Response to ‘Knowledge and the Art’

‘Art’ mostly means painting, designing and sculpting for me. I love to do art because I can concentrate on one thing for long time. I liked the moment that I can concentrate on something and ignore any distraction and that is why I took IGCSE Art last year. Since I enjoyed doing stuff like painting and sculpting, Art means more than creating beauty to me. I agree with the Romantic Theory that states art is expression of the artist’s emotion and consciousness. In my opinion, Vincent Van Gogh is the perfect artist who shows us that the purpose of art is to express and communicate emotion. Most of his works that was painted just before his death were ridiculous; brush strokes and shapes were all extraordinary and this is related to his mental disorder. Those strong brush strokes and swirling shapes were way of Gogh’s own communication of his emotion. Hence, I support that the art is more then simple decoration

Besides, I think the art is way of confirming one’s existence and one’s value. Thus, art can be interpreted as many different ways. Different people have different cultural background, interest and personalities. These factors lead different interpretation, which is not possible in area of knowledge such as Maths and Science. In the process of interaction with artwork, we ask questions to ourselves. And this is what I agree with this passage. Actually, my views haven’t changed by the assertions in this text because I already had similar opinion; art is more than the decoration and entertainment.

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Knowledge and the Arts Response

I have been learning and practicing music for long time. Therefore, I cogitated about the elements in music such as expression and techniques. Expression of the music or comprehensively art is very abstract for me. Whether it should explicate the ideology of the artist or it should try to show the aesthetic quality. Below are my own opinions about Arts.

First of all, I disagree with the idea that arts should be expressing the aesthetics. It means that the arts should show the beauty and vivid imagery that is gorgeous and attractive. However, I think arts should not only be about beauty. As an example, the legendary and revolutionary band, Radiohead does not express aesthetic qualities. Listening to the songs, such as songs in the ‘Ok computer’, we can hear that their music is somehow discordance. Their songs were deprecated as cacophony by the critiques. However, their song was very unique. They used strong and high pitch sound effects that differentiate their sounds from other bands’ sounds. Although their sound was not attractive and beautiful, their unique sounds were the best ways to express their psychedelic and frantic concept or ideology. Because their ideas are assimilated into the songs, I think Radiohead is a great band that plays ‘real’ music.

Second, in my point of view the most important element in arts is the techniques. Any people can have unique ideas but may have difficulties in expressing his or her ideas. Therefore techniques are very important. According to the ‘Knowledge and Arts’ essay, the author classifies the technical knowledge as the artist’s knowledge.

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Personal response to “Knowledge and the arts”

In one way, my view of art is somewhat similar to the old western view, arts are decoration and entertainment, and as suggested in the beginning of the essay “They are nice but not essential”. Paintings and souvenirs bring a lot to the impression of for example a house. It gives it beauty and a sense of personification and  you could argue that the paintings you choose to put on your walls somewhat tells others who you are, and what you care about. Imagine someone who has paintings of dying nature and vulnerable animals. This tell visitors about the person’s care for the environment, and hopefully raise some type of thought about what we are doing, and what we should be doing.

However, I don’t think art is necessary. According to the Romantic theory, art is the expression of the artist’s emotions and consciousness. For sure, many artists have expressed their feeling through their paintings, and many has felt relief by expressing feelings through a song. However, in most cases it doesn’t bring anything more than entertainment and decoration to the audience. Most of us love listening to music, and in some cases it might raise questions such as Who are we?, Where are we?, What are we doing? , and What should we be doing?. Personally I haven’t reflected upon any of those questions when listening to music or reading a poem, which probably is because I never thought deeply enough about it. However, it makes me wonder whether it is actually important to reflect over them. For me, what defines a human being is biological factors such as what genes we are made of, and honestly I can’t see that reflecting more deeply over who we are would bring any purpose to my life.

However, as suggested in the essay, if we reflect deeply on those questions, we may gain some knowledge about ourselves, our world, and our lives. After thinking about that I realize that what particularly distinguishes art from any other way of knowing is the fact that what you learn is what you want to learn, and it is based on the emotions of yourself and the artist. From the same piece of art, two persons might gain different knowledge, and there is no correct answer.

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Response to “Knowledge and the Arts”

As it is stated in the essay, I believe that nowadays we need art more than anything else in our lives. We live in a world in which every form of art is disappearing, or rapidly being replaced by technology. We need art to support us, inspire us, to guide us through our lives which would otherwise seem meaningless and tedious.
Before reading the essay, I had always appreciated the power of art, and understood its importance to some extent, but I now know that it is essential. Art is a method of expression for us humans, who would be nothing without it. Since the very beginning we were devoted to it and used it to communicate the way we felt.
I strongly agree with the Romantic Theory, where it is believed that every artist needs to suffer a little in order to transmit strong emotions through a piece of music or art. Our personal experience marks the art we produce, giving it a touch of our personality, our pain, our joy. Nowadays, people have lost the exigence of expressing themselves, keeping every emotion in, without stopping to observe it like poets, or painting it out on canvas, like painters. Today, our world is just superficial, even the songs and paintings lack emotions.
When younger, my parents used to take me around Italy to visit museums, cathedrals and castles. Once, we went to Agrigento, Sicily, to visit the temple of Concordia and I remember my parents explaining its history and the fact that when the Greeks built it, it used to be filled with ornaments and decorations. I was stunned by the imposing temple and kept on wondering how the Greeks managed to construct such beauty without the technology we have today. The same questions arose when I visited the domes in Milan and Florence. I came to the conclusion that the people at the time were inspired, were expressing themselves and their love for their lives, culture and religion. Architecture is a form of art because that is how most of the ancient populations left the mark of their existence on Earth. But still, I keep on asking myself why humans managed to build such stunning things only in the past, where the technology was not that advanced, while now the things built are meaningless and without a purpose.

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Paul Graham, “How You Know”

A brief but useful essay by Paul Graham, “How You Know”, is worth reading and thinking about.

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Fallacy analysis: Poisoning the Well

Fallacy is an argument that uses poor reasoning. An argument can be fallacious whether or not its conclusion is true.

I see or experience lots of fallacies everyday. As an example, I saw a fallacy during PE class. My friends and I were getting changed after playing football and during that short time Patrick and Shawn were having short talk.

Patrick was complaining to Shawn because Shawn kicked Patrick and didn’t admit as a foul. Shawn was refuting Patrick as he thought he didn’t kick Patrick’s shin. He was making a moaning sound, saying ‘ I DIDN’T!’, then Patrick said Shawn make those kind of sound when he knows the truth but trying to hide it. Therefore Patrick claimed that Shawn certainly kicked his shin.

However, this is a fallacy. In detail, it is a “poisoning of well”. Patrick has made fallacy because he used his evidence according to the moaning sound of Shawn. Patrick said Shawn always make moaning sound when he is lying. This is a fallacy because Shawn might not make those moaning sounds although he lied, or make moaning sound although he didn’t lie. Therefore, the way of reasoning Patrick’s assertion is not an appropriate way.

To avoid fallacy in this situation, Patrick should back up his claim with his physical symptoms such as bruise, or cuts on his skin. Also, with his physical symptoms, Patrick should prove whether he had made contact with Shawn. The most efficient way can be recording of football match. However, there is no recording of it, so the witness of this situation can be helpful.

People often make fallacy, including me. We should be reasoning our assertion based on more substantial and true information.

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Why do we cling to beliefs when they’re threatened by facts?

Interesting article at has relevance to TOK:

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Fallacies in Debates

It is during a debate in which one can encounter uncorroborated and/or fictitious arguments and thus debaters usually tend to have exposure in identifying logical fallacies. As a rule of thumb, when an opposition makes an invalid point, debaters have to identify it as a fallacy and convey it such that the argument is rendered useless. As a general rule of thumb, debaters are inclined, if at all possible, to avoid using fallacies as, if recognised, credibility is lost.

The first and perhaps most obvious fallacy in a debate is known as “Ad hominem.” This fallacy is when one attempts to lessen the credibly of the opposition by directly attacking the opposition through personal means. An example would be, if for example a father may tell a child not to smoke as he will regret it, but the child points out that the father is a smoker. This, does not change the fact that the child may regret smoking.

Another fallacy found in debates is known as “Ad ignorantiam,” meaning argument from ignorance. If a proposition has been made and it has not been proven, it cannot be regarded as true and is therefore false. As such, this argument attempts to exploit it is impossible to disprove true things and impossible to prove false things, but it completely ignores the other two parts of this. To give an example, one might say “Prove to me that God isn’t real, and then I will stop believing.”

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Humans are logically fallacious animals_HJ

“Love is a fallacy” by Max Shulman portraits how fallacy is in our daily life and dialouges in a very interesting and humorous way. “Dicto Simpliciter”, “Hasty Genralizatoin” and “Post Hoc” are just few of examples of catagorization of logical fallacies which is mentioned in the essay. After reading the essay, I soon realized that so many dialogues in my daily life were actually logical fallacies. Also, I made a “Hasty Generalization” myself to conclude that “Humans are logically fallacious animals”.

One of most frequently identified logical fallacy is “Hasty Generalization”. Here is an example. In the movie “Fault in Our Stars”, when Augustus, the male protagonist puts a cigarette bewtween his mouth, Hazel, the female protagonist makes a hasty generalization of admonishing Augustus not to smoke because it gives you cancer. However, this action was just an methaphorical action of not giving (lighting) the killing object (cigarette) a power to kill a person. Since all the media and people that Hazel did light the cigarette after putting inside their mouth, she made a hasty generalization of Augustus doing the same thing.

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Logical Fallacies

The fallacy I noticed appearing most frequently was Hasty Generalization. For Biology class this week we were reading news articles about the health risks of different types of fatty acids, and when I now went back to review them, I noticed more than one instant where the author made a conclusion from a size of a sample which was too small. In this case, making conclusions on what fat is unhealthy by using only one study as a source.

In an article posted on with the title “New study on saturated fats and heart disease could confuse patients” the writer, Dr Manny, states that  “…Researchers also found that trans fats, found mostly in processed foods, were responsible for a 16 percent increased risk for heart disease.” From that piece of fact he then concludes that, “So, here’s a clear message you can take from this study: Eliminate all trans fats from your diet right now.” This is an example of a Hasty Generalization. Just because this particular study showed them to be responsible for 16 percent increased risk for heart disease, is not enough to prove that it is true, and definitively not enough to conclude that they should be completely eliminated. No research appearing in this article supports the conclusion that full elimination of them would be beneficial.

I also found an example of Hasty generalization in another article.  This article is named “Study reveals broad danger of trans fat”, and was published at Vanderbilt University’s research site. This study suggests that a diet high in Trans Fatty acids may contribute to death from any cause. The study concludes that “Those who had the highest trans fat consumption had a 25 percent increased risk of death over the group with the lowest trans fat consumption.” This piece of statistics might be correct, but to conclude that the trans fats are all responsible is a fallacy. How can we be sure that the trans fats are responsible for the deaths and not anything else? The person consuming a high amount of trans fat might also be a person lacking physical activity, consuming a high amount of sugar, smoking, or doing any other harmful habit. In this study, nothing else than the consumption of trans fats was examined, and to leave out all other habits of the participants and conclude that the trans fats were all responsible for the outcome, is a fallacy.

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Logical Fallacies

A logical fallacy is defined as an error in reasoning, an argument that appears to be valid and truthful, but really being otherwise. Fallacies are common in the way of thinking of most humans, and there are different types of them. Some of the most common fallacies used are designed to change the subject of an argument, starting to focus on the person speaking or on an authority instead. A common example would be the one of “Anonymous Authorities”, where the name of the authority is not stated but still makes the argument sound reasonable.

As I looked back to the article “You Love Your iPhone. Literally.” written by Martin Lindstrom, I found it to be filled with such fallacies.
Some psychologists suggest that using our iPhones and BlackBerrys (…)”, in this statement, the phrase “some psychologists” is put there in order to make the argument sound more believable and successfully achieving this. This is because the readers, seeing that psychologists are cited, do not question the source nor the name of the specific psychologist, since they assume the statement to be true.
Friends (…) tell me they feel stressed-out, cut off and somehow un-whole”, in this case the source is less reliable but the readers do not notice it right away, as they are focusing mainly on the content of the article. Another example would be the statement “my team looked at subjects’ brain activity”, what team? Isn’t Martin Lindstrom a branding consultant ? What does he know about science? Again, these questions do not oppress us when first reading the article.
This article obviously raised many complaints from various neurologists across the country. This taught me not to always trust and rely on information that might be false or untrue, also if it is published on The New York Times.

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Logical Fallacies

Hasty generalization is a common logic fallacy especially when people assume racial stereotypes. The common stereotypes for asians are being smart at subjects like Science and Math. While the common stereotypes for westerns are having a life dominated by sport or arts. Obviously, this is a hasty generalization because their are plenty of asians who can play sports or do arts. Why is this a illogical fallacy well a ethnicity does not depict whether a person is athletic or a brainiac. Biologist prefer to say our personality would be dependent on our genes but also external factors play a larger part. Many have acknowledge that different genes promotes advantages to different ethnicity because genes can cause increased growth or increased mental capacity. Also their are plenty of contradicting evidence to the argument. Many asians have athletic and artistic properties also westerns also have academic   Post Hoc also plays an important role in Hasty generalization because we tend to bind these two together. Post Hoc meaning connecting two different ideas too make a statement. For stereotypes, people join limited data with the capabilities of different ethnicity to strengthen their point. Just one illogical ‘joke’ that has been exist in media contains two logical fallacies.

Media has been bombarded with racism and stereotypes, and these are all based off hasty generalization. The purpose of these stereotypes is to generate laughs. But why do we laugh at illogical statements. Examining Pascal’s triangle we notice that the top “reasoning” is considered the most important. This contributes to a larger amount of these hasty generalizations because it fulfills our bottom two areas of fulfillment: appetite, will. These hasty generalization and Post Hoc are categorized as fitting in our appetite because our thinking is limited. Many believe that once our appetite is filled or once the fun aspect of our daily lives is complete we don’t not need to continue to think logically but rather promote illogical jokes.

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Queerer than we can suppose: the strangeness of science

In his Ted Talk, Richard Dawkins brings up many interesting points. He questions if we will ever be able to even imagine the all the strangeness of science. He ties this into the fact that not everything we study we will be able to ever truly understand such as his quote from Feynman: “If you think you understand quantum, you don’t understand quantum theory”. This is a very interesting statement because it is a subject that many people have spent their lives studying and yet no one fully understands it. It seems as though Dawkins is implying that we will never really meant to fully understand everything about science and are possibly not meant to.

He also makes a very confusing point in which he shares that we are made up of entirely different atoms now from the atoms that made us up when we were children. He claims that we “weren’t there”. He goes on further to say that “whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made of. This really makes one question what makes you, you. Yet, he seems to see this as more confounding than it really is. Once you get over how weird that sounds and think about it you realize you already know that. Cells in your body are constantly dying and new ones made (or something like that I don’t take biology). So it’s not that strange an idea.

I did find his theory on how we perceive the world how we need to perceive it to survive. This means that different animals see the world differently depending on how they need to see it. ” The point is that the nature of the model is governed by how it is to be used rather than by the sensory modality involved.” I never thought about how we see the world like this or thought about whether or not animals saw the world the same way we did. So it’s really interesting.

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Beau Lotto – Colour

Beau Lotto’s intriguing TED talk explains the very fundamentals of something that we take for granted – colour. If we were to ask someone to describe, let’s say the colour red without saying the using ‘red’ it would probably be very difficult.

A quote that I found particularly interesting, albeit long, was –

as Berkeley tells us, we have no direct access to our physical world, other than through our senses. And the light that falls onto our eyes is determined by multiple things in the world – not only the color of objects, but also the color of their illumination, and the color of the space between us and those objects. You vary any one of those parameters, and you’ll change the color of the light that falls onto your eye.

Through his speech, we can come to the conclusion that light is essentially relative – relative to the conditions around you. If in different conditions, the same shade of yellow can look different, it really raises the question – What is colour? Now, science, more precisely physics, has a very simple answer to that, being the different frequencies and wavelengths of light but that does not answer why the same shade of yellow are perceived by our eyes as two different completely different colours.

Imagine this scenario, two people are looking at an apple and both of them come up to a consensus that the colour of the apple is red. But how are we to know that they both have the same agreed red; that is to say how does one know that their red is not the others green? That’s the point, they wouldn’t know and that’s simply because most, if not all people, have the preconceived notion that everyone experiences these same trivial, mundane, taken-for-granted, things is the exact same way. There’s no way that this can be proven wrong, and in the same way there’s no way that this can be proven right, yet. I can then conclude by saying that after looking at Beau Lotto’s talk, light is, au fond, subjective.

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Dawkins- Queerer than we can suppose: the strangeness of science

In his TED talk, Dawkins raises many questions associated with the strangeness of science and how we perceive reality. Something that particularly interested me was his analysis of this statement, “Science has taught us, against all intuition, that apparently solid things like crystals and rocks are really almost entirely composed of empty space…”. He then questions, “Why, then, do rocks look and feel solid and hard to impenetrable?” And his answer reads, “Our brains have evolved to help us survive within the orders of magnitude of size and speed which our bodies operate at.” If that’s true, that our brains have evolved in order to help us navigate in the world that we live in, what is then reality? For an electron, a reality of a world consisting of empty space seems obvious, while for human beings, it would be meaningless to perceive the world in such way. In the very end of his talk, Dawkins asks, “Are there some things in the universe so queer that no philosophy of beings, however godlike, could dream them?” I believe the answer to this question is yes. If it is true that our brain are set to work in what we perceive as reality, some aspects of science, belonging to another reality, might never be discovered.  This raises questions such as, Is it possible to reach outside of what our senses choose to ignore? Or, is it even useful to investigate things which will never be applicable to us?

Later on in his talk, Dawkins brings up another very interesting question. We can all probably remember several experiences from our childhood, as clearly as if we were there. Because, as he says, “After all, you really were there at the time – weren’t you? How else would you remember it?” Then he drops the bombshell, “You weren’t here! Not a single atom of that is in your body today was there when that event took place.”

This makes me wonder, does the the fact that no atoms were the same, means that you weren’t there? Above, Dawkins himself stated that “We never evolved to navigate in the world of atoms.” Does this mean that the atoms doesn’t define who we are, and that you really were there? But, if our atoms doesn’t define us, then what does? This brings us to almost religious topics. Do we have a soul? Is there something more to us that just atoms? And finally, what defines YOU of being YOU?

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About Reality

Ted talks from Beau Lotto and Oliver sacks have lots of similarities. They express their point of views on visual perception that people have. Beau Lotto reveals about optical illusion. It is more about biological analysis and questions us whether what we are seeing everyday exists in reality. Oliver sacks talked about hallucination relating to our minds.

From their talk, I had a sudden shock. I found out the relationship of their talks and the movie ‘Matrix’. Matrix tried to express the difference between the reality and the reality that we perceive. Beau lotto said ‘color is the simplest thing that we can perceive.’ However, sometimes we can’t interpret the colors correctly. I wonder whether the world we are looking at is real. Is the face on the mirror looks the same to the other people? Lotto says there is no way that we can find out the truth, because we have no direct connection to the world. We recognize our world through senses. So if the senses are playing tricks on us, there is no way that we can perceive our world.

Oliver Sacks’ speech reminded me the movie called ‘the Truman show’. Oliver Sack interacted with many patients suffering from hallucination. It was somehow similar to the Truman show. The main character of the movie is broadcasted on TV, but the main character himself doesn’t know about that fact. All the people that he meets are actors (actress). Therefore those people can be seen as fake, and the main character is similar to looking at hallucination. I will think that my life would be meaningless if this kind of thing happens to me. However, Oliver Sacks defined this as a very usual thing. Also he looks at this disease as a very light disease.

It is impossible to perceive our world and ‘look’ at it directly. Some people might think their lives would be meaningless if they perceive our world differently. However, all the other people will perceive it differently. We can still interact with each other and get feedback. So will it matter if we are looking at hallucination?

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Beau Lotto-Optical illusions show how we see

Optical illusion, it has the meaning of an experience of seeming to see something that doesn’t exist or that is other that it appears also something that deceives one’s eyes and causes such an experience. The TED talk by Beau Lotto is about Optical illusion shows how we see. Some short experience about optical illusion wasn’t new to me, however, the interpretation about it wasn’t simple and it was advanced. Detect colours rather than images quite simple work of our brain. I think it is from our experience. Beau Lotto’s jungle picture was about third experiment and for previous two experiments we should think and detect about its colours. Thus, from previous experiments we built the experience to finding colours and we implement it in jungle pics experiments. Normality of brain is subjective, by repetition, our brain stated normality for each different situation.

Artist’s word, which is ‘to demonstrate the fragility of our sense’ was impacted to me, because, scientifically I thought it is right. Brain is involved in senses and changing of normality can have meaning of confusing for every different situation and they don’t aware it. Beau Lotto interpret this instead, colour tells us something completely different, that the brain didn’t actually evolve to see the world the way it is. I think therefore, we could develop and adapted different and new environment. Every detail things that what we saw and what we heard comes to us by subliminal perception and it appear when I try to need it.

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Oliver Sacks: Hallucinations

In the TED video Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author of multiple books shares the stories of his patients who have suffered from hallucinations. Firstly he tells the story of an elderly, visually impaired woman who says she saw children in coloured drapes and the caricature-like face of a man smiling at her. The other stories are similar to this but also include the description of the feeling of being brought back to the past and even musical hallucinations. The detail that I found most interesting is that all his patients were visually impaired and describe the hallucinations as vivid but still dream-like, as if they were part of a silent movie. Oliver Sacks also states that hallucinations are not quite like our imagination because we have no control over them. At the end of his talk, he also states “Charles Bonnet (…) wondered how (…) the theatre of the mind could be generated by the machinery of the brain. Now, 250 years later, I think we’re beginning to glimpse how this is done”. Personally, find this metaphor really intriguing, the idea that the mind is a theatre and the brain the machinery that makes the theatre work. I also find interesting the fact that he clearly makes a distinction between our minds and our brains. Our mind does not really exist as it is abstract, an agglomeration of thoughts, ideas and memories, unlike the brain that has no place within our bodies. Of course, as humans we use different sections of our brains for various actions and thoughts, but the mind is often considered to be a detached entity, and Oliver Sacks obviously agrees with this theory.
Are our actions planned by our minds and executed by our brains? Why can we study the brain but cannot observe and study the mind?

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You Love Your iPhone.Literally.-HJ

My first impression of this opinionated piece of writing was fasination. All the evidence that Martin Lindstrom adressed in order to support his claim taht we not only are addicted to our iPhones, but also are in love with it. However, after reading it throughly for number of times, I found fallacy in his evidences throughout the article. I realized that all of his fancy experiment methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was just a pesudoscientific method. Only the name of the method sounded so scientific, and all this “scientific” method made the article believable for me. I noticed that this is one  of commnon misinterpretation of any scientific experiment and its results. Further on, Martin Lindstrom made up a word “Phantom vibration syndrome” to make the article more scientific and academic. These were just some examples of the ways Martin  Lindstrom used to camouflage his fallacious article into a mind-blowing discovery.

On paragraph 5, Martin Lindstrom gives absurd method to support his claim. “Friends who have accidentall left home without their iPhones tell me they feel stressed-out”. This is almost shocking compared to all of extremely scientific methods mentioned on the previous paragraphs. We begin to question him  “Who are they?”. Martin Lindstrom is using informations attained from his friends as a legit method to measure how addicted we are to our iPhones. Later, he adds “That sounds a lot like separation anxiety to me.”. The way he phrases this doesn’t sound like a statement at all but just an experimental assumption. He addresses himself too much which makes the article almost a list of his personal experience related to the topic.

It is not surprising to know that Martin Lindstrom is using pesudoscience instead of real science throughout his article. The fact that he was wrong about the insular cortex which is actually active in as many as one-third of all brain imaging studies suggests that he is lacking of actual scientific knowledges. He makes up a term “Phantom vibration syndrome” in order to make his article as scientific as possible.

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Beau lotto: Optical Illusions

If two identical images , projected on different coloured backgrounds, can appear different than do we how do we perceive knowledge? The debate on whether each individual views the world differently stems from how little we know of people’s perception. The TED talk starring Beau Lotto emphasizes that light plays a vital role in determining our sense perception. What was most interesting is how similar this is to the quote, “look under a new light.” The quote means to ask another persons opinion, or the review the material later. Its interesting how the effects light has on images and the quote have in common. Beau Lotto announces that human beings all see the same thing however, because a different ‘light’ may be used; human beings understand objects by their perception. The Bee experiment that was in the TED talk was to elaborate a theory. The theory being bee’s are not attracted to colour rather knowing familiar locations to decipher the location of the honey. In science, we are told that bee’s are attracted to colour. Flowers have adapted, evolved to have colourful petals so bee’s may land and pollinate. However, if a bee is merely attracted to familiar locations which contain honey essence? Then how would a bee collect its honey if its original source was erased? Beau Lotto enforces the idea that we are defined by how we perceive images. To an extent we will never know whether each individual views daily life differently compared to others. Perhaps on an emotional base, people’s lives are influenced and perceived differently on emotion. Does understanding how different people perceive images help understand human nature, or identify potential personalities? Does a murder see horrific, bloody sights when viewing the same image as a nurse whose job is to take care of the weak? Are we subjecting groups of people based off their perception because in reality anybody can have a wide assortment of views on a subject. Murderers are often condemned with psychological problems, however, does it cause them to act? Often murderers are driven by a thought, a guide which targets people, meaning do they acknowledge their life as a hunt? Beau Lotto seem to believe that how we use knowledge defines our morals, defines who we are. But if man is capable

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Reflection on “You love your iPhone. Literally”

When I read through this article, it didn’t seem any different than any other column articles I have read before. It is an article talking about the relationships of people and their iPhones, and how that resemble relationships between two human beings. The article uses some professional-looking terms, such as fMRI and so on, which makes the article seem believable. Lindstrom also talks about his experiments involving several “tests” and how him and “his team” figured that a specific part of our brain called “insular cortex” reacts when people see/hear an iPhone ringing, which is ostensibly amazing since according to Lindstrom this part of the brain reacts specifically to only romantic stimuli. He even made up a term called “Phantom Vibration Syndrome” to go along with his theory that we react to iPhones ringing as if it were an emergency. On the surface this article seems all nice and neat, but after reading the second, more realistic article written by Yarkoni in response to this article, I could point out quite a lot of scientific inaccuracies in Lindstrom’s article.

Take for example the 5th paragraph of his article, which is supposed to be a paragraph providing an evidence to his belief. Instead of actual scientific evidence, he provides the readers with an Anecdotal Evidence, stating how his “friends” tells him that “they feel stressed out and somehow un-whole” when they leave their iPhones at home. Not to also mention right after this little anecdote he presumes to analyze this by saying “this sounds a lot like separation anxiety to me”, which is very unreliable as it is an opinion with no evidence to back it up. This really demonstrates how most of the people in society take in information. Surely the reason Lindstrom included this anecdote to back up his point is so people understand what he is trying to say. Instead of throwing out numbers and research details, he attempted to explain his point like how we would explain things to another person orally. We would make comparisons or analogies in attempts to explain our points, just like he did by comparing people reaching for their iPhones frantically to people pressing elevator buttons repeatedly. I have to admit it seems like a very reasonable comparison, and most people would have taken his belief about iPhones and its “true” relationship to us by this point in the passage. When the general public sees something they can relate to in this suppposed “scientific” news article, they automatically accept the article’s point easier.

There is no doubt that this article written by Lindstrom is one that deals with pseudo science instead of actual science. We know this because the article didn’t provide the readers with any solid evidence. I think this is a wake up call to everyone who reads newspapers, that not articles are definitely correct, and not everyone who had published books and claim to be some sort of scientist is correct. Science is obviously composed of a certain factor of reason, which derives from solid evidence to back points up, but also of emotion. This emotional factor, in my opinion, is also quite important since it drives us towards researching about certain aspect of an argument. Take for example Einstein and his theory of “anti-gravity”. This was a theory he made up in order for his belief that ‘Space is static and not constantly expanding’ to make sense. What seems to us as a ridiculous theory actually made quite a lot of sense back then, since Einstein was the most famous scientist, therefore people believed in what he had to say: emotion. Hence, emotion will affect what people accept, especially in science, where the general public would be clueless about certain topics except if a scientist voices his/her opinion, which we then decide if we choose to believe or not, based on pure emotion.

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You Love Your IPhone

Martin Lindstrom talks about his friends who feel anxiety when they left there phone at home. In my personal experience, at first, I do feel uncomfortable, stressed-out and anxious when I go outside without taking my phone. However, as I meet and have some conversation with my friends, I start to forget about the issue with my phone. Even my personal experience shows that what Lindstrom discussed about people’s emotion, is not really reliable. People who felt anxiety were limited to friends of his and I cast doubt on his statement.

The experiment that Martin Lindstrom carried out with eight men and eight women ages of 18 to 25 was very interesting. We cannot make any decision by this small experiment, but still it was quite absorbing that brains of 16 people did not just see the vibrating iPhone but hear the sound as well, while there was no sound at all. Also, ‘Phantom vibration syndrome’ which is mentioned in the text does happen to me usually and after reading the article, I felt an unexplainable thing that have usually happened to me is becoming serious concern in my head. However, the problem the syndrome and theory has is that they haven’t proven scientifically, yet. As we give names to this kind of real life phenomenon, people who have experienced it start to think that they are having certain illness. In other words, those insignificant terminologies made by some experts are making the problems even serious. Besides, normal people who are not really experts of that area are usually easy target of those terminologies. They will just simply believe phenomena have names because they have scientifically justified, which is not really true.

I think reason is very important in science. Scientist, who has certain information and want to persuade the public, must come up with some kind of scientific basis. Whether it is true or not, Lindstrom stated we are not addicted to IPhone but fall in love with it. He gave fMRI experiment as the evidence. Those evidence or reasons he stated made myself to accept it. Thus, to persuade the public to acknowledge the certain scientific theory, precise reason is always required. This is why reason plays significant role in science, which always has to convince people, to be admitted.

Emotion in science is the worst thing ever. Emotion makes people irrational quite easily. Science should be reliable but irrationality with reliability? That does not make sense at all. The question is, can emotion work as reason in science even though emotion is unreliable?

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Response to the article ‘You Love Your iPhone. Literally’

When I read the article “You love Your iPhone. Literally” for the first time I believed every single word Martin Lindstrom said, without questioning whether the source was reliable or not. After reading some of the responses of actual scientists, the truth dawned on me: newspapers do not always tell the truth, especially if they can make more money out of lies. Tal Yarkoni, an experienced psychoinformatics Lab Research assistant professor at the department of psychology at the university of Texas, wrote an Op-Ed piece criticising the content of the article, and accusing it of being false and untrue. Then, who should we trust? Should we be sceptical and doubt every fact also if supported by some sort of evidence or should we accept things as they are? Should we follow our emotions and believe only what feels right without using our brains? These are questions that I have been trying hard to answer, but without success. This is because if we start accepting things as they are then we end up believing in everything, and if we criticise everything we are told then we end up not believing in anything. But can we accept the things we are told to a certain extent? My answer was instantly positive, but then I thought back to the article and noticed how wrong and untruthful some facts were and suddenly felt really confused. Maybe it would be easier if we were all like children, believing everything we are told without doubting or criticising; but then others would take advantage of this. If we doubted everything, an ordinary conversation would turn into an interrogation “I think the colour green is better than blue.” “why?” “Because- it looks better” “how do you know it looks better? Maybe every single person has a different perception of colours and we don’t even know. Maybe the colour you call blue is pink for me, but then, shouldn’t I call it pink? ” “I’m confused.”
Should we verify and research everything we are told or simply accept it?

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You love your iphone

In his Op-Ed, Lindstrom argues that because of the results of an experiment, performed with an fMRI, we are in love with our iPhones. I think this is a poor method to determine whether we are in love with our iPhones our not. I agree with Yarkoni that whether a specific region in the brain lights up our not, does not determine us being in love with something. The love we have to our phones is based on the functions the phone can do for us. I think most people would argue that if you would exchange your phone with another one, of the same kind, with all the same functions and apps, it would replace the old one just fine. This is what I think distinguishes our love for a material object such as a phone, from the love to a person. Even if your girlfriend would be replaced with her identical twin, capable of doing everything your girlfriend could, you would presumably not love her as much. This is what I think differs our love for objects and persons, and just because the same brain region lights up, reason need to be used in order to determine whether we are actually in love with something or not.

In Martin Lindstrom’s editorial, he starts a sentence like this, “Using functional magnetic resonance imagining (fMRI) tests, my team…” The only thing Lindstrom did here was to write what the letters fMRI stand for. But, by just doing that many people will assume he is a credible source. This is also an example of how language can be used as a way to persuade someone. Because the result of Lindstrom’s research is “scientifically proven” the person without knowledge associated with neuroscience will accept the result without questioning it. In Tal Yarkoni’s first blog response he writes that the definition of someone being addicted to something is the fact that this something influences their lives in a way so that they have trouble going without it, and so that they generally suffer functional impairment because of it, not the fact that their brain lights up by observing a picture of it. He later suggests that if you want to find out whether iPhones are addictive or not, the best way to do that is to observe and interview iPhone users. The issue here is that the majority of people will accept a “scientifically proven” result easier than a result found from a questionnaire. I myself would have accepted Lindstrom’s experiment with the fMRI because of my lacking knowledge about neuroscience. By reading Tal Yarkoni’s response I have learned the difference between science and pseudo science and I have learned to question even things that are “scientifically proven”.

I think we all know that reason is important in science. Whenever we carry out an experiment in any of the sciences, it is always important to evaluate the results and not to trust it without some analysis. As I said above, I don’t think you can say that you are in love with your iPhone when it can easily be replaced, and I think that Lindstrom should have reasoned around his result to determine whether we really are in love with our iPhones just because that was what his “scientific experiment” proved. I also think emotion is important in science. Emotion takes a big part in many scientific progresses. There is plenty of ethical discussions associated with how far we should take science, such as the ability to clone in order to produce more food, or even clone humans to produce more valuable traits. How far we are going to take similar scientific experiments are to some extent based upon our emotions about it.



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You Love Your iPhone. Literally.

“You love your iPhone. Literally” by Martin Lindstrom, is an article that discusses about how people nowadays (or more specifically in 2011 when this article as written) have developed an irrational addiction towards their iPhone so much so that it can be categorized as love. Had I not seen the replies to this article, I would have been completely convinced by it; that’s not to say that I would necessarily do anything about it. At first glance, the article seems very reliable, with scientific acronyms, one being “functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI),” and can easily convince and persuade a reader who is not knowledgable in the topic.

After reading Tal Yarkoni’s reply, I reread Lindstrom’s article carefully and noticed a few ambiguous and controversial terms that I skimmed through in my first reading. The first thing I noted was that Lindstrom is a “branding consultant” and there is no direct link between branding consultancy and neuroscience, at least as of now, thus making him less credible than Tal Yarkoni, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Questions can be raised also, about the experiments taken. There are no real figures about how Lindstrom comes to the conclusion that he has come to, “We found that the brain activity was uncannily similar when viewing both types of imagery.” It seems, and although this may be a wrong assumption to make, is that Lindstrom is trying to prove that he is credible by saying that he used science, but provides no real concrete evidence to back up his claims. Another interesting phrase is “Friends who have accidentally left home without their iPhones tell me they feel stressed-out, cut off and somehow un-whole. That sounds a lot like separation anxiety to me.” This is not an argument, but rather an anecdote; it cannot be verified and is equivocatory (“that sounds”).

I can go on with examples, to illustrate my point but through this exercise, I learnt, that even on reputable websites, not everything is 100% true. Just because it says it is “scientifically-proven” does not necessarily mean that.

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You Love Your IPhone

“You love your iPhone,” Martin Lindstrom the writer, announces that since the introduction of the iPhone our emotion has changed for the worse. Martin talks about separation anxiety as a problem, but, does technology affect our logic in emotion? Though, people may feel this anxiety if they leave their iPhone at home may be because our dependence on technology. Technology,social media, aims to unite people; separation anxiety is merely a cause of weariness. However, Martin obtained his information form his friends, thus being very doubtful of the authenticity of the experiment. Considering the information was obtained from his friends, it can easily be false.

The fMRI, detects changes in blood flow to measure cerebral activity. This article reveals how vague science can be. The writer, Martin Windstorm exploits the ambiguity science offers to enforce his ingredient. The fMRI does not show any concrete evidence that viewing images that provoke emotion can be monitored by this device. The experiment would only prove the subject is exhibit brain activity. The experiments in the article is false, vague, bended for the aim.

Reason plays an important role in science. Many hypothesis are carried out based off intuition or trail and error with reason to guide it. The article displays that through induction we achieve our aim. Martin used his ambitious results for his deduction on the affect of iPhone in our lives. The emotional aspect that could affect science is close to none. Science is actually quite mathematical, the answer cannot be mis-interpreted. Their is always one answer for a science problem. However, we have never really conducted a scientific experiment without some unexplained event resulting in positive results. So is science a pseudo-science? Is our belief mainly based off speculation, only proved until later? Normally, I would say its fine seeing science being a crucial factor in our daily life. However, if most sciences are based off happy accidents then can we credit the finding of others?

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is talking about the difference between addiction and love.
The author of this essay used some shocking examples to claim that users are not addicted to the phone. Author mainly used the medical analysis to classify the difference between addiction and love.
In the article, it used some interesting terms that directly gave me an impact to understand what the writer was trying to say. Words such as ‘un-whole’, ‘apple proved way’ showed people’s addiction or love for their phones. Author mentions ‘but most striking of all was the flurry of activation in the insular cortex of the brain, which is associated with feelings of love and compassion.’
Does it mean we love our phone and we want to kiss it? In my point of view I think there are certain targets for addiction and love. Addiction and love has similar property because we feel passionate or strong attraction for both elements. However they have difference. I personally think addiction is not an emotion, it is a symptom for disease, but love is an emotion. Also love is recognized as a positive emotion but addiction is recognized negatively.
I would like to claim that the main difference of addiction and love is their extent. Love is just an emotion that people feel when they are attracted. If this extent of attraction gets bigger, we sometimes express this as ‘infatuation’. This is when people’s daily life is affected by their emotion (love). Therefore I think addiction is same as infatuation, except infatuation is just a pure emotion that people feel.
The experiment carried out in this article showed scientific research but all the people in this article shows serious addiction to the phone. They feel anxious when they are separated from the phone, which may lead to some problem for their life.
I think people are not in ‘love’ with their phone, they are addicted. So it should be treated as a mental problem that needs professional medical care.

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The video we watched about happiness on TOK class was a mind-blowing video. It talked about whether happiness can be synthetic or not. The experiment conducted by Harvard university where two groups of students were asked to choose a picture. One group of students were allowed to change their selection after 4 days, but others couldn’t change their choice. Oddly, the group of students who couldn’t change their choice felt more happiness than the students who changed their picture. Many people would think that having a restricted choices (freedom) would make one less happier than the other. It didn’t make any sense to me at the first time because this experiment result might support an assertion that the slaves were the happiest person because they had no freedom.

However, after thinking about it for a period, I began to comprehend what the talker of the video was trying to lecture us. Personally, I have a lot of experience of regretting things that I changed, such as changing my mind from not buying a cloth to buying it, and it turns out that the better designed cloth is on sale on the next day. However, the speaker’s lecture was telling more than that. I interpreted as people who have less choices will feel more hapy because they won’t know the consequence of changing their choice. It could be similar with why children are pure-hearted. Since they don’t know much about the brutal side of the world since they are only exposed to fairy tales where justice always win. Because the students didn’t change their mind, they will think that their choice was the best choice they could made, whereas some fo the students who changed their minds were unhappy because they discovered that their first choice wasn’t better than their second choice, in other words, they started to make comparisons. The video taught me the ironical side of choices and happiness.

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Review on Emotion

In TOK class, I learned about how emotion takes part in our thoughts. I was very surprised by the speech in TED. Dan Gilbert claimed that rich people or poor people, they synthesize the happiness into the same extent. This meant that happiness is not dependant on the social status of people. I felt great confusion becuase I have been studying for years to become happy in the future.
In order to have better social status, I have been studying for years. However, if people can synthesize the same extent of happiness, why do we ahve to try so hard? From this confusion, I was able to think about the real meaning of happiness and real purpose of our life.
I also learned about ‘Love’. The video I watched during TOK class explained about the realation between brain and emotion. I read a book called ‘L’ultime secret’ by Bernadr Werber. The book was about two ‘detectives’ trying to find out the ‘ultimate secret’. The secret was the way to get the maximum happiness or thrill by stimulation the brain. The story begins with the man who died during sexual intercourse. The event seems very absurd, but the book explains the cause and facts about the brain, so that the death of the man can be possible. From this book and the lecture from Dan Gilbert led me to think about the potential of the brain.

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We watched the video about the surprising science of happiness. He gave me various ides to think about what is the real happiness, however, I don’t agree for some points that he said. Firstly, I have different idea about the choice between person who is winning the lottery and person who is becoming paraplegic. He told that the fact is that a year after lost the legs and winning the lotto are equally happy with their lives. I think the year before they become happy is important too. His opinion and the data put importance on the result but also its process is significant to decide happiness.

It applies to for Moreese Bickham who spent 37 years in the prison for a crime he didn’t commit and he said it was Glorious experience. Therefore, it can mean he was happy. I want to ask him again ‘are you really happy about your prison experience caused by false charge?’ Make and think that experience to valuable experience is the power of positive thought, which is Bickham, has. However, definitely, it can’t be called ‘happiness’. Happiness experience should be unchanged when compare to any experience. If the life that can spend out of the prison is given to him, I can’t sure that he will choose the prison life again, which was ‘glorious’ experience, to him.

I got many ideas and chances to think in different way from the video. Dan Gilbert gave many experiments that I can participate so I could think more concretely. As the happiness is abstract subject, I couldn’t say that is right and wrong exactly. However, this topic induces me to think widely. His comment which about our longings and our worries are both to some degree overblown, because we have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing when we choose experience was impressive and remind me.

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In “Spiders, snakes? Brain-damaged woman knows no fear”, Malcolm Ritter explains a research performed on a woman with a brain damage that destroyed her Amygdala, the brain’s “danger detector”. The woman in the experiment has been exposed to snakes, spiders, haunted houses and horror movies without showing any signs of fear. What she does remember is an incident from her childhood when a Pinscher scared her, which proves that, before the Amygdala was completely destroyed, she did experience fear. Therefore, we can make the conclusion that she does know what fear is.

We know that emotion is a way of knowing, and what I was thinking about is whether the woman could possibly have known what fear was if her brain damage would have occurred earlier in life, leaving her with no memories of being scared. Personally, I think that emotions are necessary for understanding how to react in different situations and to understand other’s feelings. I also believe that if she would have been borne with a dysfunctional Amygdala, she would not have known what it means to experience fear. On another occasion, the same woman was threatened by a man with a knife late at night. Instead of reacting by running away as most people would have, she confidently walked up to the man without feeling scared at all. She was lucky, and the man let her go without doing her any harm when she could as well have been killed. According to me, this tells us that emotions are necessary to understand danger and to avoid putting ourselves in life threatening situations.

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As said by the American Comic Strip Artist, Bill Watterson – “The secret to happiness is short-term, stupid self-interest!” Although phrased rather bluntly and somewhat cynically, I cannot help but to agree with this statement. To me, happiness is a temporary state; one day you can be very euphoric, the next, perhaps melancholic. Whilst the two are extreme cases of two completely contrasting emotions, it does show that happiness is, in fact a transient condition that one is in. There are a few of us that may declare to live by what Watterson said, at least not out loud, but I believe that it’s part of human nature to act out of self-interest. As such, I think that it is completely unfeasible to lead a one-hundred percent happy life, the idea, if anything, sounds ideal and hypothetical to me, simply because one will always experience different emotions in their life and can never be always happy.

I found Dr Dan Gilbert’s TED talk to be rather interesting, I cannot say that I agree all points that he said, but a few were surprising to me. A point that I found rather perplexing is when Dr Dan Gilbert gave his introductory pop quiz where he had data of the happiness of lottery winners and paraplegics, represented in a numeric form; it did not elaborate as to how the happiness was measured. Dr Gilbert, however, brought up an intriguing point when he mentioned that the reversible condition is not conducive to the synthesis of happiness. I find this, at times, true. When given a reversible choice, a vast majority of the people tend to fluctuate, and end up not being happy with either one of their choices, which reminds me of the idiom, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”

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The video we watched during our TOK class talked about how happiness is easy to find as it is a psychological state: you are content as long as you believe you can be. The video also said that you don’t need to be famous to find happiness, as it is always inside you.
Personally, I disagree with this theory. I think that humans were ‘programmed’ to be constantly unsatisfied and miserable, always wanting something more than they already have, concealing their greed behind a fake mask of positiveness. Furthermore, I believe that happiness is not a permanent state, but is rather ephemeral. We all have brief moments of joy, where we believe nothing could go wrong, believe our euphoria to last forever, only finding it to be gone the day after. Small things can make us happy such as a small present, a conversation, and sometimes even a text message, but more disappointments await us right behind the corner. Yes, small moments of happiness do exist, but a happy life as a whole is truly impossible. Many people claim to be happy, but they will soon discover that it is nothing but a momentary state, ready to fade away in no time.

This brings us to the topic of love, also explored during TOK. I believe that true love, as described in fairy tales, does not exist. Additionally, it has been scientifically proven that love does not last for more than two years, after that the two people just remain bonded or do not want to leave each other for various reasons. It is truly impossible to remain in love with one person forever, the state of being in love is not a permanent one and like happiness, it is always ready to rapidly diminish and bring us more sorrow.

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The videos we watched in class, especially the one dealing with Happiness, really enlightened me. The video was about the difference between Happiness and Synthetic Happiness, and how happiness changes with the circumstance the person is in. I remember clearly from the video the experiment carried out in Harvard. Two groups of students that took photography class were asked to choose whether they would like to be able to choose between a course which allows them to take two photographs but only choose one in the end without the option of changing their mind, or the other course which allows them to take two photographs and be able to choose one photograph with the opportunity to change their mind about the photograph chosen until 4 days afterwards. Statistics show that the students who did not have a choice in changing their photograph were all generally much happier with their photograph compared to the other group of students who did have the opportunity to change their mind. This may seem unreasonable, as we think that people without choices are the ones who would be the least happy. However, this experiment shows the exact opposite result.

At first I found this hard to comprehend, but as I thought about it more, it made sense to me. People who are stuck with one option can only learn to adapt and be happy with what they have, but as soon as people have the ability to choose and make decisions, they will start to make comparisons, and when the chance to change is over, they will keep thinking that the other option is better. This actually happens to me almost once a week. My family goes out for lunch every Sunday, and there are a lot of options to dine in Suzhou, so as a result we would argue for quite a while, and end up at a restaurant that we all seemingly don’t like. However during weekdays when my dad and I enter the dining room to find a table of take out food from a small diner nearby that my mom brought back, we would feel happy about the food, and enjoy our meal. This is because we didn’t have a choice of food, and therefore our mind immediately settles for what we have, which in turn makes us happier.

This is a very weird concept to understand, we always learned in history that the happiest men are those who have choices and are free, but is this really true? Would every man in North Korea be any less happier every man in Japan?

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Emotion as a ways of knowing

Ways of knowing help assimilation and shaping of knowledge. If these are the only conditions requires to be one of ways of knowing, I can say emotion is definitely included in ‘ways of knowing’. There are six primary emotions that we all know – happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust. I thought about what would I do when a boar suddenly attack me on the street. I will not be able to speak out but feel surprise and fear. Hence, ‘Emotion’ is the first thing that we use for surprise condition or new knowledge. Emotion helps me to assimilate knowledge related to a boar.

‘Emotion’ makes people irrational sometimes. For example, emotion toward a lover makes you to seek merit and overlook lover’s faults, whereas emotion toward an enemy makes you to seek faults from he/she. As Helen fisher said, people still feel joy when they are eating a piece of chocolate cake even they know all the ingredients of it. My own interpretation of her talk is that people are aware of being irrational when they fall in love. ‘Love’ traps people in emotional bias and they all know that; but people still crave for love. They volunteer for it because of its great addiction. So the question is ‘should emotion excluded from ways of Knowing’. I might say yes because it shapes irrational knowledge. However I might also say no, because people are aware of emotional bias.

For me, ‘Emotion’ is too complicated to be explained. It can be WOK sometimes, but cannot be WOK sometimes.

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Does a wide range of choices affect our happiness? According to a TED talk because we are offered plenty of choices, we do not appreciate the option we already have. The professor carried out an experiment, which would shed light on how we realize happiness. A group was given two choices, the first being able to temporarily give a photo which can be switched at a later date. While the other choice forces the subject to pick a photo in a specific time frame and deal with the consequences. Although results proved that the group that picked the second choice ended happier than the first because they learn to care for it, love it. However, its not so much as taking time to care for it but rather having no time to care another option. Results prove choice one will lead to sadness because they feel unsatisfied with the photo they kept. Instead, the problem is time itself, by allowing a subject to take time to care for both pictures the amount of attention is equally shared. When a photo is yanked out of the equation, a gap is formed, which results in sadness. As we spend valuable time on caring for both photos we notice the desirable and the undesirables. These attributes cause an emotional tug-of-war which causes problems when one side is removed. One might consider multiple choices to be a crucial component in happiness. Without multiple choices one may argue that our thirst for innovation will overcome our happiness and cause boredom. Products are built obsolete, we tend to look towards the ocean of consumer goods. Basically one would say this fake happiness, this buyable happiness will only last so as long as our wallets can keep up.

During china week, when I went to luoyang to build a library. I was amazed at the children and the amount of choices hey have. Comparing our lives to theirs, we have much more in every aspect. Considering these details we should have a much happier life. However, in reality they benefit off the limited choices they have. We have plenty of choices in which problems arise from all the different choices. Their lives are much simpler compared to ours, for them amusement is around each corner. While for us we need to buy choices, which brings us happiness.


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2015 May TOK Essay Question Planning

Q1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Key Terms: Neutral question, 2 AOKs

Difficulty: Defining the term ‘Neutral question’- VAGUE

It will be important to first define the term ‘neutral question’. 

It is believed that all the questions are neutral questions. In other words, questions should be asked with options of answers. Thus, neutral questions exist!

AOK: Economics (Human Science) & Art / Literature

Economics and Arts are two subjects that are always neutral as it focuses on different individuals.

WOK: Emotion & Reason & Perspective & Language

I will consider writing essay on this question!

Q2. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key Terms: Knowledge, Passive Observation, Active Experiment

For this question, it will be also important to first define the key terms in the essay. As the question divides into two different ways; the two terms, passive observation and active experiment should be clearly defined and clarified to correctly evaluate the question.

Possible discussion,

AOK: Mathematics/ Science & Human Science &

WOK: Emotion & Reason & Language

This question is a interesting question to be explored, but I would not consider writing essay on this question. The question seems to require deep discussion in AOK I am not professional at.

Q3. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key TermsL Facts, Theories, Across disciplines, Groundwork of explanation

Recently, in physics, we are learning Astro physics. In Astro Physics, theories for our enormous solar system were explored through physics and chemistry. I realised that many things around humans are all related that can be said to be a one common question. It is not only Astro Physics that explores common groundwork of explanation, but also many other sciences and Literatures.

AOK: Science & Literature & Music

WOK: Perspective & Reason & Language

I would maybe consider this question with more understanding of the question and concepts.

Q4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.

Key Terms: Shared Knowledge, Personal Knowledge

AOK: Economics & Literature

WOK: Emotion & Reason

I believe in this question, the difficulty would be defining the influence. How would people know what is influenced, and what influenced something.

With more research, I might consider this question.

Q5. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key Terms: Instinctive judgements

For this question, personal bias would be used with instinctive judgements. Different individuals have different instinctive judgements.

I would need more research on this question if I would like to choose this one for the essay.

Q6. “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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TOK ~ Questions preview

Q1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Key term: Neutral question
Neutral questions exist. “If a question is not neutral, then it is not really a question, but rather a statement, or judgment, disguised as a question.”
However, why do we ask questions? Sometimes the question we ask is a rhetorical one. Therefore, such questions will be deemed as not neutral.

Two AOK I will choose are, Chemistry (Natural sciences) and Ethics while two WOK I will choose are Emotion and Language. Emotion and language are closely intertwined. The question we need to ask ourselves is to what extent can we ask questions without using any emotions.

Q2. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key Terms: Produce Knowledge, passive observation, active experiment

“It is usual to say that the two sources of experience are Observation and Experiment. When we merely note and record the phenomena which occur around us in the ordinary course of nature we are said to observe. When we change the course of nature by the intervention of our will and muscular powers, and thus produce unusual combinations and conditions of phenomena, we are said to experiment. [Sir John] Herschel has justly remarked that we might properly call these two modes of experience passive and active observation. In both cases we must certainly employ our senses to observe, and an experiment differs from a mere observation in the fact that we more or less influence the character of the events which we observe. Experiment is thus observation plus alteration of conditions.”

AOK: Chemistry (Natural sciences) and History
WOK: Emotion and Sense perception
Knowledge issue: To what extent do we produce or discover knowledge?

Q3. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key Terms: Facts, theories, explanation

I feel that we can link facts and theories across disciplines. This is because, everything coincides with one another. For example the theories used in physics can be applied in the construction of infrastructures. The questions I need to ask myself is “are there times whereby we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines?” If I do this question, one of my main concerns would be, what is my counter-claim?

AOK: Chemistry, Physics (Natural sciences) and Psychology (Human sciences) and ethics
WOK: Reason and sense perception

Q4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.

(I am looking at doing this question)

Key Terms: 2 ares of knowledge, shared knowledge and personal knowledge

Shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge for the better or for the worst. If we take a look at AOK such as Chemistry and mathematics, there are usually fixed answers to a question. For example, when we look up a factual question in Yahoo answers or Wikipedia, we generally get the same answer. There might be different ways to getting the answer but the answer obtained is generally the same. These subjects are generally logical and straightforward. However the question we need to ask ourselves is to what extent can we trust this source or knowledge? How do we know if this knowledge attained is the truth?

On the other hand, if we take a look at AOK such as ethics, or human sciences such as economics, we usually find that there are two ways to look at things. There will be different ways to solve a question and we will generally see different answers to a solution. Why is this so? This is because in such AOKs, many factors affect the final answer. The factors we need to take into account are emotion and reasoning. Such questions are generally not straightforward and people of different cultures, upbringing and experiences in life will form different opinions and their belief system will thus be different.

Personal knowledge is affected by upbringing and experiences in life. Experiences in life shape our personal knowledge. These experiences in life can be considered shared knowledge.

Knowledge question: How reliable is an expert when making a decision?

Q5. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

(I am looking at doing this question)

Key Terms: Ways of knowing, Instinctive judgements

How reliable is our gut instincts? Ways of knowing allows us to perceive the world. However, to what extent do we know weather or not our ways of knowing will lead us to the truth? There are times when our gut instincts can be measured but there are also times whereby gut instincts cannot be measured. Do we really have a sixth sense? One example that can be used is the collapse of the World Trade Centers. There have been reports that some people avoided the World Trade Centers on 9th /11 because they just felt something were wrong. In this case, only the sixth sense comes into play. There are no ways of knowing that can check on this ‘sixth sense’. However, the counter-claim for this could be looking at WOK, emotion.

Q6. “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?

Key Terms: Knowledge, meaning, purpose and personal lives

First of all, I feel that this question is on a personal level.
Everything in our lives requires knowledge to a certain extent. Without knowledge, we cannot co-exist. What would be a life without knowledge? I can explore this question with AOK, Chemistry (Natural sciences) and Economics (Human sciences) with WOK, emotion and reasoning. Throughout civilizations, we see a vast change in terms of knowledge attained. Without a thirst of knowledge, will we still be living in the same 21st century of today?

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Y13 Essays: Revised Deadline

The deadline for the Y13 TOK essays has been changed to Thursday, December 4th, in recognition that most Y13 courses will have assessments during the week of November 24th.

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Possible essay titles analysis

1) key terms: evaluate and neutral question

knowledge issue: (?)

WOK/AOK: psychology, maths (?), reason and language

problems: defining what we consider to be neutral

wouldn’t consider this: word limit


2) key terms: humankind, passive observation, active experiment, only 2 ways

knowledge issue: Can knowledge only be gained from these two ways?

WOK/AOK: science, reason

problems: not considering that there are potentially multiple ways to produce knowledge

would consider this: feel many opportunities to explore this


3) key terms: disciplines, common groundwork

knowledge issue (?)

WOK/AOK: science, reason

problems: defining a common explanation

wouldn’t consider this: word limit


4) key terms: discuss, shared knowledge, personal knowledge

knowledge issue: How does shared knowledge influence personal knowledge?

WOK/AOK: psychology, reason, emotion

problems: subjective, so difficult to measure and determine the influence it has

would consider it: can be explored


5) key terms: instinctive judgements

knowledge issue: how to WOKs relate and influence instinctive judgements?

WOK/AOK: reason, emotion, psychology

problems: not everyone has the same instinctive judgements

would consider it: interesting to research


6) key terms: meaning, personal and purpose

knowledge issue: How do we know our lives have meaning?

WOK/AOK: reason, emotion, psychology

problems: definition of meaning and purpose

wouldn’t consider this: hard to justify and define



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May 2015 TOK Essay Analysis

  1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

The most essential part that the essay will need to focus on is the definition for neutral question. As different individuals see things differently, can there be a question that is not bias? Therefore, the most knowledge question will be to what extend can our question be considered as neutral.

AOK: Science (where things need to be neutral) Art (Where it is impossible to be neutral) WOK: Reason and Emotion.

Potential problem: It will be a challenge to define the terms as it is too vague.

I will consider this question because once we are able to clarify the definition of neutral question, the essay will be much simpler.

  1. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

The key terms that will need to be clarify are “passive observation” and “active experiment”. It will be helpful to first identify what each of them means. Focusing on how we produce knowledge.

AOK/ WOK: Music (sense perception)/ Human Science (Reasons)

Potential problem: it does not seem that realistic to always separate the two.

I will not consider this topic because it is far too complicated and it will be hard to make it clear.

  1. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

The key terms here are facts theories and common ground of explanations.

KQ: To what extent can facts and theories link across disciplines and still be valid.

AOK/WOK: Geography (Reason),

Potential difficulties: Even though the question seems easier than the previous two, it is too broad and may be hard to explain precisely in a TOK essay.

I might choose this question because it is slightly more straightforward. However, it may also be misleading if not careful enough.

  1. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.

The key terms that will need to be aware of are shared knowledge and shape personal knowledge

AOK /WOK: Physic (reason), Literature (Language)

Potential difficulties: Hard to decide which AOK will work the best.

I will choose this as it is more direct than the previous questions.

  1. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key terms: ways of knowing, our instinctive judgment

AOK: /WOK: Business and Management (ALL) Science (ALL)

KQ: to what extend does ways of knowing influence our judgments

Potential difficulties: Too general, and require lots of research.

I will not consider this question as this is too broad.

  1. “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?

Key terms: knowledge meaning, purpose and personal lives.

AOK/WOK: Literature (Emotion) Religion (Sense perception)

KQ: To what extent can knowledge accurately provide meaning and purpose to our lives?

Potential difficulties: Each person has different view of knowledge and how useful it is.

I might consider this question. But I should be aware of how analyzing it carefully.

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Essay Titles

1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Key terms: Neutral and evaluate.

Key knowledge question: To what extent is a neutral question acceptable in questioning and judging?

AOKs and WOKs: Psychology (Loftus and Palmer, Changing keywords have effect on answer outcome), Mathematics (Are math’s questions always neutral?) WOK: Language, Reason.

Potential problems: Defining Neutrality in context of questions.

Possibility as a question: Would Consider. Examples to develop essay.


2. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key terms: only 2 ways, humankind, produce knowledge, passive observation, active experiment.


Key knowledge question: To what extent does knowledge come externally or internally of a person?


AOKs and WOKs: Mathematics (extent of knowledge that could be gained from equations and formulas) WOK: Reason.


Potential problems: Not acknowledging that there may be other ways to produce knowledge.


Possibility as a question: Not Consider. Observations and experiments are hard to compare in TOK context.


3. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key terms: link, facts, theories, disciplines, and common groundwork.


Key knowledge question: To what extent can different disciplines merge to generate a compatible explanation.


AOKs and WOKs: Sciences (These subjects greatly involve facts and theories)


Potential problems: The extent of a “common explanation”.


Possibility as a question: Not consider. Difficult to fabricate under 1500 words


4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.

Key terms: discuss, shared knowledge, shape, personal knowledge.


Key knowledge question: To what extent does shared knowledge affect personal knowledge?


AOKs and WOKs: Psychology, Sociology, Humanities. WOK: reason, emotion.


Potential problem: Since personal knowledge is subjective, how would we quantify and measure the effect shared knowledge has on personal.


Possibility as a question: Would Consider. Knowledge to the individual could be looked into.


5. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Key terms: instinctive judgments.


Key knowledge question: To what extent are judgments affected by personal experience?


AOKs and WOKs: Psychology, Politics. WOK: reason, emotion.


Potential problems: How are judgments quantified by different groups of people?


Possibility as a question: Would Consider. Judgment could be explored.


6. “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?

Key terms: meaning, purpose, personal.


Key knowledge question: To what extent are people’s personal lives meaningful?


AOKs and WOKs: Humanities. WOKs: Reason, emotion, sense perception.


Potential problems: As this is on personal, subjective points of view, how do we define meaning and purpose.


Possibility as a question: Not Consider. Too subjective to objectify.

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TOK Essay Questions considerations

  1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

I do agree with this question to some degree.

The key term is “neutral question” in this question. The main

The key knowledge question: To what extent can we produce a neutral question? (How does the ideal neutral question relate to WOK such as emotion and language?)

AOKs can be applied: Maths/ Science vs. Humanity/Literature

WOKs: emotion, language, reason

The potential problem about this question is that it’s hard to

Yes I would.

I think this question is interesting to explore.


  1. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

To some extent I do agree with the statement, but I think I disagree if I think more about it.

The key terms are “produce knowledge”, “passive observation” and “active experiment”.

The key knowledge question: Is knowledge limited to these two ways of producing knowledge? Or are there any other ways that can produce knowledge?

AOKs can be applied: Maths/ Science vs. Humanity/Literature

WOKs: Reason and sense perception (passive observation) are most important among the rest. Emotion and language can be discussed.

The potential problem is to find example that can substantiate the fact that the production of knowledge is not limited to these two factors.

Yes I would consider about it.

First of all I think this question is interesting to explore. Second of all, I think it is quite easy to find example that can support the statement.


  1. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

I do agree with this question to some degree. For example, Science and definitely combine with Art. However, it makes me wonder whether we can connect disciplines like Maths and Literature together?

The key terms are “across disciplines” and “ create a common groundwork of explanation”.

The key knowledge question:

AOKs can be applied: Chemistry and physics using Art

WOKs: emotion, language, reason

The potential problem

Maybe I will consider this question. First of all I think this question is interesting to explore.



  1. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.

The key terms are “two AOKS”, “shared knowledge” and “shape personal knowledge”.

The key knowledge question: To what extent are we affected by the shared knowledge? Are shared knowledge important to us?

AOKs can be applied: Maths/ Science/ Humanity (geography)/Literature

WOKs: emotion, language, reason

The potential problem about this question is that this question is a bit vague.

I don’t think I will consider this question. I am not really interested by this question.



  1. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

I don’t agree with the statement.

The key terms are “Ways of knowing” and “instinctive judgment”

The key knowledge question: To what extent are the ways of knowing stopping us from making judgments instinctively?

AOKs can be applied: Maths and Science (cannot be instinctive most of the time)

Literature on the other hand could be quite instinctive.

WOKs (all)

I would probably consider this question.


  1. “The whole point of knowledge is to produce both meaning and purpose in our personal lives.”

I do agree with this question to some degree.

The key terms are “meaning and purpose” and “personal lives”.

The key knowledge question: Does knowledge really need to have any meaning or purpose?

AOKs can be applied: Science ( produce meaning and purpose because it provides us physical comfort etc.)/ Literacy and Art on the surface level don’t have obvious purpose. However they could be enrichment of our mind. Etc.

WOKs: emotion, language, reason

The potential problem is this question is very abstract.

I would consider this question. However it’s quite vague and hard to argue.



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May 2015 Essay Titles

1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
Key terms: neutral question, evaluate, two areas of knowledge
Suitable AOKs/WOKs: Literature (Language) Mathematics (Reason)
Potential problems: What is a ‘neutral question’? Is it a question that does not add weight to any side? Or…
=> Maybe, since after the concept of ‘neutral question’ is well-defined, the rest of it would not be too complicated.

2. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Key terms: produce knowledge, passive observation, active experiment, to what extent
Suitable AOKs/WOKs: Natural Science (Biology) Music, sense perception, emotion and reasoning
Potential problems: What is the standard separating ‘passive observation’ and ‘active experiment’?
=> Maybe, since after I formulate an appropriate standard dividing those two, the rest won’t be too difficult.

3. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Key terms: facts, theories, across disciplines, create a common groundwork of explanation, to what extent
Suitable AOKs/WOKs: Religion, Art, Emotion
Potential problems: This question itself is hard to fully understand. Too many concepts to define.
=> No, since it must be very difficult to deal with that many concepts; too complicated.

4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.
Key terms: two areas of knowledge, discuss, shared knowledge, shape, personal knowledge
Suitable AOKs/WOKs: Literature and History
Potential problems: Some researches required for general background knowledge for the areas of knowledge. Or can I propose my personal case?
=> Maybe, if I could find some suitable background information to apply into this case.

5. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Key terms: Ways of knowing, a check, instinctive judgments, to what extent
Suitable AOKs/WOKs: Should I cover all of the WOKs?
Potential problems: Just like question 3, the question itself is hard to fully understand. Too many WOKs to discuss.
=> No, it’s just too broad.

6. “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?
Key terms: whole point of knowledge, produce, meaning and purpose, personal lives
Suitable AOKs/WOKs: Religion and Psychology, Emotion and Reason
Potential problems: Knowledge that produces meaning and purpose in someone’s life could be considered in a different perspective, since that ‘meaning and purpose’ in life depend on individuals.
=> No, my answer to this question would be over-personalized.

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May 2015 Essay Titles — At First Glance

1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

- The keyword here is ‘neutral question’, which means that the question is unbiased and does not take any of the sides of the issue.

- Knowledge Questions: How can we know when a question is neutral? What different variants of knowledge can be found within a neutral question? Is any knowledge lost due to the neutrality of the question?

- Possible AOKs: Mathematics. I feel that in Maths, all questions are or should be neutral. It would be interesting to explore whether that truly is the case, then the statement in the question would be contradicted.

English Literature. In my opinion, all questions in English Literature should be asked in a neutral manner as to be open to interpretation.

- Would I choose this question? Although this question seems rather interesting to explore, I feel that, by simply looking at the surface of it for this post, I was already brought to dead-ends. It seems to be that it is too broad, and will only lead into traps.

2. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

- The keywords here are ‘passive observation’ and ‘active experiment’. I would need to first state whether there are other ways of producing knowledge, and, if yes, thoroughly differentiate them from one another.

- Knowledge Questions: How can we determine the source of our knowledge? And where does that knowledge then come from? Which form of knowledge is more important — the knowledge gained from passive observation or active experiment?

- Possible AOKs:I feel that in the Sciences, especially Chemistry, certain forms of knowledge can only be gained through active experiments. This can also be looked at in the AOK of Mathematics, where it is one thing to learn the formula (passive observation) but it is another to know how to apply it (active experiment).

- Would I choose this question? This question does seem very demanding, and if I were to potentially choose it, it would require a lot of my time and thinking. I am caught in the middle, it’s a possible yes.

3. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

- The key terms are ‘facts’, ‘theories’, ‘link’, ‘common groundwork of explanation’. What I understand from this question is that I would need to investigate whether the facts and theories of different AOKs can overlap and link in order to better explain a question at hand.

- Knowledge Questions: To what extent can linking facts and theories across disciplines lead to more (or less) knowledge? How can we know when it is a good idea to link them?

- Possible AOKs: I could investigate how two completely different disciplines can overlap. This makes me think of an article I came across a while back where the mathematics behind the rhythm of Shakespeare’s works was explored.

- Would I choose this question? Possibly, yes. However, I would really need to focus on the actual links between the disciplines rather than only examples.

4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.

- The keywords are ‘shared knowledge’ and ‘personal knowledge’. However how SHARED knowledge shapes PERSONAL knowledge, not the other way around.

- Knowledge Questions: Which proportions of our knowledge is shared and which is personal? How can we best shape personal knowledge? How can we share personal knowledge so that it becomes shared? Can one gain personal knowledge from shared knowledge?

- Possible AOKs: Ethics and Literature.

- Would I choose this question? I don’t think I would because the concept of shared and personal knowledge within the AOKs confuses me a bit too much.

5. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

- The keywords in this question are ‘instinctive judgements’. The question is asking whether the WOKs (Reason, Emotion, Sense Perception and Language) are a ‘check’ or a justification of our intuition.

- Knowledge Questions: Are our instinctive judgements knowledge? Is anything that can be ‘checked’ with the WOKs directly classified as knowledge? Does this hinder or help us?

- Possible AOKs: I feel that English Literature would be the main one here. Our initial interpretation of a work could be arguably our ‘instinctive judgements’. Whether those are justified or not by the WOKs could be a possible way of exploring this question. I could then link it to real-life examples.

- Would I choose this question? This would probably not be my first choice, but could still potentially be in the first three.

6. “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?

- The keywords are ‘knowledge’, ‘produce’, ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’. It’s important to notice that the question specifies that the WHOLE point of knowledge is to produce meaning and purpose, hence there must be no other point (the other points of knowledge could be counter claims here).

- Knowledge Questions: How can we know the point of knowledge? Must knowledge have a point? People with mental illnesses such as depression, who believe their lives have no meaning and are purposeless (existential people as well), do they not have any knowledge then? (COUNTERPOINT)

- Possible AOKs: For somebody who will not pursue a scientific life yet still has to attend one IB Science subject, what is the point of that knowledge? The Sciences could be a possible AOKs, then again, this question is so broad and general, any would work.

- Would I choose this question? I actually prefer these types of abstract questions. However, I am just not sure the word limit will let me explore this question thoroughly.

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