# TOK: Need help to approach the problem if possible!

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4. "That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow." Consider knowledge issues raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge.

So my plan for this to challenge to question why the knowledge is sometimes discarded, in doing this, I have selected both Fermat's last theorem and the Neanderthal research that was done by Svante Pääbo, that is considering the genome sequence.

Why did I pick these two?

This is because the knowledge isn't entirely discarded, it was kept and then changed, so despite you learn different approach to tackle the problem, the old facts remain. Andrew Wiles, when solving Fermat's last theorem kept all his original data and could go back to it several times when solving the equation that was long sought after, so even though he had crossed out someone's ideas, he went back and re-used them, enabling him to solve and fix the error that stopped him. Svante Pääbo's research about the genome sequence proves explicity that we are more linked to the neanderthals than we thought, we share slightly some DNA and genes if I'm not wrong, I will research it thoroughly briefly.

My teacher also told me I could involve logics in math, for instance the triangle will never be larger than 180 degrees or have more than 3 sides, also I thought to use paradigm shift, but that's history so I don't know if I should mention or not, was a great historian that wrote it, T.Kuhn (the structure of scientific revolutions).

My problem then is, I don't yet know how to tackle these problems to approach the question more clearly, what am I supposed to write? My teacher told me to explain briefly about the examples choosen and try relate them to TOK and ways of knowing. Of course, I understand the introduction part and can read through a well written TOK essay that will give me an idea how to write, not asking you guys to write it for me, but do you mind sharing any thoughts? How can I approach to start writing this and finishing it with these facts included, hence my teacher loved my picked examples for the question, so I'm quite hyped to show him a work that would suffice for TOK.

Kindest regards,

Alexander (IB Student, second year)

P.S Thanks for those who respond ; )

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I think you've approached this backwards forward you seem to have 2 excellent examples of falsification in the Areas of Knowledge using the scientific method but you haven't explained the area of knowledge you are focusing on and the scientific method

Remember TOK is the study of how we gain knowledge and what the limitations are of that knowledge based on the ways of knowing and the areas of knowledge. I would suggest you get your hands on a standard TOK book and look at the basic problems of knowledge related to the natural sciences and mathematics so you can start your argument in a TOKish manner

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Well, if I can challenge the question and the word "sometimes" within in it through falsification that it's sometimes discarded, but not lost entirely, would that be fine? My area of knowledges are math and natural scienses, but the scientific method I'm uncertain what you mean exactly by it or what I should use it for in my TOK essay.

As for WOK, how about I take your advice, read up on it and discuss the problems of knowledge related to those then use it to start the essay and then relate it to my falsification examples to proceed further on the essay itself?

And just a random guess, but would it be propriate to state the related problem of knowledge to those areas of knowledge then give my examples and make it my thesis?

I'm more of a historian than a TOK writer ;D

Thanks for the help so far, appreciate it,

Kindest regards,

Alexander

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At the first question: yes it would, the point I was trying to make is that you need to introduce these concepts from a TOK perspective. So don't start with the example but start with the idea behind the example.

The scientific method is the way knowledge is accumulated in the natural sciences, a chapter on the natural sciences in any standard TOK book will introduce the concept to you, otherwise you can google it!

I think you can formulate a better argument if you incorporate the limitations of certain WOKs in your examples. You won't be able to understand what I mean by this until you've read about them. Out of curiosity, have you not gone through each AOK and WOK in your TOk class?

With relation to your last question, yes it is appropriate I think

Give us a buzz back after doing the reading if you still have more questions!

Elsa

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