Reflection #2

On Monday, we’ve had a talk about different types of knowledge: knowledge by description and knowledge by acquaintance. When we discussed which type of knowledge was better, our group (Jessica, me, Averil) had long discussion: firstly we thought that knowledge by description was more important since to socialize with each other we need something in common that we can agree on(ex: 1+1=2). However, thinking again knowing by acquaintance seemed more important because it’s unique personal knowledge: each people’s way of obtaining knowledge is different, and by discussing the differences in their knowledge (ex: how do people bake cookies) people can compare and improve knowledge that they already have. So we ultimately ended up saying both are equally important. The highlight of this week’s TOK was our TOK conference in Youngor Hotel in which we’ve spent whole day discussing our thoughts and opinions. Firstly, we started off talking about how we can determine a story’s validity. I’ve noticed that we can judge it based on our past experiences or memories, the speaker’s tone, and types of information. Afterwards we studied about different ways of acquiring knowledge by a story of a mouse eating a cheese. By reading the story, I discovered that what we believe isn’t necessarily what we know but what we know is what we believe. But I was and am still confused about ‘what we know’ always being ‘what we believe’. We also did a game ‘astronaut and alien’ in which I was acting as an alien: I acted out all the characteristics of alien, but astronauts still didn’t find out a lot about the alien culture. This game taught me that difference in culture and background can cause unintended misunderstanding. Moreover, we solved some logic puzzles and tasted unknown drinks, and discussed in groups to find out the answer. It was amazing how the answer was already scattered in seemingly unsolvable logic quiz, and I was surprised that I misjudged the drink’s flavor by its color, even though it was my favorite flavor. (pistachio nuts) In the end, we tried to communicate only by conversation and copy exactly what the other people describes. By this I learnt that people from different background communicate in different way and what I perceive isn’t necessarily what other people perceive. On Friday’s lesson, we discussed about the errors we make and how to disagree in effective ways. I sympathized with both: when I was younger I was shy and afraid of getting answer wrong, and I had to disagree prudently during MUN in order to represent my country’s opinion and not offend the other country at the same time. Overall, even though I didn’t feel a significant change yet, I thought that TOK will slowly change my way of thinking: it was interesting how discussing about what we took for granted, or what we already knew but didn’t know ‘why’, made me feel confused and think more in-depth.

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