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“The whole point of knowledge is to produce both meaning and purpose in our personal lives.� To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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Fellow IB takers, 

 

Does anyone have any idea or reflections upon this title? 

I'm currently writing my essay and I just found myself looking at it for 2 hours without writing a single word. 

Would be lovely to exchange some ideas with someone who is doing the same one! 

 

Thank you

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Got to say, I wouldn't pick this title myself, if you've got a choice!

 

What I would say is to start with the absolutes in the question. The "whole point" of knowledge - or are there other 'points' to why we gain knowledge? And if so, why else might we want it or how else can it be used beyond our 'personal' lives? The word 'personal' is quite a big clue as to how else it might be relevant i.e. in the rest of your 'non'personal life.

 

As for 'meaning and purpose', does knowledge give us those? IMO this part of the question could go into nuclear meltdown on the topic of religion and faith vs knowledge and whether knowledge alone can give us 'meaning' and 'purpose' and is why I wouldn't pick this title myself.

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the question mentions personal lives, so I'm looking at differences between universal and personal knowledge. similar to kants priori forms which led to ideas of faith and knowledge. just an idea good luck

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I'm in IB1, but my TOK teacher showed us these questions as some examples, even though we won't be able to write on them.

 

What I found interesting was that the question is really human-based. It seems a little self-centered to me, which I thought was funny. It assumes that all knowledge is created for the benefit of humans, which I disagree with. And also, it is a really pragmatic view I guess? The question sees knowledge as something functional - something to supply meaning, when really it can be much less rigid than that; it can just supply happiness (e.g. if you know how to skip rope with your friends); just something simpler than the purpose of human life, y'know?

 

I'd disagree with it, since I don't think there is a "point" to knowledge, I guess. I just see it as something that's there, that we can access if we try, and that we can manipulate to create meaning. But knowledge itself isn't bestowed upon the Earth just so humans can feel like they're alive. Imo anyway... 

 

I love TOK tbh... :P I wish I could do my extended essay in it.

Edited by Howl
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I'm writing on this topic as well. I found it easier to write on the topic when I stopped reading the topic and started brainstorming what gave my life meaning. In my life I find my meaning in religion, and in my relationships. To me knowledge does give me a purpose in life but the idea of helping others and doing what is right gives me purpose. So instead of arguing for or against knowledge. Speak on what gives you meaning and purpose and let that argue your point.

 

Good Luck!!!!

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I agree with Sanwich, makes sure to unpack the key terms in the PT, so that the assumptions are clear. The absolutes are certainly there to be discussed or blown out of the water (TOK is about keeping things open and non-absolute, anyway-- absolutes tend to stop thinking and that is never entirely good--leads to dogmatism and shallowness).

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I'm writing on this topic as well. The quote above by Blackcurrent "Imagination........nowhere", got me to think, does imagination really give meaning and purpose to the knowledge gained from it by someone in his/her personal life?

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I am writing on this topic as well. But i actually agree with it, because in my life whenever i get to know some new knowledge it always give me a purpose. I can´t think of a knowledge that don´t give me purpose

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