Jump to content

Possible TOK Presentation Question

Recommended Posts

I'm in the middle of planning for my TOK presentation


How is this as a potential Question: To what extent is knowledge gained through the natural sciences infallible

The real life situation from which this was derived is the series of Korean air crashes in the late 90's specifically the crash in Guam. I was thinking that because of factors such as a lack of sleep in the pilots, the fact that the copilot and pilot were new to working with each other, and that autopilot had been switched off (all considered human errors, relating to the human sciences), it didn't matter how solid the theory behind flying planes is (natural science and knowledge gained through it), the fact that there were human errors made the crashes happen.

I'm wondering whether a) this is a good question and b) if an onlooker can understand the question without knowing my background research, and c) what assumptions would I make while making the presentation.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a logical fallacy in how you connect the RLS with the KQ, ie. natural science did not crash the plane. In fact, as long as the plane was in working condition, you have to say the knowledge in aviation and aerodynamics remain valid. You have to rephrase KQ or use a different RLS.

An everyday example is that when you punch in the wrong numbers on a calculator, you cannot blame the calculator for getting the wrong answer. 


  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

How would you answer this question:


What role do sense perception and reason play in decision making and judgment calls?

What claims could you think of? (going with the same RLS)


I said that the humans always feel that they are employing their 5 senses to the best of their ability, however this is limited by their subconscious state of mind. We might be sleep deprived, getting over a tough emotional setback, or being selective in our attention (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/your-hidden-censor-what-your-mind-will-not-let-you-see/)


I also said however that the level of trust one may place on their senses can be higher or lower depending from person to person. A seasoned veteran pilot, would be able to get over the hurdles of sleep deprivation much better than an inexperienced one.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's difficult to argue overcoming sleep deprivation as something to do with experience or trust. In comparison although the RLS is not entirely appropriate for your first RQ, the RQ was altogether on the right track. However it is much more difficult to fulfill requirements if you start talking about judgement, instead of knowledge. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.