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Essay titles discussion for November 2016

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You can download the pdf-file for Nov 2016 titles here: Prescribed Titles 2016.pdf
In case any of you are too lazy to download, then here is the list:

1. “The acquisition of knowledge is more a matter of recognition than of judgment.” Evaluate this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.
2. Is the availability of more data always helpful in the production of knowledge? Explore this question with reference to two areas of knowledge.
3. “Conflicting knowledge claims always involve a difference in perspective.” Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
4. “Error is as valuable as accuracy in the production of knowledge.” To what extent is this the case in two areas of knowledge?
5. “Metaphor makes no contribution to knowledge but is essential for understanding.” Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
6. “Ways of knowing operate differently in personal and shared knowledge.” Assess this claim

Have fun a fun discussion guys ;)

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1 hour ago, turtle turtle said:

I want to do topic 3, and i feel like you can incorporate topic 6 into it? 

The May 2016 TOK Title Document said this:

Quote

Examiners mark essays against the title as set. Respond to the title exactly as given; do not alter it
in any way.

Don't really think it's a good idea merging titles, if you go off on a tangent about something in title 6 while actually doing title 3 - you may be marked down.

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14 hours ago, Yugalarex said:

The May 2016 TOK Title Document said this:

Don't really think it's a good idea merging titles, if you go off on a tangent about something in title 6 while actually doing title 3 - you may be marked down.

But can't personal vs shared knowledge be one of the 'perspectives' I talk about in topic 3?

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I'm leaning to topic 2, but i am not sure wether or not I could create "developed with investigation of different perspectives and linked effectively to areas of knowledge and/or ways of knowing." and create meaningful implications. Any inputs?

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Im writing about topic n°4. Can anyone give any ideas or recomendations for knowledge questions?. I was thinking to write about how errors in an investigation can still lead to possible creation of knowledge in other areas of knowledge...

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On 6/3/2016 at 3:16 PM, Nico100Wiener said:

Im writing about topic n°4. Can anyone give any ideas or recomendations for knowledge questions?. I was thinking to write about how errors in an investigation can still lead to possible creation of knowledge in other areas of knowledge...

You gotta be careful here. The question asks you to "evaluate" the statement in 2 areas of knowledge. So I don't think your idea of writing about how errors in one AOK can lead to knowledge in other AOKs is valid. It's much better to write about how errors lead to knowledge within one specific AOK, and then discuss the same statement for another AOK of your choice. One word of advice: when your teachers tell you to think of some knowledge questions for your essay, they just want you to specify what your essay is aiming to answer. However, topic number 4 itself is a knowledge question (i.e. the task is to discuss how much you agree with the given statement within 2 AOKs). Hence, you don't really need to come up with any other knowledge questions. That's completely unnecessary. Focus on the given task; focus on discussing the given statement instead.

Back to topic #4, I would advise you to start defining the key words that appear in given statement, like what exactly does it mean by errors? What about accuracy? Note that your task is to discuss how errors can lead to the production of knowledge.

If you are thinking of writing about physics, then I have some ideas for you. You should first read this article: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/why-it-s-okay-to-teach-wrong-ideas-in-physics/. In physics, it's certainly the case that error is as valuable as accuracy. This is because science is not only about getting to the truth of things, and not only about getting everything as accurate as possible, it is also about the process of discovering the truths. And in this process, people make mistakes all the time. What we have to understand is that no one is smart/genius enough to come up with a theory that explains everything in the first try. Science is a gradual process. People contribute things bits by bits. Some people come up with a theory that explains many phenomena, but this theory also has many errors that fail to explain some other phenomena. And then some other people come along to improve this by changing something in the theory so that the errors no longer exist. Without mistakes, progress can't be made. This was certainly the case that happened to the atomic model in the early 20th century. The model progressed from the Bohr's simplistic model to the Schrødinger's more accurate model. Bohr's model, though simplistic, was important to mimic the discreteness of the quantum world such that other physicists can come in and develop more sophisticated models.

Another example in physics is Einstein's biggest blunder. When trying to understand big-scale development of the universe, Einstein introduced the "cosmological constant" into his model in order to make a static universe (a universe that was neither expanding nor collapsing). But in 1923 Hubble found out that the universe is indeed expanding, making Einstein to admit the cosmological constant to be his biggest mistake. But then in late 20th century, with advanced telescopes, we were able to discover that the universe wasn't only expanding, but the expansion was actually accelerating. And the only way to explain this is to use the cosmological constant (but this constant now is not to make a static universe, but to accelerate the expansion of the universe). So you see, Einstein's biggest mistake has become one of his greatest achievements, showing the statement to be true within physics.

Anyway, good luck! Hope this is helpful.

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I am doing topic 6 

and i was thinking for one way of knowing as language. Is examing translations in language a good point?

and also memory with flase memory as another point? or is this too broad?

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OMG question 4 sounds really good. I've finished the IB but still, anyone doing that question, it lends itself well to for and against arguments. 

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On 5 de abril de 2016 at 3:25 PM, Vioh said:

You can download the pdf-file for Nov 2016 titles here: Prescribed Titles 2016.pdf
In case any of you are too lazy to download, then here is the list:

1. “The acquisition of knowledge is more a matter of recognition than of judgment.” Evaluate this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.
2. Is the availability of more data always helpful in the production of knowledge? Explore this question with reference to two areas of knowledge.
3. “Conflicting knowledge claims always involve a difference in perspective.” Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
4. “Error is as valuable as accuracy in the production of knowledge.” To what extent is this the case in two areas of knowledge?
5. “Metaphor makes no contribution to knowledge but is essential for understanding.” Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
6. “Ways of knowing operate differently in personal and shared knowledge.” Assess this claim

Have fun a fun discussion guys ;)

can someone help me with Q3. I'm writing about it and I was thinking about maths and religion as WOK's, but idk how to start. I had thought about discussing about descartes and his vision about dos, but I don't think it will be enough, I will still need more examples...

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On 7/8/2016 at 2:44 PM, Kapeni Georgia said:

I am writing about topic 3.could you send ideas about forming the question regarding child labour and 2 areas such as ethics and ...?

Dear Kapeni,

Here are some suggestions for the sample KQ for the topic 3.

How do claims and  conflicting  claims relate to forming perspective?

 

Even with only one ‘Truth’ and  one Reality , many perspectives of that reality may exist . These perspectives are shaped by multitude of factors including culture, history , environment and personal—experiences , beliefs , thoughts , motivation and incentives and change with time.

 

The potency of claims and conflicting claims depends on the undercurrents set in motion by distinct perspectives. Depending on the strength and nature of claims and conflicting claims  these distinct perpectives are reconcilable while sometimes they are not.

 

The underlying reasons for conflicting claims are attributed to rigidly held moral values , beliefs , identities and interests crucial for survival like high stakes distributional claims on resources. The interplay of these reasons form the bedrock for creating perspectives.

 

When the claims and conflicting claims are based on unyielding fundamental moral, religious, and personal values , the perspectives that are formed in the process are uncompromising and not easily reconcilable.

 

 

        How are various WOK(ways of knowing) involved in forming perspective?

 

Culture has a major role in shaping the way Individuals perceive , interpret and reason. Researchers Louise Rasmussen and Winston Sieck of Global Cognition have  found that when culturally inexperienced Americans try to take the perspective of Afghans, they draw the wrong conclusions about what the Afghans are thinking and feeling. There is a crucial relationship between knowing the another person’s history and background and taking a cultural perspective on another person’s ideas, beliefs, and values.

 

There are different approaches that individuals take to process information and form perceptives. Some of the instances of these differences as found by researchers are : “adopting a side or seeking a middle path,” “blaming me or blaming the situation,” and “logic versus experience.”

 

While some people are more receptive to opposing voices, others are more likely to hold on to their views. Some rely more on their experience while others use reason.  Similarly facts , data , evidence influence some to form perceptions whereas  anecdotes are more consequential in interpretation by others.

 

There is also difference in interpretation of knowledge versus the reality (known as epistemic versus ontic in philosophy of science ) that further shapes up perspectives. The limitations of human observation and existing knowledge regulates how we use reason or imagination.

Hope it helps.

www.Mindpads.org

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On 6/3/2016 at 6:46 PM, Nico100Wiener said:

Im writing about topic n°4. Can anyone give any ideas or recomendations for knowledge questions?. I was thinking to write about how errors in an investigation can still lead to possible creation of knowledge in other areas of knowledge...

Some Sample KQ for the topic 4. 

How far do you agree that error is ‘useful and informative’?

 

Generally an error is the deviation from accuracy. In science and technology error is the difference between the desired and the actual while in statistics error (or residual) is the difference between the  a computed, estimated, or measured value and the accepted true, specified, or theoretically correct value. A 'mistake'  too is an error caused by a fault: the fault being misjudgment, carelessness, or forgetfulness. 

When confronted with errors , it is a natural response to investigate , probe , inquire , reflect  and reexamine ‘what went wrong’. Compared to this the zero anamoly from accuracy not only bolsters existing strategy and practices , it reinforces credence to prevailing knowledge and information.

Both accuracy and error have significant effect on the process of learning. We usually challenge our assumptions and models when we face errors.

 

Author Kathryn Schulz  in her book  Being Wrong argues, "because of errors in the replication of genetic sequences, we wind up with variation among individual members of a species; and because of that variation, the species as a whole can adapt and survive. Such errors literally keep their hosts alive."

 

KQ 2         How is  ‘Trial & Error” fundamental  for production of knowledge?

 

Trial and error as  a heuristic method of problem solving or producing knowledge is solution oriented , problem-specific and needs little knowledge of the underlying theory or concept.

Trial and Error is more useful in cases where no apparent rule is applicable and  a single solution is required to begin exploring for the whole solution set. It is characterised by repeated, varied attempts with continuing fine tuning the error till results are achieved.

In behavorial experiments with animals , Trial and Error learning forms the foundation by incorporating both the successes and mistakes during the series of trials-which was refined and extended as Operant Conditioning by B F Skinner.

The scientific method also incorporates ‘error’ through the Trial and Error of formulating and testing of hypotheses. Chemists find new drugs through selecting a narrow range of chemicals and testing through a Trial and Error techique called Structure-activity relationship.

In natural sciences , trial and error can be seen in Biological evolution wherein ‘error’ of poor  fitness is fed back into series of random mutations and genetic variations till the desired outcomes are attained.

In Arts, error incorporates itself back in learning through ‘deliberate practice ‘ that involves isolating what's not working and mastering the difficult area before moving on. A musician stops in trouble spots, figures them out, and then plays that measure over and over again, and only moves on when it's perfect.

Errors are the most important  because they tell you where to focus that deliberate practice on.

Thanks

www.mindpads.org

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On 7/15/2016 at 8:22 AM, becca said:

I am doing topic 6 

and i was thinking for one way of knowing as language. Is examing translations in language a good point?

and also memory with flase memory as another point? or is this too broad?

you can refer to  these sample KQ for the discussion on WOK for the above topic.

What are the differentiating features of personal and shared Knowledge?

Shared knowledge is  an aggregation of the knowledge held by its constituent individuals and through the processes of synergy and synthesis , it becomes more than the sum of the parts .

Shared knowledge supersedes personal knowledge in length and breadth of the areas of knowledge. Shared knowledge encompasses wide range of subjects and disciplines incorporating multiple perspectives.

Compared to personal knowledge, which includes self-knowledge, experience and personal skills that cannot easily be shared, acquisition, possession and application of knowledge is easier in case of shared knowledge.

As discussed earlier, personal knowledge is impaired by lack of perspectives. The person producing, consuming and evaluating knowledge is the lone soul. In shared knowledge realm, the artist and the critic, producer and the consumer, scientist and the evaluator coexist to contribute to knowledge claims and counterclaims.

Shared knowledge is transmitted across space and time. It extends across geographies and culture and moves forward to the next generation even in the absence of the original owners and producers of its constituents.

KQ 2         Does personal Knowledge involve WOK(ways of knowing) that are mostly subjective?

 

Personal knowledge has its foundation in personal experience and mostly comprises of skills, talents and procedural knowledge acquired through practice and habits; knowledge acquired through sense perception; knowledge of self and the physical world through emotions, memory and faith.

 

By the sheer nature of its constituents, personal knowledge is inherently subjective. It is the way I sense, feel, observe, analyze and interpret the world. It is the amalgamation of my thoughts, feelings and beliefs that lay beneath my Reason, Emotion, Imagination, Intuition, Faith and Memory.

Amongst the WOK, Imagination and Intuition principally apply for individuals. Artists, mathematicians, innovators and creators mostly depend on their own insights and vision for producing their work.

Often personal knowledge is so subjective that it succeeds in evading communication and scrutiny.

Personal knowledge is organic; changes and evolves with time, exposure and experience.

hope this helps..

Thanks

www.mindpads.org

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On 7/19/2016 at 6:48 AM, Luli said:

can someone help me with Q3. I'm writing about it and I was thinking about maths and religion as WOK's, but idk how to start. I had thought about discussing about descartes and his vision about dos, but I don't think it will be enough, I will still need more examples...

 

Here are some sample KQ with discussion and resources for you to get started. 

Is it possible to  encounter conflicting knowledge claims through the same perspectives?

 

Is it possible to see the same things and interpret and process in multiple ways? Even a knower undergoes a change in beliefs, thoughts , existing prior knowledge , level of understanding , nature of emotion and reason . The same person can see the same things differently in different time and space settings. Hence  there always lies a possibility that the perspective of the same knower can bring forth  conflicting claims.

 

Our belief systems , inner and acquired knowledge and intuition, through continuous transformations, do lead us to claims and outcomes that are implausible and contradictory to what we posited earlier.

 

Besides the multiple perspectives , conflicting knowledge claims are not immune  from the presence of multiple biases, uncertainty and eternal infallibility. The source of the conflict cannot be attributed to perspectives alone.

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/howscienceworks_20

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_scientific_theories

 Which AOK(area of knowing) require varied  perspectives the most and which one the least? Why?

  The theories in natural sciences calls for a general consensus amongst the scientific community after the observations, experiments, investigations and results are found to be consistent , reproducible and in agreement over time.

Compared to this , theories in Human sciences cannot base their findings of human societies and individuals that can make claims to be consistent or reproducible . The theories in human sciences rely more on drawing inferences based on observations without making much of sweeping conclusions.

For example three Economists Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller were awarded the Nobel  , who worked independently, but were found to collectively explain and predict the workings of financial markets. The committee while being  cognizant of  contradicting and conflicting claims by the three economists highlighted how far the economics profession remains from agreeing on the answers to important questions in Economics.

 

In recent decades in History , there is an accepted norm of exploring multiple perspectives  that requires incorporating source materials that reflect different views of a historical event. The validity of singular/one-sided narratives has been questioned and instead drawing perspectives from multiple sources – incorporating the pluralism and diversity of participants and affected parties –has been advocated. Experienced historians often put together competing versions of a story to build the reality of a historical event.

 

 

 

http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/great-minds-think-unlike-cultural-perspective-opinion-forming

http://teachinghistory.org/teaching-materials/ask-a-master-teacher/23610

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/climate-change-from-different-perspectives/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/business/3-american-professors-awarded-nobel-in-economic-sciences.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/02/04/overview-the-conflict-between-religion-and-evolution/

        To what extent does a  multidisciplinary approach accommodate conflicting Knowledge claims?

 

Since the past few centuries , knowledge advancement has occured through increasing specialisation. We have understood our world by creating disciplines and subdisciplines that have dedicated all the resources at their disposal to create experts in their respective fields.

Regardless of all the success and understanding achieved in single disciplines, we have a world of complex and interconnected systems that necessitate  a multifaceted approach and we have adopted ways to cooperate and collaborate between disciplines to solve complex problems and understand complex events.

Taking for example, Language and Music have been  subjects of keen investigation across a great diversity of fields - from neuroscience and psychology to ethnography and musicology .

 

Yet the human abilities to make and appreciate music have been described as "amongst the most mysterious with which [we are] endowed" (Charles Darwin, 1872) and music itself as "the supreme mystery of the science of man" (Claude Levi-Strauss, 1970). It is evident that no single field of investigation can address the wide range of issues relevant to answering the question of music's origins. The evidence from wide range of anthropological and human sciences, including palaeoanthropology, archaeology, neuroscience, primatology and developmental psychology, has been put together to understand the evolution of music and  its relationship to other human capabilities and behaviours.

https://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/290773/Interdisciplinary-perspective.pdf

http://www.cfr.org/climate-change/alternative-views-climate-change/p14318

http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/underlying-causes

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/nov/04/relativity-quantum-mechanics-universe-physicists

Hope it helps.

Thanks

www.mindpads.org

Also on youtube as www.mindpads.org

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The essay topic can be explored through few Sample KQs listed below, explore more at 

 

http://mindpads.org/title-6-ways-of-knowing-for-shared-and-personal-knowledge-kq-rls/

1.     What are differentiating features of personal and shared Knowledge?

2.     Does personal Knowledge involve WOK(ways of knowing) that are mostly subjective?

3.     How does personal experience translate to personal Knowledge and shared knowledge?

4.     How is Knowledge shared between people?

5.     What ways of knowing take precedence in shared knowledge?

6.      How do ways of knowing influence  the two-way interaction between personal and shared Knowledge?

7.     Can shared Knowledge substitute for personal Knowledge?

8.     To what extent can we rely on shared knowledge?

 

What are the differentiating features of personal and shared Knowledge?

Shared knowledge is  an aggregation of the knowledge held by its constituent individuals and through the processes of synergy and synthesis , it becomes more than the sum of the parts .

Shared knowledge supersedes personal knowledge in length and breadth of the areas of knowledge. Shared knowledge encompasses wide range of subjects and disciplines incorporating multiple perspectives.

Compared to personal knowledge, which includes self-knowledge, experience and personal skills that cannot easily be shared, acquisition, possession and application of knowledge is easier in case of shared knowledge.

As discussed earlier, personal knowledge is impaired by lack of perspectives. The person producing, consuming and evaluating knowledge is the lone soul. In shared knowledge realm, the artist and the critic, producer and the consumer, scientist and the evaluator coexist to contribute to knowledge claims and counterclaims.

Shared knowledge is transmitted across space and time. It extends across geographies and culture and moves forward to the next generation even in the absence of the original owners and producers of its constituents.

KQ 2         Does personal Knowledge involve WOK(ways of knowing) that are mostly subjective?

 

Personal knowledge has its foundation in personal experience and mostly comprises of skills, talents and procedural knowledge acquired through practice and habits; knowledge acquired through sense perception; knowledge of self and the physical world through emotions, memory and faith.

 

By the sheer nature of its constituents, personal knowledge is inherently subjective. It is the way I sense, feel, observe, analyze and interpret the world. It is the amalgamation of my thoughts, feelings and beliefs that lay beneath my Reason, Emotion, Imagination, Intuition, Faith and Memory.

Amongst the WOK, Imagination and Intuition principally apply for individuals. Artists, mathematicians, innovators and creators mostly depend on their own insights and vision for producing their work.

Often personal knowledge is so subjective that it succeeds in evading communication and scrutiny.

Personal knowledge is organic; changes and evolves with time, exposure and experience.

 

KQ 3         How is Knowledge shared between people?

 

Knowledge is shared among groups- ranging from closely held and specialised  to the ones that are large, informal and diverse.

There are family groups, ethnic groups, national groups, religious groups, political groups,groups associated with particular academic disciplines, idealogies, hobbies, interests, skills, genres etc.

 

Individuals  may not necessarily participate in production and ownership of the knowledge and yet enjoy unrestricted access to the shared knowledge. On the other hand, by  participating in the production and ownership of the knowledge , an individual belongs to a particular group possessing a particular perspective.

 

There may be instances when knowledge is in possession of small, closely held socio-ethnic-religious-culture groups and is withheld from those outside the group for philosophical and economic reasons.

 

 

Shared knowledge is largely recognised as a form of Authority and  is either validated by the procedures and methods of inquiry or emerges through commonly held set of norms , beliefs, values and practices in a bigger and broader socio-cultural setting. Reviewing communities in the sciences and Mathematics are more homogeneous and adept compared to those in Arts, Religion, culture and History.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Mindpads.org

 

 

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