TOK: Memory and Imagination

  1. Create a simple ‘cheat-sheet’ for both imagination and memory which captures:

  1. Despite the imperfections of imagination and memory as ways of knowing, the Areas of Knowledge have developed in such as way as to overcome them. Discuss this claim with reference to at least two AOKs.

The areas of knowledge avoid the imperfections of memory and imagination by utilising several ways of knowing in relation to these WOKs. All the holes that come with imagination and memory can be filled with other concepts. Using history as an example, people can use their imagination from past experiences in history to deduce what will happen in the future. These imaginations however, aren’t solid predictions unless there is reason behind them. If I imagine that because people used only rifles in WW1 that those weapons will be utilised in all future wars, that imagination isn’t backed up by reason, as technology will advance and people will learn to create new more effective weapons. Without reason predictions made by historical evidence simply through imagination is problematic, but because the AOK uses multiple methods in pursuit of knowledge the understandings are less imperfect. Another example can be through indigenous knowledge, much of indigenous knowledge is drawn from memory. As global interactions continue to develop many indigenous cultures are lost and the main form of retrieving them are from the memories of people who have practiced those cultures their whole life. This however is problematic because one can never know whether the memory of someone is the full truth, the mind is forgetful and people also have the ability to exaggerate or undermine certain concepts. But through applying other ways of knowing like sense perception and reason, one can use these memories and ensure that they are factual. For example, say a member of a tribe explains to their descendants that a certain method of sewing clothes is how they did it in the past. One may not believe that, but if they can observe the pieces of clothing through their perception, than this statement is more valid than if it was simply drawn from memory.

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