WOK Review

Today in TOK class, we summarised what we learned about the Ways of Knowing. We mainly discussed how since each WOK has flaws and is imperfect. How do we continue to obtain knowledge. And today in class we were introduced to Plato’s criteria in how to define knowledge. He classified that knowledge had to meet three requirements. It had to be justified, it had to be true and it had to be believed by the majority of people.

I do feel like the truth element of knowledge is somewhat questionable. As I think that what we view as truth is only the capability that we can find out about what really is “true” in our own judgement. For example in natural sciences, we only see things as the “truth” through correlations on one factor and the other and looking at an overall trend. This is the extent that we can call the truth. However we can assume that this is only a side effect to the real “truth” and that there are hidden factors that we are unable to answer based on our limitations as a species in terms of technologically, or comprehensibility. So I do feel like when it terms of knowledge, I believe that faith has a bigger part then whether the actual piece of knowledge is the “truth”. As I think that as a social species, we tend to believe and to follow other people and by powerful figures and credible sources, we believe that the information we receive is the truth. Where I think that it is mainly from what we believe.

The most meaningful WOK that I think we should keep is faith. As I think that in our TOK classes, we really had a very in depth discussion of how we think that faith is needed in any knowledge claim or any fact that we study. Especially with how even there is scientific evidence that back up claims and theories, it is important that the receiver/ society have faith in the evidence that backs up theories, informations that we know today. As I made an example before, in mathematics we are taught basic operations and from then on we had faith that 2 + 2 = 4 based on the information we had from our technological and logical capabilities. Even though when there are physical things representing this equation, it could be further from the truth and we only believe that this is solid information.

I think that if we poke too many holes in Ways of Knowing however different AOK’s have different requirements, I think that there is no definite answer as in which WOK is applied to which AOK, and as humans we are not comfortable with the unknown and the fact that we think that these WOK’s are the only way we can receive information and knowledge. It is scary for us to think that all the ways that we know how to perceive information has many different flaws. I think that in general, intuition and reasoning (the two ways of knowing we were taught) help us to judge these decisions that we may not be aware of. For example, we use reasoning, imagination and memory to receive information from maths. This is because maths is conceptual and abstract which requires imagination to grasp a better understanding by relating and linking ideas, memory and reasoning as maths requires logic. Whereas the AOK of natural sciences may require a different set of skills from a completely different set of WOK. So I think that by using logic from the WOK of intuition and reasoning, we judge which AOK is to be used.


I think after this lesson, I acknowledge there is a capital T truth and a smaller t truth after these several TOK lessons. However I do find it difficult to distinguish between the two “truths”. As I believe that capital T truth may refer to the actual truth and information that we are able to perceive in general despite our limitations of the way we know things and the technological tools that we attempt to see the truth. And with the smaller capital t truth being referred to how we as a species refer to it as the truth which may not be the case at all beyond or within our World. For example, in Natural Sciences we may think that a causation is linked with a correlation which produces an effect. However this can be counter-claimed as we only use patterns, experiments and attempt to control factors that may be out of our capability. So I think that in general it is very hard to distinguish the two truths as we have limitations as a species and we also have technological limitations that may hinder us from seeing the capital T truth. But I do acknowledge that there are two truths.


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