There is a sustained focus on knowledge questions confirming and contradicting that “doubt is the key to knowledge”, as the prescribed title demands. A clear approach using different perspectives shown in real-life examples related to different areas of knowledge can be easily identified. The first examples, regarding mathematics move from a personal example on how the student visualizes her own learning in class to a more sophisticated topic like the way conjectures are dealt with, emphasizing effective links to ways of knowing, especially reason. Then there is an insightful investigation about religion, viewing it from different perspectives, focusing on Christianity, Islam and a way of proving that God exists, showing how doubting in that context might be a key to knowledge and how not. Arguments are carefully and clearly developed. Every assertion is effectively evaluated giving a proper place to authority, experience, the search of truth, among other relevant TOK issues. The student definitely acknowledges the implications drawn in each of the examples. It is worth pointing out that in spite of the effective and well-supported examples, the fact that they were not fully evaluated resulted in a mark of 9 being awarded instead of the highest possible mark of 10.
“History is always on the move, slowly eroding today’s orthodoxy and making space for yesterday’s heresy.” Discuss the extent to which this claim applies to history and at least one other area of knowledge.
TOK is a subject that is placed at the heart of the IB DP.
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TOK essay- Can language be said to hinder ..
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Please look at these sections in the guide to help you get a better idea of what good knowledge questions look like and what makes good TOK material for discussions.
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It is the provisional nature of scientific knowledge that sets up the basis for the way that it progresses: previous knowledge is questioned and shaped, rather than "discarded", to form new scientific knowledge. The latest findings of natural sciences are then regarded as scientific knowledge accepted today while the older findings are one step in the process of acquiring this knowledge. For example in my science class I learned about Leucippus and Democritus, 5th century BC (Timeline of the Atomic Bomb), who were the first to develop theories on atomism, forming the foundations for knowledge developed by Newton in the 17th century and following various scientists that again developed this knowledge further (History of the Atomic Bomb). In such cases, knowledge may still be accepted as being valid, yet is perceived as limited since more extensive knowledge has been built upon it. However, this is assuming that scientists knew about the previous scientists' work. It may have been unlikely such knowledge existed when we consider scientific research in a time before communication between scientists around the world was possible. Oftentimes the buildup of knowledge is possible by enhancing WOK, as with the stethoscope that enhances auditory sense perception. From the above it can be seen that in the natural sciences knowledge accepted "today" is modified rather than discarded - even if a previous scientist found knowledge that could be falsified, it may have led later scientists closer towards a valid model. In contrast, it could be claimed that a paradigm shift, where a former valid theory was totally abandoned and replaced by a different theory, shows that knowledge in the natural sciences can be discarded. An example of an old theory being replaced by another, since contrary evidence was found, can be taken from my IB biology class where we learn about Mendel's law of independent assortment that widely changed the understanding of genetics. He proposed that alleles of genes located on different chromosomes assort independently from one another, creating genetic variety. Before Mendel, people often believed that the characteristics of parents were equally blended in the offspring. However, the paradigm shift may require some time to be accepted by the general public, as this depends on factors like perspectives, culture and beliefs of people, as well as pre-existing assumptions that had