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[Nov 2014] TOK Title 3 - Any ideas?

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Hi,

I like the look of title 3, but I'm not too sure how to go about it. I was first considering to discuss how emotion can influence our reasoning and relate it to the arts where it can influence our interpretation of a piece. Then give a counter example with mathematics, saying that there is (usually) only one solution in mathematics and so there it can not affect our reasoning but perhaps it can influence our interpretation of the result.

Would I need to address how emotion works and whether it works well and how reason works? My initial approach is to just see how emotion influences reasoning in two AOKs but I'm not too sure if that actually address the question.

Does anyone know whether that would be a good approach or not?

Thanks!

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The people who can help you best on this site are generally those who have completed IB, and hence, this mysterious "title 3" that you speak of:

“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?

You want to definitely provide a working definition of Knowledge, so that you have some sort of parameters to stay within.

Considering how emotion works in gaining knowledge within AoKs, as you've suggested, is good, but it's a bit bland - there's no real point. The real thrust of the question is to what extent does it lead to reason being a usable skill. You'd want to try and figure out how much emotion affects one's reasoning ability. You can get loads of interesting KIs here. The most obvious one I can think of is if emotion inhibits or assists reason.

The wording of the question is also quite important. You can question the question (and then answer it yourself): Does emotion really work that well? Reason definitely seems to take a backseat to emotion in this question. Can you say anything about that?

I feel like using a study of those said to not feel much emotion (psychopaths) and seeing how they process the world, might make for a very interesting RLS.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you much more without more discussion from you too, but I hope this helped!

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The people who can help you best on this site are generally those who have completed IB, and hence, this mysterious "title 3" that you speak of:

“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?

You want to definitely provide a working definition of Knowledge, so that you have some sort of parameters to stay within.

Considering how emotion works in gaining knowledge within AoKs, as you've suggested, is good, but it's a bit bland - there's no real point. The real thrust of the question is to what extent does it lead to reason being a usable skill. You'd want to try and figure out how much emotion affects one's reasoning ability. You can get loads of interesting KIs here. The most obvious one I can think of is if emotion inhibits or assists reason.

The wording of the question is also quite important. You can question the question (and then answer it yourself): Does emotion really work that well? Reason definitely seems to take a backseat to emotion in this question. Can you say anything about that?

I feel like using a study of those said to not feel much emotion (psychopaths) and seeing how they process the world, might make for a very interesting RLS.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you much more without more discussion from you too, but I hope this helped!

Okay, wow. Thank you for that response.

The approach of discussing how emotion influences reason seems like a good one to me! However, I wasn't very sure if that answers the question.

I was thinking about that but I wasn't too sure what criteria I would use to determine whether emotion works that well. The reason being that the purpose of emotion isn't concrete and so if I am unable to specific its purpose am I able to really answer if it's able to achieve its purpose?

I think the RLS of people without emotion could be really interesting, too.

Just to clarify a few points - would you think its best that I focus my entire essay on how emotion influences reason relating to two AOKs and then providing counter-claims. With my focus being that it emotion influences reason in a negative way - making it more difficult to function as expected. Then I suppose towards the end I could bring up the assumptions of the question saying 'emotion works so well' by discussing whether it has a purpose and whether it is meeting it.

Does that sound like a clear structure or not really?

Thanks so much once again!

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I was thinking about that but I wasn't too sure what criteria I would use to determine whether emotion works that well. The reason being that the purpose of emotion isn't concrete and so if I am unable to specific its purpose am I able to really answer if it's able to achieve its purpose?

I think the RLS of people without emotion could be really interesting, too.

Just to clarify a few points - would you think its best that I focus my entire essay on how emotion influences reason relating to two AOKs and then providing counter-claims. With my focus being that it emotion influences reason in a negative way - making it more difficult to function as expected. Then I suppose towards the end I could bring up the assumptions of the question saying 'emotion works so well' by discussing whether it has a purpose and whether it is meeting it.

Does that sound like a clear structure or not really?

Thanks so much once again!

Given that "In the production of knowledge, it is only because emotion works so well that reason can work at all.” is the central prompt in this essay and therefore the whole point of the essay is to address it... focussing your entire essay on just half of it (disagreement with the quote) and a few quick words to the contrary at the end is not an amazing plan.

Your essay should be something like:

Introduction - define what is understood by the quote, general intro stuff like which AOKs you will use, some signposting etc.

AOK 1 - how it agrees with the quote

AOK 1 - how it disagrees with the quote

AOK 2 - how it agrees with the quote

AOK 2 - how it disagrees with the quote

Conclusion of how much the quote is true in AOK1 and AOK2.

If I've understood you right, at the moment you're more or less going to do AOK 1 - how it disagrees with the quote (plus an example) then a counterclaim not to the quote but to the example. So if that was your plan... don't do that is my advice. Try to answer the question in full, not just part of it. You don't have to follow the order of the essay structure I posted - you could do AOK1 how it agrees plus AOK 2 how it agrees and then the disagreement in the second half of the essay or anything really. It's really up to you, whatever you want.

As to "The reason being that the purpose of emotion isn't concrete and so if I am unable to specific its purpose am I able to really answer if it's able to achieve its purpose?" - emotion is a WAY of knowing, in TOK. So its purpose is to acquire knowledge. Just because you're not sure what emotion is about, don't give up on answering a big aspect of the question. Or if you're confused by emotion and it's going to stop you answering the Q properly because you're not confident about referring to emotion - pick a different one of the TOK titles is my advice! The whole point of answering this title is that you think up some stuff to say about emotion not only where it 'ruins' reason but also where it helps it, you've got to put some effort into that part of it. Ideally roughly 50/50. Obviously it's going to be easier to think up negative points, but if this title were that easy it's very likely they would never have set it as an essay question ;)

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I was thinking about that but I wasn't too sure what criteria I would use to determine whether emotion works that well. The reason being that the purpose of emotion isn't concrete and so if I am unable to specific its purpose am I able to really answer if it's able to achieve its purpose?

I think the RLS of people without emotion could be really interesting, too.

Just to clarify a few points - would you think its best that I focus my entire essay on how emotion influences reason relating to two AOKs and then providing counter-claims. With my focus being that it emotion influences reason in a negative way - making it more difficult to function as expected. Then I suppose towards the end I could bring up the assumptions of the question saying 'emotion works so well' by discussing whether it has a purpose and whether it is meeting it.

Does that sound like a clear structure or not really?

Thanks so much once again!

Given that "In the production of knowledge, it is only because emotion works so well that reason can work at all.” is the central prompt in this essay and therefore the whole point of the essay is to address it... focussing your entire essay on just half of it (disagreement with the quote) and a few quick words to the contrary at the end is not an amazing plan.

Your essay should be something like:

Introduction - define what is understood by the quote, general intro stuff like which AOKs you will use, some signposting etc.

AOK 1 - how it agrees with the quote

AOK 1 - how it disagrees with the quote

AOK 2 - how it agrees with the quote

AOK 2 - how it disagrees with the quote

Conclusion of how much the quote is true in AOK1 and AOK2.

If I've understood you right, at the moment you're more or less going to do AOK 1 - how it disagrees with the quote (plus an example) then a counterclaim not to the quote but to the example. So if that was your plan... don't do that is my advice. Try to answer the question in full, not just part of it. You don't have to follow the order of the essay structure I posted - you could do AOK1 how it agrees plus AOK 2 how it agrees and then the disagreement in the second half of the essay or anything really. It's really up to you, whatever you want.

As to "The reason being that the purpose of emotion isn't concrete and so if I am unable to specific its purpose am I able to really answer if it's able to achieve its purpose?" - emotion is a WAY of knowing, in TOK. So its purpose is to acquire knowledge. Just because you're not sure what emotion is about, don't give up on answering a big aspect of the question. Or if you're confused by emotion and it's going to stop you answering the Q properly because you're not confident about referring to emotion - pick a different one of the TOK titles is my advice! The whole point of answering this title is that you think up some stuff to say about emotion not only where it 'ruins' reason but also where it helps it, you've got to put some effort into that part of it. Ideally roughly 50/50. Obviously it's going to be easier to think up negative points, but if this title were that easy it's very likely they would never have set it as an essay question ;)

Okay, so if I understand correctly you're suggesting for me to look at how emotion affects reason in each AOK from both perspectives. Afterwards I will need to come up with a conclusion and say if whether emotions are what allow reason to work?

Do you suggest that rather than just exploring the influences of emotion on reason I take a look at how emotion allows us to obtain knowledge? How can this be related back to reason?

Thanks for the response.

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The people who can help you best on this site are generally those who have completed IB, and hence, this mysterious "title 3" that you speak of:

“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?

You want to definitely provide a working definition of Knowledge, so that you have some sort of parameters to stay within.

Considering how emotion works in gaining knowledge within AoKs, as you've suggested, is good, but it's a bit bland - there's no real point. The real thrust of the question is to what extent does it lead to reason being a usable skill. You'd want to try and figure out how much emotion affects one's reasoning ability. You can get loads of interesting KIs here. The most obvious one I can think of is if emotion inhibits or assists reason.

The wording of the question is also quite important. You can question the question (and then answer it yourself): Does emotion really work that well? Reason definitely seems to take a backseat to emotion in this question. Can you say anything about that?

I feel like using a study of those said to not feel much emotion (psychopaths) and seeing how they process the world, might make for a very interesting RLS.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you much more without more discussion from you too, but I hope this helped!

Okay, wow. Thank you for that response.

The approach of discussing how emotion influences reason seems like a good one to me! However, I wasn't very sure if that answers the question.

I was thinking about that but I wasn't too sure what criteria I would use to determine whether emotion works that well. The reason being that the purpose of emotion isn't concrete and so if I am unable to specific its purpose am I able to really answer if it's able to achieve its purpose?

I think the RLS of people without emotion could be really interesting, too.

Just to clarify a few points - would you think its best that I focus my entire essay on how emotion influences reason relating to two AOKs and then providing counter-claims. With my focus being that it emotion influences reason in a negative way - making it more difficult to function as expected. Then I suppose towards the end I could bring up the assumptions of the question saying 'emotion works so well' by discussing whether it has a purpose and whether it is meeting it.

Does that sound like a clear structure or not really?

Thanks so much once again!

Like Sandwich said, you really do need to consider both sides of the coin. It makes for a much more well developed and credible essay.

Also, you need to delve a level deeper into the question: Considering how emotion affects reason is the top layer. A much more interesting line of thought would be: "Perhaps emotion affects our reasoning without us realizing it. It is a natural part of our thought process. So what would happen if there isn't any emotion?". You can then spin off this into an argument or counter argument for the usefulness of emotion to reason.

This is important: Discussing how emotion affects reason is a low level answer. Discussing to what extent emotion affects reason is a much higher order answer. To this end, an example of a structure would be:

AoK 1: How does emotion affect reason in this AoK?

How useful is emotion here? Does it actually aid in reason?

*counterclaims*

What if there wasn't emotion involved in this AoK?

Can you amalgamate the claim and counter claim together? Or are you forced to choose one side as the truth?

Repeat for AoK 2.

Once you've done this, have a conclusion where you discuss the different extents to which emotion affects reason, in the pursuit of knowledge in your AoKs, or whatever you decide your KI should be.

Note: Whether you're sort of in the middle, or you have a strong stance, your counterclaims need to carry weight. Even if they're against what you believe, weak counterclaims are a hallmark of weak ToK candidates. Strong counterclaims allow you to show off the fact that you've seriously thought about an issue, and when you pull out the reason for rejecting the counterclaim, its that much more emphatic.

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The people who can help you best on this site are generally those who have completed IB, and hence, this mysterious "title 3" that you speak of:

“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?

You want to definitely provide a working definition of Knowledge, so that you have some sort of parameters to stay within.

Considering how emotion works in gaining knowledge within AoKs, as you've suggested, is good, but it's a bit bland - there's no real point. The real thrust of the question is to what extent does it lead to reason being a usable skill. You'd want to try and figure out how much emotion affects one's reasoning ability. You can get loads of interesting KIs here. The most obvious one I can think of is if emotion inhibits or assists reason.

The wording of the question is also quite important. You can question the question (and then answer it yourself): Does emotion really work that well? Reason definitely seems to take a backseat to emotion in this question. Can you say anything about that?

I feel like using a study of those said to not feel much emotion (psychopaths) and seeing how they process the world, might make for a very interesting RLS.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you much more without more discussion from you too, but I hope this helped!

Okay, wow. Thank you for that response.

The approach of discussing how emotion influences reason seems like a good one to me! However, I wasn't very sure if that answers the question.

I was thinking about that but I wasn't too sure what criteria I would use to determine whether emotion works that well. The reason being that the purpose of emotion isn't concrete and so if I am unable to specific its purpose am I able to really answer if it's able to achieve its purpose?

I think the RLS of people without emotion could be really interesting, too.

Just to clarify a few points - would you think its best that I focus my entire essay on how emotion influences reason relating to two AOKs and then providing counter-claims. With my focus being that it emotion influences reason in a negative way - making it more difficult to function as expected. Then I suppose towards the end I could bring up the assumptions of the question saying 'emotion works so well' by discussing whether it has a purpose and whether it is meeting it.

Does that sound like a clear structure or not really?

Thanks so much once again!

Like Sandwich said, you really do need to consider both sides of the coin. It makes for a much more well developed and credible essay.

Also, you need to delve a level deeper into the question: Considering how emotion affects reason is the top layer. A much more interesting line of thought would be: "Perhaps emotion affects our reasoning without us realizing it. It is a natural part of our thought process. So what would happen if there isn't any emotion?". You can then spin off this into an argument or counter argument for the usefulness of emotion to reason.

This is important: Discussing how emotion affects reason is a low level answer. Discussing to what extent emotion affects reason is a much higher order answer. To this end, an example of a structure would be:

AoK 1: How does emotion affect reason in this AoK?

How useful is emotion here? Does it actually aid in reason?

*counterclaims*

What if there wasn't emotion involved in this AoK?

Can you amalgamate the claim and counter claim together? Or are you forced to choose one side as the truth?

Repeat for AoK 2.

Once you've done this, have a conclusion where you discuss the different extents to which emotion affects reason, in the pursuit of knowledge in your AoKs, or whatever you decide your KI should be.

Note: Whether you're sort of in the middle, or you have a strong stance, your counterclaims need to carry weight. Even if they're against what you believe, weak counterclaims are a hallmark of weak ToK candidates. Strong counterclaims allow you to show off the fact that you've seriously thought about an issue, and when you pull out the reason for rejecting the counterclaim, its that much more emphatic.

Thank you - I think this has given me some clarity on how to approach the task. I'll start doing some research and writing. If I run into any problems, I'll ask here! thank you

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Hey can I bump this thread

I am going to do title 3 and I would like to discuss how emotion play a role in the production of knowledge such as arts sculpture.  The example of real life situations would be Eric Clapton with his song "Tears in Heaven" and some counterclaims. 

Is it a good start for the essay? or should I talk about both emotion and reasoning in both area of knowledge?

 

Thanks before

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