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A crash course

What is knowledge?
Justified True Belief
You 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 knowledge
Personal Knowledge Impersonal Propositional Knowledge









Ways of Knowing





Sense Perception
Sight Smell Hearing Touch Taste

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

Optical illusions

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

Touch & Taste

Tactile illusions Tasting what you smell The power of hypnosis Acquired taste


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Instinct, Belief, Faith

Is 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?

The functions of language
Informative Expressive Directive Ceremonial Performative

How do we learn language? Body Language

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

Uniquely human (?) Communicates Uses symbols

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

 Language creates reality

To 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 logic
Inductive logic
Generalisations Analogies Based on experience and empirical knowledge
So 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 logic
My 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 Knowledge

Ethics Art
Natural Sciences

Human Sciences


Formal 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.

Tennis 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 seven
250 ----- + 7 3

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

250 -------3+7

50 200 + ---- + 7 3

50 200 + ---3+7

Natural Sciences
Stage 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 Solutions
Falsification (Karl Popper) disprove hypothesis
New 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 Sciences
Anthropology Economics Political Science Sociology Psychology

See and be seen

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

Primary & 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 & Art

What 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

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

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

Ethics in Areas of Knowledge

What 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, Wellington
Black slavetraders Now listen to me, sillyNavi, youshouldaimwith a 10 angle

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