Theory of Knowledge  : Essay

blueline

The Statistics Question

by marie on 07 Aug 2005 11:04 am

Due to the fact that many people have asked about this question, I've decided to put it under one heading. All discussions under here please!!

*Please see disclaimer on the bottom*

Statistics can be very helpful in providing a powerful interpretation of reality but also can be used to distort our understanding. Discuss some ways in which statistics can be used or misused in different Areas of Knowledge to assist and mislead us, and how we can determine whether to accept the statistical evidence that is presented to us.

Previously I posted this advice*:

I looked at this question and it seemed quite straight forward, but after I tried quickly thinking about ways you could answer it in the format that IB wants you to I fount it quite tricky!!

Stats are a funny thing...I study basic stats in Uni for psychology. They're fun if you understand them, but horrible if you don't!

Why do we need stats? In daily life we need it to determine what events were just by chance, or were actually caused by something. They are used in a large range of professions — from advertising to politics to science. They are also important in understanding how the media and politicians lie.

Anyhow, this question asks you to come up with ways in which they BOTH assist and mislead us. I'm sure if you read enough and surf the net you can come up with a lot of ways stats assist you and how scientists and advertisers have used stats to mislead you (and you said you have some ideas), BUT remember, it's easy to say how they help/mislead us, but it's another story to say why they have that effect on us in terms of ToK. You have to cover the four areas of knowledge - emotion, perception, reason, and language. Unless you do this you cannot get an A.

---Edit---

I received an e-mail specifically asking for help on this question, so here's what I wrote....lots of repetition with above, but bear with me:

Before I start, I should tell you that I'm on holiday right now so all of my ToK stuff is scattered between my Uni dorm and home so I can't help that much — but I'll try my best.

>I've started in looking for how states are used and how people
>manipulate stats to there advantage and how we all are victims of
>stats...we use stats everyday, even in conversations about the littlest or
>largest issues.

I think it's great how you state that stats are also used by the littlest issues in conversations. Though it’s important to give examples of stats used by major cooperations or by politicians, it is also vital to give examples of stats used by *us*. Examiners LOVE personal examples, because it shows that you're thinking and not just copying and pasting from books.

> I'm also not sure on what to talk about for info/facts wise, i've only
> done minimal research and i'm finding it hard to find what i'm looking
> for which i'm not to sure i know what i am looking for. Maybe some
> suggestions on topics i should be looking up?

I have to admit I don't know much about statistics except for the dull formulas that I use in psychology (my area of study). Apparently the book ‘Against the Gods’ is a good stats book. You seem to be on the right track by looking up how stats are manipulated - look up examples of those (there should be tons on the net). Also, like you said, we can be victims by interpreting stats wrong (or benefit by interpreting them right). The gambler’s fallacy is one I can think off the top of my head. Kahneman and Tversky are also people you should perhaps look up - they did a lot of research on biases. Remember though: you should also explain how much we benefit from stats as well as saying how stats can mislead us. Also the question asks how, in the end, we accept (or reject) the stats presented in front of us — lots of things to answer!

One personal example that I can think of (which probably has nothing to do with the question...but anyway) are those annoying calorie figures on food boxes - for example just today I looked at the calories for a bunch of instant noodles and it said 300 calories. I thought ‘that’s alright’. What I didn’t notice (till my sister pointed this out), what that this value was for ‘one portion’ and the whole meal was ‘two portions’ = 600 calories (not very nice). Obviously the company wrote it in that way to make it seem like the calories were low!!

>My trouble is coming up with a outline that includes the areas of
>knowledge: reason, perception, emotion, and Language... how to tie
>everything together. oh, Do I focus on a specific disipline or do I try
>to incorporate all of them?

Golden rule #1: You MUST MUST MUSTTTT include all ways of knowing. My ToK teachers were examiners and they stressed this point many times. I don't have my essay with me right now, but if I remember correctly I took the approach of going through all areas of knowledge one by one - first went through how reason affected our way of knowledge, then language etc. In my introduction I also stated that I will investigate the question in terms of these four areas of knowledge, just to make it blatantly obvious to the examiner that I knew I had to cover these areas. Mind you, this is just one way of approaching the question, and there are many other ways too.

What I usually do is spend a good amount of time brainstorming on scrap pieces of paper (which I'm sure you have loads being an IB student ) or a notebook. Once you have lots and lots of ideas, you'll find that they will start to link to together till you have a skeleton of an essay. When I started my ToK essay I wrote down ‘language’ ‘reason’ etc. as headings and brainstormed. My English teacher used to write ideas down, cut them up, lie them down on her table, and shift them together till they were in a coherent order.

Good luck, and hang in there!

Marie

XXXX

* Note: I am NOT a ToK teacher nor an examiner, nor am I an expert on statistical matters. This advice is NOT meant to be taken as expert advice (this is obvious — but just in case). I am just a student who previously took the IB. I am happy to receive e-mails asking for help, but please don't send messages just asking what you should write or for information (i.e. could you give me some examples?). I am there to help if you've done the work, and need help with more specific matters.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Guest on 27 Feb 2006 01:40 am

"You have to cover the four areas of knowledge - emotion, perception, reason, and language"

--> he is incorrect

There are SIX areas of knowledge (math, natural sci, human sci, history, ethics, & arts).

Guest


by marie on 06 May 2006 07:19 am

Anonymous wrote:

"You have to cover the four areas of knowledge - emotion, perception, reason, and language" --> he is incorrect

There are SIX areas of knowledge (math, natural sci, human sci, history, ethics, & arts), see

http://www.asmilan.org/teachers/skhoury ... IAGRAM.htm

Sorry I've been lax with the terminology. I mean WAYS of knowing, and they are the things you MUST put down. If you can put all of the six areas of knowledge that's be great but I don't think it's 100% necessary.

I'm a SHE btw

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

 

blueline

PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING QUESTION

by marie on 12 Dec 2005 06:07 pm

Hello everyone,

This is Marie the webmaster.

I just wanted to say that when posting a question on this forum please try and refrain from posting queries like:

I'm doing Q9. Could you help me with it?

It just shows that you haven't done much (or any) thinking and that kind of makes us moderators reluctant to answer.

We look forward to hearing specific questions about format, content etc. on the essay so we can help.

Similarly I will NOT answer any e-mails asking questions a long the lines of that either. Once again, I'll be happy to help with proper questions.

Good luck on everything,

Marie

xxxx

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

Welcome from the Moderators!

by Linda on 06 Aug 2004 03:27 am

A little bit about us:

Jonatan graduated in May 2004 and currently studying for a 4 year master course in Maths and Physics. Jonatan’s greatest passion is debating and arguing about whatever topic (but mostly politics, science and philosophy), now matter how pedantic it might be.

My name is Linda, and ToK was my favourite subject in IB. I graduated in May 2004, and am now studying Philosophy with Computer Science at Warwick. I’d be happy to help with nearly anything that is slightly ToK related, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni


by Guest on 07 Aug 2004 09:13 pm

Hehe, who'd have thought I would find you guys here.. Followed a link from IBscrewed Livejournal-community and wound up in this place.

Karl from Berg here, starting IBII now, this page is looking very good, hope more members find their way here. Great resource if people keep using it.

Guest


by Linda on 15 Aug 2004 07:55 am

Well, feel free to promote the site at Berg then, Karl! And good luck with your studies

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni


by Clark on 08 Jul 2005 04:11 am

Hello there, I am currently in the full IB and have to do my TOK paper over the summer and i'm finding it difficult, could you help me get started? this is the question that i'm looking at doing:

Statistics can be very helpful in providing a powerful interpretation of reality but also can be used to distort our understanding. Discuss some of the ways in which statistics can be used or misused in different Area of Knowledge to assist and mislead us, and how we can determine whether to accept the statistical evidence that is presented to us?

To anyone, if you have any comment or info that i could use please feel free to reply. Thanks for your time.

Clark


by Clark on 08 Jul 2005 04:26 am

I have some ideas that i can bounce off yea... i'm not sure on how i should structure the essay but i guess thats because i don't have much to go on. so for the comparing area of knowledge to statistics should i choose a couple area and explore how they use statistics, for example History we can't tell exactly if stats have been changed or not... even now a days we can't tell to some degrees. so are there any areas that give statistics that are not misleading or adapted? For definitions i can't seem to come up with my own or find one from a dictionary that would be perfect to define: interpretation, reality, mislead, and assist...it seems that when it says how do statistics assist and mislead us, that the stats don't have to be genuine to assist.

As you can see all my ideas are all over the place, thanks for letting me get stuff outof my head, there are no real intellects at my school that i could bounce and throw ideas out there. Thanks for you time.

Sorry this wasn't in the post before i had clicked the wronge button

Clark


by john doe on 03 Aug 2005 03:51 pm

Hey i have to do the same question, can anyone help me out, i'm so lost on how to get started or what i should be researching. Thanks

john doe


by Linda on 08 Sep 2005 10:07 pm

Clark wrote:

Hello there, I am currently in the full IB and have to do my TOK paper over the summer and i'm finding it difficult, could you help me get started? this is the question that i'm looking at doing:

Statistics can be very helpful in providing a powerful interpretation of reality but also can be used to distort our understanding. Discuss some of the ways in which statistics can be used or misused in different Area of Knowledge to assist and mislead us, and how we can determine whether to accept the statistical evidence that is presented to us?

To anyone, if you have any comment or info that i could use please feel free to reply. Thanks for your time.

I've been away for the summer holidays, but am back now and will try to help.

I read a very good article on this in July, will see if I can find it. One question though - what level of maths are you doing? If you're doing HL I'll get Jonatan to give you some material to use.

Somethign I would definatly try use is how the legal system is manipulated by statistics (mostly lawyers or experts taking advantage of the jury's poor maths skills).

I'll get back to you.

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni

blueline

Topic #4 help...due in hours

by derlux08 on 26 Feb 2008 09:27 am

Ok so my last TOK Essay (Topic #4 on language) in due in... a about 12 hours and im really stressed out..so i have no idea if its good..crappy...or what. Can anyone read it?? pleasee! ... PM me please if you wish to help. My head is exploding.

IB May 2008

derlux08

Location: Dominican Republic

blueline

S.O.S. TOK essay due soon!

by deathtohomework on 26 Jun 2007 03:17 am

I've been given (nearly) absolute freedom in choosing a topic for the TOK essay. Anyone have suggestions? I'm struggling with a flood of crappy ideas. Help me.

Oh, and it's due in 3 days.

deathtohomework

blueline

Q 10 november 2007/may 2008 please help !

by marie on 18 Nov 2006 01:47 am

compreso wrote:

i would really appreciate ur help,

the question is "Context is all" (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean truth does not exist

cOmPrEsO

Could you elaborate on your question?

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

Tok help please! =P

by marie on 02 Nov 2004 07:13 pm

Chr0n0 wrote:

Hey linda Hey jonatan!

Im honoured to be the first replier in this topic

I was wondering if any of you guys could help me please with this topic...

Question 4

To what extent do personal attributes affect Ways of Knowing and why, if at all, does answering this question matter in the first place?

Please help!

thank you!

Hello ChrOnO.

This is the webmaster, Marie. Let me see if I can be of help. I'll give you a few tips and ideas to set you off brainstorming so you can put down your own innovative ideas. I can't give you much detail as I have a psychology essay due very shortly!!!

Let us first put the question under the dissecting knife:

To what extent do personal attributes affect Ways of Knowing and why, if at all, does answering this question matter in the first place?

In order to score high marks in essays you must make it clear to the examiner that you fully understand the question, and a good way of doing this is by defining the key terms (which in this case will be 'personal attributes' and 'ways of knowing'). This is also a great technique for comprehending the question and keeping yourself focused on what the question is asking instead of running off in tangents.

What are 'personal attributes'? I would say the qualities that are unique to each and every one of us. They would include things such as the way we perceive the world, the language we speak, our persona, the environment we were brought up in, our personal history....

So how do our personal attributes affect our 'ways of knowing'? Let us define this term first, which has been fed to us by the IB. The ways of knowing are: perception, emotion, reason and language. Now you can get into the nitty gritty. For example, the way we speak affects all of those ways of knowing (e.g. euphemisms are a good example of how they change perception and block emotion). The environment we were brought up in does the same. Make as many links as you can between the different ways of knowing, that makes the IB happy. Get a blank piece of paper and brainstorm.

Interestingly, at the same time our personal attributes affect our ways of knowing, keep in mind that our ways of knowing affect our personal attributes.

Then there is the final bit of the question: 'Why, if at all, does answering this question matter in the first place?'. Well the obvious thing NOT to do is to say that this question doesn't matter. I think once you've written the essay the answer to this will come easily to you. The better you understand something, the more benefits come out of it. We will be able make sound judgements, and see things through other people's perspectives. These are only just a few things that come out of knowing how personal attributes affect ways of knowing - what can you think of?

Hope this will be of some help. Don't look at this reply as the answer, it is merely a small piece of help to nudge you on.

Wishing you loads of luck on the essay!

Marie

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Linda on 02 Nov 2004 09:04 pm

Regarding the last part of the question...

Why do the IBO want you to answer this question in the first place? What are they looking for in your answer?

I think its simple - they want to see evidence that you have met the aims and objectives set out in the ToK syllabus.

Here are some relevant ones: the student should

aim 4) Become aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge including personal and ideological biases.

aim 5) Consider that knowledge may place responsibilities on the knower.

aim 6) Understand the strengths and limitations of individual and cultural perspectives.

objective 7) Demonstrate an understanding that personal views, judgements and beliefs may influence their own knowledge claims and those of others.

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni


by Linda on 02 Nov 2004 09:12 pm

Einstein's belief in God made him reason differently about the new physics (quantum physics). He would not accept this new way of looking at things, and simply denied the probabilistic world view by saying "God is not malicious".

I'd like to refer you to the beautiful introduction to Nick Alchins ToK book:

”You are a human being. And so you have a philosophical view of existence – whether you realise it or not. About this you have no choice. But there is a choice to be made about your philosophy, and it can be put in these terms: is your philosophy based on conscious, thoughtful and well-informed reflection? Is it sensitive to, but not chained by, the need for logical consistency? Or have you let your subconscious amass an ugly pile of unexamined prejudices, unjustified intolerances, hidden fears, doubts and implicit contradictions, thrown together by chance but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind’s wings should have grown?

It is not the answer that enlightens but the question”

Eguène Ionesco

think about it

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni


by Chr0n0 on 08 Nov 2004 09:29 pm

thanks guys!!!

writing my essay atm.

300 words into it.

so im structuring my argument into these sections

is that a good structure? any more tips? thanks !!

Chr0n0


by dianahsieh on 09 Nov 2005 03:09 am

Linda wrote:

I'd like to refer you to the beautiful introduction to Nick Alchins ToK book:

”You are a human being. ... like a ball and chain in the place where your mind’s wings should have grown?

It is not the answer that enlightens but the question” Eguène Ionesco

think about it

While you're thinking about it, know that the quote is from Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, not Eugene Ionesco.

Diana Hsieh

http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

dianahsieh


by dianahsieh on 09 Nov 2005 04:18 am

I didn't look at the quote closely enough. It's actually a seriously bastardized and badly paraphrased version of a quote from Ayn Rand's "Philosophy: Who Needs It." Here's the actual quote:

"As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation--or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's wings should have grown."

Diana Hsieh

http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

dianahsieh


by Guest on 11 Nov 2005 01:46 pm

hello chrono, my ToK essay is due in a months time. I was wondering, if you had a draft that I might be able to refer to as refferance?

Guest


by TOK lover on 11 Nov 2005 01:46 pm

hello chrono, my ToK essay is due in a months time. I was wondering, if you had a draft that I might be able to refer to as refferance?

TOK lover


by Bettina on 02 Dec 2005 10:51 am

Hey Marie, this is Bettina - used to go to YIS as well. I came across this site researching for my TOK essay. The world's a village truly. Anyhow, take care!

Bettina


by Guest on 21 Dec 2005 09:00 pm

Hi, I'm doing mine on the same topic, and have a complete essay, 1,340 words, got a 5 on it because i lacked examples. does anyone have a source where i could find some "worldly" exxamples. I have enough from my own life, just not from others. SO if anyone is still reading this topic and can help please help, thanks.

Guest


by TOKED on 29 Dec 2005 05:58 am

just reading all this shows me how screwed i am. i thinkimma do my essay on number 4. and wat is it 28th of december :O well ill have plenty of time to learn all about "ways of knowing" and all that shit. our tok lessons really were a waste, and the tok cruise, well i was also wasted there.

TOKED


by tori on 08 Jan 2006 01:41 am

Ive been looking around on the internet and found this...i cant believe they use the same questions all around the world as i live in holland. I am really stuck and i cant seem to pad what i have to write out. Please has anyone got any more tips??

Thanks

tori


by marie on 22 Oct 2006 05:56 pm

tori wrote:

Ive been looking around on the internet and found this...i cant believe they use the same questions all around the world as i live in holland. I am really stuck and i cant seem to pad what i have to write out. Please has anyone got any more tips??

Thanks

tori

Read loads!!! Get lots of examples from as many sources as you can. And don't leave things to the last minute

All of these are a duh, but ever so essential!

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

New ToK Help Website

by marie on 16 May 2006 06:14 pm

I've recently been sent a link to this website and it looks great if you need help. Check it out!

http://www.tokhelp.googlepages.com

Hang in there!

Marie

xxxx

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

TOK essay guidance please

by salome on 30 Apr 2005 11:30 am

Topic 8:

"Arthur Eddington noted that an ordinary view of the world, one “which spontaneously appears around me when I open my eyes” is “a strange compound of external nature, mental imagery and inherited prejudice” ( Sir Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, 1928) How accurate a description is this of everyday experience?"

I am currently trying to organize my ideas, which are few in number. I don't know how I should start this essay and exactly what I should talk about regarding this question!

Please HELP!

What should I talk about except language because that is the only thing I can think about regarding this subject right now. How can I define "external nature", "mental imagery", and "inherited prejudice"? Is it neccessary to define these terms as well as "language", "perception", and "emotion"?

salome


by marie on 21 May 2005 09:52 pm

salome wrote:

Topic 8:

"Arthur Eddington noted that an ordinary view of the world, one “which spontaneously appears around me when I open my eyes” is “a strange compound of external nature, mental imagery and inherited prejudice” ( Sir Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, 1928) How accurate a description is this of everyday experience?"

I am currently trying to organize my ideas, which are few in number. I don't know how I should start this essay and exactly what I should talk about regarding this question! Please HELP!

What should I talk about except language because that is the only thing I can think about regarding this subject right now. How can I define "external nature", "mental imagery", and "inherited prejudice"? Is it neccessary to define these terms as well as "language", "perception", and "emotion"?

Hi Salome,

I apologize for the late reply - I am in the midst of my university exams as well. I'm glad your questions are more specific instead of just simply asking for help!

You seem to be on the right track, and you've picked up on the right words. It's interesting how they're asking about how 'accurate' it is, when you can interpret the quote in many different ways (which is prob a point you should pick up on).

On that note keep in mind that the defintions that I am suggesting aren't the answer: they're merely one way of looking at things. Although I haven't thought deeply about it, at a glance I understand the following terms as follows:

External nature - basically our physical surroundings. The sky, desks, buildings, birds etc. Note: our basic physical processes can effect the way we 'see' external nature such as colourblindess. Conversely, nature can play tricks on how we see things - mirages and visual illusions such as a bend straw in a glass of water.

Mental Imagery - Now this is tricky, and I think there are a few ways of interpreting this. Is it how we compose images in our mind? Could it even be how we solve problems in our mind (logic)? Think about it.

Internal Prejudice i.e. Bias. This could be due to all the ways of knowing - emotion, reason, language and perception. I think this should be fairly straight forward to write on.

This is really just a SMIDGEN of what you can right about. I can still perhaps brainstorm more things...but I'd go on forever and I'd end up writing your essay

As for your last question, whether you should define the basic terms — I didn't do so, and I still got an A. Just make sure you show that you know what you're talking about. I did however, make it clear in the beginning that I was going to talk about the four ways of knowing in the introduction of the essay.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Guest on 03 Dec 2005 01:51 am

Hey i am doing the same topic question 8 about Sir Arthur Eddington..and im lost and not sure what to start my essay with plss..help!

Guest


by Raptorfan_Drew on 26 Apr 2006 02:42 pm

all interesting..

Raptorfan_Drew

blueline

TOK ESSAY 2005

by Joseph on 13 Feb 2005 09:41 am

Statistics can be very helpful in providing a powerful interpretation of reality but also can be used to distort our understanding. Discuss some ways in which statistics can be used or misused in different Areas of Knowledge to assist and mislead us, and how we can determine whether to accept the statistical evidence that is presented to us.

I have some ideas such as Fallacies of Statistical Reasoning and Problems with the Data but I would like to know if you could give me some suggestions.

Thanks

Joseph


by Clark on 08 Jul 2005 04:30 am

Hey, I too am doing that question, and finding it hard to come up stuff..it seems like an easy question but theres a lot too it. If you have any ideas or that you would like to share i'd be thankful, i'm not here to copy but just to get an idea of what to look for. Thanks

Clark


by marie on 08 Jul 2005 09:40 pm

Joseph wrote:

Statistics can be very helpful in providing a powerful interpretation of reality but also can be used to distort our understanding. Discuss some ways in which statistics can be used or misused in different Areas of Knowledge to assist and mislead us, and how we can determine whether to accept the statistical evidence that is presented to us.

I have some ideas such as Fallacies of Statistical Reasoning and Problems with the Data but I would like to know if you could give me some suggestions.

Thanks

Hey~

I looked at this question and it seemed quite straight forward, but after I tried quickly thinking about ways you could answer it in the format that IB wants you to I fount it quite tricky!!

Stats are a funny thing...I study basic stats in Uni for psychology. They're fun if you understand them, but horrible if you don't!

Why do we need stats? In daily life we need it to determine what events were just by chance, or were actually caused by something. They are used in a large range of professions - from advertising to politics to science. They are also important in understanding how the media and politicians lie.

Anyhow, this question asks you to come up with ways in which they BOTH assist and mislead us. I'm sure if you read enough and surf the net you can come up with a lot of ways stats assist you and how scientists and advertisers have used stats to mislead you (and you said you have some ideas), BUT remember, it's easy to say how they help/mislead us, but it's another story to say why they have that effect on us in terms of ToK. You have to cover the four areas of knowledge - emotion, perception, reason, and language. Unless you do this you cannot get an A.

I don't have all that much time to write anymore now, sorry!

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Guest on 27 Feb 2006 01:38 am

"You have to cover the four areas of knowledge - emotion, perception, reason, and language" --> he is incorrect

There are six areas of knowledge.

Guest

blueline

need help with 2005/2006 titles!

by chantelle on 12 Dec 2004 10:57 am

'Statistics can be very helpful in providing a powerful interpretation of reality but also can be used to distort our understanding. Discuss some of the ways in which statistics can be used or misused in different Areas of Knowledge to assist and mislead us, and how we can determine whether to accept the statistical evidence that is presented to us.'

I have a general idea of what I want to discuss, but I'm having difficulty starting. Any ideas?! And I was thinking about disussing my topic in the AOK of human sciences and history, any ideas there? please help!!

chantelle


by Joseph on 08 Jan 2005 10:35 am

I might help

send me an email

[email=dilaspe@hotmail.com]

Joseph

blueline

question 7

by Guest on 11 Nov 2005 01:54 pm

hi guys,

i'm currently doing question 7 for the IB essay...it's as follows:

Some people say that religious beliefs can be neither justified nor refuted by reason. However, while sometimes this claim is used as a reason for rejecting religious beliefs, at other times it is used to conclude that these beliefs are established by faith. To what extent is faith a legitimate basis for knowledge claims, in religion and different Areas of Knowledge?

i have some information collected regarding fasting and how it is dangerous to one's health...i wanted to focus on the muslim ramadan for my essay.

do you think that my focus is too concise and it would lead to a shorter essay, or that it's better to have a small focal point with such a large question instead of adressing many religions?

thanks.

Guest


by rana on 12 Nov 2005 08:04 pm

I was gon answer that question so maybe I can help...I think it would be better if u talked abt different religions and belief in general in other areas of knowledge. for e.g. u can "believe" that the earth is round. adressing Ramadan as an example would be better than making it the focus of ur essay

just what I think!

good luck!

rana


by Guest on 02 Jan 2006 12:20 pm

hey i was doing the same topic as well. Im having a really really hard time trying to figure out some good ideas. anybody have anymore examples?

Guest

blueline

q9

by jlim on 21 Aug 2005 09:46 pm

what does the question mean when it asks for a conclusion about the "nature of knowledge"?

also, does the question mean compare the first statement to the rest, or does it mean compare all of them to each other or compare the 1st to the 2nd and the 3rd to the 4th?

any suggestions on how to structure the essay?

thanks

jlim


by Linda on 08 Sep 2005 10:23 pm

it would help if you could post the whole question as I don't have them.

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni


by marina on 31 Dec 2005 05:18 am

"compare and contrast knowing a friend to knowing how to swim, knowing a scientific theory and knowing a historical period. What conclusions about the nature of knowledge can you reach?"

that was the question..i'm doing it too and would also greatly appreciate help, esp for the latter part "nature of knowledge"

marina


by maestroryu on 31 Dec 2005 12:21 pm

Sorry I don't have much time to think through the question but from what I think and what I remember (yes, I tried my best to refresh my memory... It's been more than 6 months!! ) nature of knowledge is the basic idea of ToK with "how do you know what you know." Also I googled it and found some info about epistemology, the study of the nature and origin of knowledge.

http://www.vtt.fi/ele/research/soh/projects/totem2001/kmpmhtml/kmpm2.2.1.html

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/

So in this case we are looking at how "knowing" these things resemble and differ. (Yes, sorry it's obvious isn't it lol.) But what "ways" do we have to "know" these things and maybe you can think about the limits or restrictions in each "way" of knowing?

I'm sorry if I'm not clear enough and I know this doesn't seem much of a help but hey, it's ToK, it's all about going around and around in circle in your thoughts.

Here's one philosophy of mine, it's fine to go in circle coz the path you go through will differ each time since you've thought more!! (Yeah ok, enough of my lame stuff that don't make much sense, sorry Marie!! )

maestroryu

Location: Nottingham

blueline

TOK Essay #6, PLEASE HELP ME QUICKLY!!

by stefana on 31 Dec 2005 01:30 am

hey..i'm doing question 6 "if education means learning to see through the cliche's of one's time, how does learning in the different Areas of Knowledge and in TOK contribute to this education?"... I am completely desperate! What exactly qualifies for "cliches of one's time"?? The definition of a cliche is an overused expression --- so how does that apply here??? ANd I am completely lost on which Areas of Knowledge to include in this essay??

AHH please help me, I would be grateful for any ideas to get me started...and I am so late already :S:S

thanks a lot in advance, stefana.

ps. linda i think what u guys r doing with ur site is GREAT!

stefana

blueline

Title 10 assistance, please!

by Pip on 29 Dec 2005 12:43 am

Question: Sometimes we hear reasoned arguments that oppose a view to which we are emotionally committed; sometimes we hear a passionate plea for a view we have good reason to reject. Bearing this in mind, discuss the importance of reason and emotion in distinguishing between belief and knowledge.

That's all fine and groovy. I understand basically what reason and emotion are.

My questions are:

A] How do you begin an introduction?

B] Would it be possible to argue history as a belief? (That sounds weird, I don't even know if it fits the question. Argh.)

C] How extensively should I define 'reason' and 'emotion'?

Pip

blueline

Moderator back from holiday - need help?

by Linda on 08 Sep 2005 10:39 pm

Hi guys,

I've been away for a while but now that I'm back I'll be happy to help. Sorry I havent had the time to answer your questions earlier, I'll try my best to check this site regularily from now on (just had broadband installed in my house, yay!).

It will be easier for me to help you if you post the hole question and your thoughts on it, or specifically what you are finding difficult. I plan to do some work on the Moodle section as well, which I hope will be finished by October (when I'll be busy programming a robot to go through a maze for my coursework).

Hope you have fun with ToK this year - and good luck=)

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni


by kaytee on 11 Dec 2005 07:02 pm

Yes i definately need help on question 10,>>>

Sometimes we hear reasoned arguments that oppose a view to which we are emotionally committed, sometimes we hear a passionate plea for a view we have a good reason to reject. Bearing this in mind, discuss the importance of reason and emotion between belief and knowledge?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

kaytee

blueline

Tok Q10

by HarryG on 28 Nov 2005 02:56 pm

Hey guys, im doing the question 10. Sometimes we hear reasoned arguments that oppose a view to which we are emotionally committed; sometimes we hear a passionate plea for a view we have good reason to reject. Bearing this in mind, discuss the importance of reason and emotion in distinguishing between belief and knowledge?

Does anyone have any pointers? I felt at first this question would be the best for me but now im feeling swamped by it. Any pointers?

HarryG


by kaytee on 11 Dec 2005 06:55 pm

Please, im needing help on this one too. Im still in the outline process of it. what kind of examples are you picking out? ahh im definately confused.

kaytee

blueline

Help Me....

by PinkWings on 02 Nov 2004 01:55 pm

hey there, i got this topic:

"Tell me how you're conducting your search and I'll tell you what you're looking for." To what extent the methods used in different areas of knowledge determine the scpoe of the research and the conclusions can you reach?"

this one is for my essay.... It's um...i don't even know wwhat it is about!!! someone help me please.....

give me ideas and stuff

PinkWings


by marie on 02 Nov 2004 07:19 pm

PinkWings wrote:

hey there, i got this topic:

"Tell me how you're conducting your search and I'll tell you what you're looking for." To what extent the methods used in different areas of knowledge determine the scpoe of the research and the conclusions can you reach?

this one is for my essay.... It's um...i don't even know wwhat it is about!!! someone help me please.....

give me ideas and stuff

Hi PinkWings!

I'll try and type tips for this essay soon. I can't do it today but i'll promise you'll get some sort of reply by the day after tomorrow.

Love,

Marie

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Linda on 03 Nov 2004 09:36 pm

The question (correctly worded) is:

2 “Tell me how you’re conducting your search and I’ll tell you what you’re looking for.” To what extent do the methods used in different Areas of Knowledge determine the scope of the research and the conclusions you can reach?

You could for instance look at the inductive/deductive difference (comparing something like maths and physics). Keep in mind that all deductive arguments (lines of reasoning) are circular and that all inductive arguments are invalid.

(if you need further explaimation of why this is the case just ask me).

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni


by Descartes Demon on 11 Nov 2004 06:25 am

Is it correct to be so categorical concerning inductive/deductive agruments? This doesn't sound very ToKish...

Descartes Demon


by Linda on 12 Nov 2004 06:00 am

What are you on about, of course it is ALWAYS the case that deductive arguments are circular and inductive arguments are invalid. Its in their definition as a matter of fact.

The definition of a valid argument is that if the premises are true, then the conclusuion MUST be true. But this is not the case with inductive reasoning, where the premises can be true and yet the conclusion can be false. Hence, inductive reasoning is invalid.

Consider the famous case "all ravens are black"

Raven 1 is black

Raven 2 is black

Raven 3 is black

...

Raven n is black

therfore

All ravens are black

This argument is invalid because, even though all the premises are true, the conclusion might be wrong, because there could always come a white raven along after you've counted [insert large number] of them.

Deductive reasoning is circular for obvious reasons not even worth mentioning.

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni

blueline

tok essay help!!!

by eyesha on 02 Dec 2005 01:18 am

any ideas or views???? i need help urgent!!!

Compare and contrast knowing a friend to knowing how to swim, knowing a scientific theory and knowing a historical period. What conclusions about the nature of knowledge can you reach?

eyesha

blueline

Q9

by rob on 24 Nov 2005 02:18 am

Hey

Compare and Contrast knowing a friend to knowing how to swim, knowing a scientific theory and knowing a historical period. What conclusions about the nature of knowledge can you reach?

Any help is welcomed greatly!!

What are the differrent types of knowledge used here?And what is a definition of knowledge in relation to all of these aspects?

Do you think that a Venn Diagram may be ofuse here?

Hope you guys can help!

Thanks!!

rob

blueline

defenition of personal attributes and the way of knowing

by sammy on 14 Nov 2005 12:06 am

I already got the idea about the question from many forums (included this forum) and friends.

But there're something which I still don't know, because I don't have enough ideas and knowledge. They are "personal attributes" and "the way of knowing.

So maybe you all can give me some resources from websites or books, or maybe your own ideas if you can. Because I want to compare with my own ideas.

My idea about personal attributes is, it's just like characteristic and your ability.

Thank you for your help and attention, I really appreciate it. Sorry if my english isn't good, because I live in Indonesia.

sammy

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

blueline

TOK Q5 intro

by rana on 11 Nov 2005 01:05 am

hey guyz i just signed up!

can anybody help me right the intro. to my essay? I have all the basic argument planned out but have no idea how to start it!!

thx!

rana


by rana on 12 Nov 2005 07:54 pm

never mind I finished it...

rana

blueline

Hey, everybody who are writing tok essay nr.9!

by matthia on 24 Oct 2005 03:27 am

Essay title:" Compare and contrast knowing a friend to knowing how to swim, knowing a scientific theory and knowing a historical period. What conclusions about the nature of knowledge can you reach.

It would be really nice if everybody here can share their ideas or provide some sources of useful information. Everyone who has to say something, write it down.

Students of IB - join your hands and thoughts.

Thanks

matthia

blueline

TOK Topic 2005/2006 - Question #1 - Query!

by Belle on 27 Aug 2005 11:48 pm

Question

1. There are many different authorities, including academics, politicians, global organizations and companies, who make knowledge claims. As an experienced TOK student, what criteria do you use to distinguish between knowledge, opinion, and propoganda?

My questions are:

1. How should I structure my essay/paragraphs?

2. I have already written a rough draft and wanted to know if my criterias were good: a) objectivity b) authority c) reliability d) relevance.

3. If you could give me more ideas, I would be grateful!

Thanks,

Belle


by marie on 28 Aug 2005 08:14 am

Belle wrote:

Question

1. There are many different authorities, including academics, politicians, global organizations and companies, who make knowledge claims. As an experienced TOK student, what criteria do you use to distinguish between knowledge, opinion, and propoganda?

My questions are:

1. How should I structure my essay/paragraphs?

2. I have already written a rough draft and wanted to know if my criterias were good: a) objectivity b) authority c) reliability d) relevance.

3. If you could give me more ideas, I would be grateful!

Thanks,

Belle

Hi Belle,

Could you be a little more specific as to how your planning/strucuring your essay?

Also, it's great that you've chosen your criterias, but don't forget to look at them from the view of perception, emotion, knowledge, and reason.

PS. They do still emphasize those four points in class right?

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Belle on 28 Aug 2005 11:26 am

Thanks for answering Marie!

Yes, they do teach us the four views, but my teacher said not to concentrate on them too much, but I am not so sure that the IB examiners share the same view...

Anyway, back to my essay: I first talked and distinguished between knowledge, propoganda, and opinion, by trying to give a detailed description! ( It would be helpful, if you could give me some of your ideas for the description of these three words!)

Regarding the four views, I said that an opinion is a form of perception, which hinders one to see the complete knowledge aspect of a situation. I also said that there is an opinion before acquiring knowledge and after acquiring knowledge.

I don't know if what I wrote it correct, but please give me your views on this topic and my four criterias.

Another thing, I need more help for propoganda and knowledge. If you could give me some help, it would be great!

Thanks a lot,

Belle


by marie on 28 Aug 2005 07:08 pm

Belle wrote:

Thanks for answering Marie!

Yes, they do teach us the four views, but my teacher said not to concentrate on them too much, but I am not so sure that the IB examiners share the same view...

Anyway, back to my essay: I first talked and distinguished between knowledge, propoganda, and opinion, by trying to give a detailed description! ( It would be helpful, if you could give me some of your ideas for the description of these three words!)

Regarding the four views, I said that an opinion is a form of perception, which hinders one to see the complete knowledge aspect of a situation. I also said that there is an opinion before acquiring knowledge and after acquiring knowledge.

I don't know if what I wrote it correct, but please give me your views on this topic and my four criterias.

Another thing, I need more help for propoganda and knowledge. If you could give me some help, it would be great!

Thanks a lot,

Belle

Hmm interesting.

I think you're on the right track. My ToK teacher who's an examiner emphasized loads of times to write about the four ways of knowing. However, if you make them the main focus of your essay with this title, you might go astray. I think you should make sure you mention them (i.e. show you understand them), but stick with what you already have I guess.

Then again I took the IB in 2004, things might have changed.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Belle on 28 Aug 2005 10:14 pm

Thanks for answering. My only question is what to write on propoganda. I am really confused with what to say about propoganda. If you could explain and make it clear of what I have to write and say about it, it would be great!

Thanks,

Belle


by Belle on 31 Aug 2005 05:18 am

Anyone who can answer my question?

Belle


by marie on 31 Aug 2005 07:47 am

Belle wrote:

Anyone who can answer my question?

Instead of telling you what to write about, I think we might be able to help you if you tell us what you've been planning and if you have any questions regarding the content you have already thought about.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Belle on 31 Aug 2005 09:47 pm

Oops, I didn't mean it that way...I meant that I have no idea how to talk about propoganda. I just said that propoganda is a form of an opinion, which is expressed in a different manner, i.e. advertisement, etc. I said that propoganda is biased and has limitations. I think it doesn't go out of the "box".

I don't know what to say about propoganda's method of verification.

Thanks.

Belle


by Belle on 12 Sep 2005 05:58 am

Can anyone please respond to my query?

Thanks.

Belle


by Linda on 16 Sep 2005 01:59 am

gaaa...

read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda

Linda

Location: Warwick Uni

blueline

LINDA—NEED YOUR HELP!

by ola on 12 Sep 2005 12:45 am

I've choosen this question:

Do questions like “Why should I be moral?” or “Why shouldn’t I be selfish?” have definite answers as do some questions in other Areas of Knowledge? Does having a definite answer make a question more or less important?

My draft essay- I have to give it this Friday and actually I haven't done enough;p.....

You wrote that TOk was your favourite subject (respect for you!!:) ) so I would be very gratefull for your help and tips!!

I do have some ideas but I don't know many things (I think so)....I mean do I need to mention some names, some titles of books or maybe some areas of philosophy?? I really have no idea how such essay should look like to score a good mark!!

My idea was to look at those two questions, considering the religious beliefs of a person, social environment in which she or he was brought up as well as culture. But still i don't have the idea for the whole essay.

I would be very very gratefull if you could help me!!!

Thanks in advance

P.S. That's really awsome that you guys decided to help other IB victims;D ...sorry for such descrption but I'm so tired right now...ehhh

hugs:)

ola


by Linda on 16 Sep 2005 01:52 am

Friday huh, as in tomorrow?

Well maybe one point to consider is evolution. Yes I know, I have a very scientific way of answering things. But seriously, why should we be selfish? I'll tell you why, because we have a a certain instinct to take care of ourself, to continue living, and in most cases it is evolutionary beneficial for us to think about what will be the best choice for me, i.e. being selfish.

But this does of course have a limit. We do live in a society, and sometimes thinking about what will be the best for society will ultimately also be the best for you.

Norway recently had a general election. So how did I choose what to vote? Had I been purely selfish I woulkd bave voted Progressives or Conservative, wish would have benefited me most in terms of money, but I decided to vote Liberal, becasue that would benefit the contry on the whole, as they are more concerned about thing like the environment. They were flighting for things like gay people being able to adopt cildren, which doesnt exactly benefit me, but would most definetly benefit others.

So why do we feel the need to help others? I donno, you think about it for a while. Why am I helping you now? Becasue, quite frankly, I benefit from it. I enjoy the mental activity. The IBO ask good questions. Things I dont neccesarily think about by myself. But clearly there are less selfish people out there. Mother Theresa for example.

Its never good to just namedrop, but if you do want to mention some philosophy I suggeszt you go back to the roots, i.e. to Plato, or more specifically, Callicles. Callicles believed that "might is right", that the naturally superior deserved to have more of the cake, so to speak. He took his inspiration from the animal kingdon, and argues, that we are after all animals, and should follow the natural laws rather than the made up ones. He claimed that democracy is tyranny of the weak majority over the naturally superior. He had a great influence on Nietzsche, whom again had a great influence on Hitler... but let's not get off on a tangent. What has this to do with morality? Callicles belives that to live the best life, you should be completely selfish. He says that you should only obey the law when people are looking (i.e. when it could harm you to break it), and when people are not looking, you should do whatever you want, so to not supress the real you. He and Plato argues wheather it be most harmful for you to be harmed than to do harm to others. Callicles belived the former, Plato the latter. I hope you see how a society where people only obey the law when somone is looking would eventually break down if everyone belived that.

I strongly suggest doing some more reading on this matter.

Perhaps bring in some economic theory as well (the more areas of knwoeldge the better, hehe).