround plus the onewhosat out draw lotsfor partners and playanother match. This procedure continuesuntil the championemerges. Howmanyindividual matches are played?

Is Maths a language?Uniquely human Communicates Uses symbols

The square root of two hundred and fifty divided by three plus seven250 ----- + 7 3

250 -------- + 7 3

250 -------3+7

50 200 + ---- + 7 3

50 200 + ---3+7

Natural SciencesStage 1: Observation Stage 2: Information Stage 3: Generalisation Stage 4: Theory Stage 5: Explanation & Prediction

Problems with Scientific Method:Perceptual (senses) Observation statement (language often carries many implications) Choice of what is observed Problems with inductive (2) and deductive (4) logic

Possible SolutionsFalsification (Karl Popper) disprove hypothesisNew Paradigm Revolution Normal Science Paradigm Crisis in which paradigm fails

Scientific Revolutions (Thomas Kuhn)

New Paradigm accepted as normal science

Normal Science Paragigm etc

Paradigm = overall concept, model, framework

Social SciencesAnthropology Economics Political Science Sociology Psychology

See and be seenMethods:Experimentation Prediction (hard to predict humans)Observation seeing what you want to see? Being observed behaviour change

Free Will or Determinism?

What is History?History is the liecommonlyagreedupon. - Voltaire History, realsolemnhistory, I cannotbeinterested in. . . .The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all sogoodfornothing, and hardlyanywomen at all. - Jane Austen History is a commentaryon the various and continuingincapabilities of men. What is history? History is womenfollowingbehindwith the bucket. - MrsLintott (from: The History Boys) Historycouldbedividedintoeventswhich do not matter and eventswhichprobablyneveroccurred. - W.R. Inge

HistoryRecordingPrimary & secondary sources



Reconstructing the Past

Why bother with History?Patriotism Intellectual Pursuit Societies need to understand their past Helps understand the present Explains why things happen Teaches us about human behaviour History of other countries makes us more tolerant Fun to investigate

Literature, Music & ArtWhat is Art? HOW DO/CAN WE JUDGE IT? Is Music a language?

8 Dog Acrylic on canvas by Unknown Donated by Elizabeth and SornPoeckle, Copenhagen, Denmark A remarkable fusion of ski resort and wolf puppy -- stoical in his yelloweyed silence, frozen beneath the icecapped peak, Dog eloquently challenges the viewer to reexamine old concepts of landscape.

Art according to Tolstoy

1. Recall a feeling one has experienced

2. Recreate that feeling (using external methods)

3. Transmit that feeling to others (by external signs)

4. Recreate that feeling in others so they share the same experience

EthicsUtilitarianism (consequences best for the largest number) Duty (principles of justice) Virtue (gaining happiness through living virtuously Aristotle) Religious (guided by Higher Being)

Moral issuesDeath penalty (if society has agreed on it) Female circumcision (matter of culture?) Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Cloning Eating Meat Etc

Ethics in Areas of KnowledgeWhat is the moral responsibility of the (natural and social) scientist? Should art be morally uplifting? Should history as a subject be value-free? Mathematicseducation has been a tool of culturalimperialism. - Jim Neyland, Victoria University, WellingtonBlack slavetraders Now listen to me, sillyNavi, youshouldaimwith a 10 angle

Sources ng.gif ounds/WhalesDolphinsSeal_sounds/dolphin_dolphinsqueal_wav.shtml rt.jpg at1_wav.shtm /thu0035l.jpg (healed leg) (colours) ticons.jpg 719.jpg 009/06/yanomami-girl-by-victor-englebert.jpg 2.jpg itter_lemonparty_cardp137304672902372355tra8_400.jpg c_Of_Cycle.jpg /ophelia.jpg (johnmillais) 20/good-and-evil.gif