The knower’s perspective is essential in the pursuit of knowledge



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Yi Xin Lau

TOK


November 1, 2015


The knower’s perspective is essential in the pursuit of knowledge.”

To what extent do you agree? (UNPACKED)


1) Command terms

How to answer “To what extent” questions: The question is asking for an answer that discusses how one element is greater in validity than others. In this case, how essential is a “knower’s persective” compared to everyone else’s? In the answer, there should be a definite claim on whether or not an assumption in the question is made to be a “great extent” or “not a significant extent”. It is best to include multiple point of views to strengthen the essay, but also leave some room for exceptions.
Agree: In this case, there are four possible answers one can give for this question: 1) Agree to a large extent, 2) Disagree to a large extent, 3) Agree to a small extent, or 4) Disagree to a small extent; it depends on how one would word his or her answer.
2) Key words and Phrases

The knower’s perspective is essential in the pursuit of knowledge.”: This is essentially saying that an individual’s point of view is critical when it comes to him or her acquiring knowledge.



The knower’s: the individual making the observation or having the awareness

Perspective: Point of view, stance, frame of mind

Essential: Important, desirable

Pursuit of knowledge: aspiration for knowledge, objective of learning
3) What stance would I take?

To a huge extent, every individual’s perspective is essential when pursuing knowledge.


4) AOKS (with examples)

i) History



  • When it comes to History, it is important to consider all perspectives before developing one’s own perspective on an issue. It would be negligent to ignore other points of views as one would not have a fuller understanding of other people’s actions and, as a result, would think poorly of others for no reason.

  • Thus, after acknowledging other perspectives, one can shape and develop one’s own perspective with ease. Essentially, the more perspectives acknowledged the better, as one has a balanced set of opinions of both sides. It is like law in the court.

  • When reading and studying about History, especially of material related to past wars, every nation’s perspective should be taken to account in order to acquire a deeper understanding and comprehension of what was actually happening. E.g. When studying US History or APUSH in 10th grade, the books we read were pro-America and the resources we acquired were also supportive of US actions. However, if we didn’t know better and studied matierals outside the textbook, we would not have known that some of the US’s actions were decietful and wrong.

  • The saying “The winners write the history” comes into play in this instance – In the previous case, America was always seen as the winners while Nazi Germany was always seen as the losers and the “bad guys”. It is imperative to study both points of views, from the losers’ AND the winners’ positions, in order to acquire a better sense of what was happening.


ii) Natural Sciences



  • Science is all about developing an hypothesis and trying to disclaim the hypothesis. Thus, science is always making adjustments, moulding and mending itself to be in the purest form.

  • Galileo Galilei’s was convinced that the universe was shaped like the Heliocentric model, where the sun was centered in the whole solar system. In his time period, where the Catholic Church believed that the universe was running on a Geocentric system, where the Earth was in the center of the universe, Galileo Galilei was obviously ridiculed by such an idea. However, after more astronomers and scientists dived into this topic of concern, Galileo’s idea was deemed to be correct.

  • Thus, it is imperative for scientists, especially, to develop his or her own perspectives and hypothesis, even if they are wrong, and attempt to disprove them. If more individuals are willing to take a leap of faith, more science could be uncovered, and more knowledge could be achieved.


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