Prescribed Title Essay

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with an opportunity to become engaged in thinking and reflection.

What are outlined below are strategies for deconstructing the TOK titles as they have been given.

That which we call “personal knowledge”, knowledge which may, perhaps, be most important to us as individuals, is quite “useless” without its being rendered or given over to others.

We render this knowledge in our accounts of things through language, reason, emotion, etc.

Such a rendering of the account of things is shown, for example, in the algorithms which dominate our sciences and information technologies and communications in today’s world.

This rendering of accounts through the principle of reason may be metaphorically compared to a fish and its surrounding by water: the fish is entirely unaware of the water which surrounds it but that water nevertheless sustains its life.Here is a link to a Power Point that contains recommendations and a flow chart outlining the steps to writing a TOK essay. Reflection shows us that these are all related to “value” determinations of what “knowledge” is and how its “quality” may be measured.Comments, observations and discussions are welcome. The “quality of knowledge”, historically, has been measured by its “usefulness” towards the achievement of the ends that human beings have determined and have in mind.The notes here are intended to guide you towards a thoughtful, personal response to the prescribed titles posed.They are not to be considered as answer and they should only be used to help you provide another perspective to the ones given to you in the titles and from your TOK class discussions.For example, in the IB itself the “quality of knowledge” which has been determined to be the most “useful” is that given to us through the sciences.Views of which subjects are chosen by students and their parents illustrate this.What is the knowledge that allows or drives an individual to chose to become a member of Medicins Sans Frontieres rather than choosing the more ‘powerful’ other options which are available to that individual, for instance?Clearly, this is a ‘knowledge’ of some thing which the majority do not accept, but is it the knowledge of the art of medicine itself or the knowledge that brings one to make such a choice that is most important? One can see here the ‘value’ estimations which we use when we think of what knowledge is and these value estimations are part of the “shared knowledge” that we have in our possession and that has been given over to us.Many examiners state that in the very best essays they read, they can visualize the individual who has thought through them sitting opposite to them.To reflect this struggle in your essay is your goal.


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