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TOK Essay - List of Prescribed Titles (Current - May 2014)


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#1
~Lc~

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Hello noob TOKers blink.gif


This thread contains links to the discussion topics for TOK titles. Please consult the following list and skip to the list of titles for the year you are interested in, and then click on the link to find the discussion. If there is no discussion topics listed for that title, please have a quick look at the TOK board and, if one really doesn't exist, post a new one. Thanks!
 

November 2014
May 2014
November 2013
May 2013
November 2012
Nov11/May12
Nov10/May11
Nov09/May10
Nov08/May09
Nov07/May08
Nov06/May07

Note: Until November 2012, 12 titles were released each year to be used in both November and May sessions. From November 2012 onwards, 6 titles are released per session, i.e. 6 will be released in time for November and the next 6 in time for May.



#2
~Lc~

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Nov06/May07
November 2006 and May 2007 Titles:
N06M07 Title 1
N06M07 Title 2
N06M07 Title 3
N06M07 Title 4
N06M07 Title 5
N06M07 Title 6
N06M07 Title 7
N06M07 Title 8
N06M07 Title 9
N06M07 Title 10

Spoiler


Nov07/May08

Nov 2007 and May 2008 Titles:
N07M08 Title 1
N07M08 Title 2
N07M08 Title 3
N07M08 Title 4
N07M08 Title 5
N07M08 Title 6
N07M08 Title 7
N07M08 Title 8
N07M08 Title 9
N07M08 Title 10

Spoiler


#3
~Lc~

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Nov08/May09

November 2008 and May 2009 Titles:

November 08, May 09:

N08M09 Title 1. "Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks: but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks is a house(Henri Poincare) Discuss in relation to science and at least one other area of knowledge.
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N08M09 Title 2. When should we trust our senses to give us truth?
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N08M09 Title 3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reason as a way of knowing.
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N08M09 Title 4. “Seek simplicity, and distrust it” (Alfred North Whitehead). Is this always a good adivice for a knower?
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N08M09 Title 5. "In expanding the field of knowledge we but increase the horizon of ignorance” "Henry Miller”. Is this true?
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N08M09 Title 6. Compare and contrast our approach to knowledge of the past with our approach to knowledge about the future.
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N08M09 Title 7. “Moral wisdom seems to be as little connected to knowledge of ethical theory as playing good tennis is to knowledge of physics (Emrys Westacott). To what extent should our actions be guided by our theories in ethics and elsewhere?
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N08M09 Title 8. To understand something you need to rely on your own experience and culture. Does this mean that it is impossible to have objective knowledge?

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N08M09 Title 9. “The knowledge that we value the most is the knowledge for which we can provide the strongest justifications.” To what extent would you agree with this claim?

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N08M09 Title 10. “There can be no knowledge without emotion…until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours (adapted from Arnold Bennett). Discuss this vision of the relationship between knowledge and emotion.

#4
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Nov09/May10

November 2009 and May 2010 Titles:
N09M10 Title 1
N09M10 Title 2
N09M10 Title 3
N09M10 Title 4
N09M10 Title 5
N09M10 Title 6
N09M10 Title 7
N09M10 Title 8
N09M10 Title 9
N09M10 Title 10

N09M10 Title 1:To what extent is truth different in mathematics, the arts and ethics?
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N09M10 Title 2: Examine the way empirical evidence should be used to make progress in different areas of knowledge.
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N09M10 Title 3: Discuss the strength and limitations of quantitative and qualitative data in supporting knowledge claims in the human sciences and at least one other area of knowledge.
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N09M10 Title 4: How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true?
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N09M10 Title 5: "What separates science from all other human activities is its belief in the provisional nature of all conclusion?" (Michael Shermer, www.edge.com). Critically evaluate this way of distinguishing the sciences from other areas of knowledge?
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N09M10 Title 6: All knowledge claims should be open to rational criticism. On what grounds and to what extent would you agree with this assertion?
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N09M10 Title 7: "We see and understand things not as they are but as we are." Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing.
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N09M10 Title 8: "People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the chaos of events" (adapted from John Gray, Heresies, 2004). In what ways and to what extent would you say this claim is relevant in at least two areas of knowledge?
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N09M10 Title 9: Discuss the claim that some areas of knowledge are discovered and others are invented.
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N09M10 Title 10: What similarities and differences are there between historical and scientific explanations?

#5
Ruan Chun Xian

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Nov10/May11

November 2010 - May 2011 Prescribed Titles

1. Consider the extent to which knowledge issures in ethics are similar to those in at least one other area of knowledge.

2. How important are the opinions of experts in the search for knowledge?

3. "Doubt is the key to knowledge" (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?

4. To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in different areas of knowledge?

5. To what extent are the various areas of knowledge defined by their methodologies rather than their content?

6. "There are no absolute distinctions between what is true and what is false." Discuss this claim.


7. How can we recognise when we have made progress in the search for knowledge? Consider two contrasting areas of knowledge.

8. "Art is a lie that brings us nearer to the truth" (Pablo Picasso). Evaluate this claim in relation to a specific art form (for example, visual arts, literature, theatre)

9. Discuss the roles of language and reason in history.


10. A model is a simplified representation of some aspect of the world. in what ways may models help or hinder the search for knowledge?

#6
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Nov11/May12

November 2011 / May 2012 Prescribed Titles

1. Knowledge is generated through the interaction of critical and creative thinking. Evaluate this statement in two areas of knowledge.

2. Compare and contrast knowledge which can be expressed in words/symbols with knowledge that cannot be expressed in this way. Consider CAS and one or more areas of knowledge.

3. Using history and at least one other area of knowledge, examine the claim that it is possible to attain knowledge despite problems of bias and selection.

4. When should we discard explanations that are intuitively appealing?

5. What is it about theories in the human sciences and natural sciences that makes them convincing?

6. 'It is more important to discover new ways of thinking about what is already known than to discover new data or facts'. To what extent would you agree with this claim?

7. 'The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our knowledge; it shapes what we can know'. Evaluate this claim with reference to different areas of knowledge.

8. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram.

9. As an IB student, how has your learning of literature and science contributed to your understanding of individuals and societies?


10. 'Through different methods of justification, we can reach conclusions in ethics that are as well-supported as those provided in mathematics.' To what extent would you agree?

#7
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November 2012 (note that the sessions have been separated into 6 for November and 6 to be released later for May)


1. Can we have beliefs or knowledge which are independent of our culture?


2. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts"(Arthur Conan Doyle). Consider the extent to which this statement may be true in two or more areas of knowledge.


3. "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand" (Albert Einstein). Do you agree?


4. What counts as knowledge in the arts? Discuss by comparing to one other are of knowledge.


5. "Habit is stronger than reason". To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?


6. "The ultimate protection against research error and bias is supposed to come from the way scientists constantly re-test each other's results". To what extent would you agree with this claim in the natural sciences and the human sciences?


(Thanks to Saurav Das for contributing these)

#8
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May 2013

1. In what ways may disagreement aid the pursuit of knowledge in the natural and human sciences?

2. "Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge. Only seeing particular examples can give us understanding." To what extent do you agree with these assertions?

3. "The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility." Evaluate this claim.

4. The traditional TOK diagram indicates four ways of knowing. Propose the inclusion of a fifth way of knowing selected from intuition, memory or imagination, and explore the knowledge issues it may raise in two areas of knowledge.

5. "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." (Christopher Hitchens). Do you agree?

6. Can we know when to trust our emotions in the pursuit of knowledge? Consider history and one other area of knowledge.

(Thanks to Bert Macklin FBI for sharing these!)

#9
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November 2013

 

 

1. "In the natural sciences progress can be made, but in the arts this is not possible.” To what extent do you agree?

 2. “Technology both enables us to produce knowledge and limits the knowledge that is produced.” Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.

 3. “Every attempt to know the world rests on a set of assumptions that cannot be tested.” Examine this proposition in relation to two areas of knowledge.

 4. “Knowledge gives us a sense of who we are.” To what extent is this true in the human sciences and one other area of knowledge?

 5. “… our knowledge is only a collection of scraps and fragments that we put together into a pleasing design, and often the discovery of one new fragment would cause us to alter utterly the whole design” (Morris Bishop). To what extent is this true in history and one other area of knowledge?

 6. “The methods used to produce knowledge depend on the use to which it will be put.” Discuss this statement in relation to two areas of knowledge.



#10
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May 2014
 
1. Ethical judgements limit the methods available in the production of knowledge in both the arts and the natural sciences. Discuss.
 
2. “When the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems begin to resemble nails” (Abraham Maslow). How might this apply to ways of knowing, as tools, in the pursuit of knowledge?
 
3. “Knowledge is nothing more than the systematic organisation of facts.” Discuss this statement in relation to two areas of knowledge.
 
4. “That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow.” Consider knowledge issues raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge.
 
5.“The historian’s task is to understand the past; the human scientist, by contrast, is looking to change the future.” To what extent is this true in these areas of knowledge?

 
6. “A skeptic is one who is willing to question any knowledge claim, asking for clarity in definition, consistency in logic and adequacy of evidence” (adapted from Paul Kurtz, 1994). Evaluate this approach in two areas of knowledge.



#11
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November 2014

 

1. “Some areas of knowledge seek to describe the world, whereas others seek to transform it.” Explore this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

 
2. “Knowledge takes the form of a combination of stories and facts.” How accurate is this claim in two areas of knowledge?
 
3. “In the production of knowledge, it is only because emotion works so well that reason can work at all.” To what extent would you agree with this claim in two areas of knowledge?
 
4. “To gain an understanding of the world we need to make use of stereotypes.” With reference to two areas of knowledge, to what extent do you agree with this statement?
 
5. “The task of history is the discovering of the constant and universal principles of human nature.” To what extent are history and one other area of knowledge successful in this task? 
 
6. “We may agree about general standards in the arts but disagree as to whether a particular work has artistic merit. In ethics the situation is reversed: we may disagree about ethical theories but we all know an unethical action when we see one.” Discuss.
 
(Thanks to crazycricketnerd for the questions!) 







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