Nicholas Man

November 20, 2017

Production and Acquisition of Knowledge in Art

Filed under: TOK — 053601 @ 12:04 pm

The photo below shows what I believe to be the process of acquisition of knowledge in the arts. When shown a piece of art, the first thing that happens is we perceive it. After sense perception, it invokes imagination (in The Persistence of Memory, wondering what the different abstract shapes represent) and emotion, or both. Using reason, we process imagination and emotion in order to conclude what is happening in the work of art, what it means, and what it means to us. This gives us knowledge from the piece of art.

 

September 20, 2017

Memory

Filed under: TOK — 053601 @ 2:57 pm

Memory is what the mind remembers from the past; information that the mind retains.

Memory is what the mind remembers from the past. This happens unintentionally, and begins with an event or a stimulus. We (as humans, or as animals) perceive this event with our senses, and use the information our senses give us to understand what happened. This understanding is stored in our minds and is often lost over time, but can be obtained again or planted.

Memory is what the mind remembers unintentionally from the past and begins with an event or a stimulus. We perceive this event with our senses, and use this information to understand what happened. This understanding is stored in our minds and is often lost over time, but can be obtained again or planted. They are most memorable when visual.

Memory is what the mind remembers unintentionally from the past and begins with an event or a stimulus. We perceive this event with our senses, and use this information to understand what happened. This understanding is stored in our minds and is often lost over time, but can be obtained again or planted. They are most memorable when visual. Memories are formed by making connections between proteins, and these connections remain forever.

September 6, 2017

Reason

Filed under: TOK — 053601 @ 9:04 pm

In your own words, explain the difference between deductive and inductive logic.

Inductive logic reaches a general conclusion based on a series of observations (recognising patterns), whereas deductive logic uses a set of known premises to reach its conclusion (using facts to create more facts). Inductive logic is inherently uncertain, since its conclusion relies on perfect continuity and reliability, neither of which exist in the real world. Deductive logic, on the other hand, can be perfectly certain and reliable. For example, if we know for a fact that all corgis are dogs, and all dogs are animals, then we know that all corgis are animals. Deductive conclusions can still, however, be incorrect, if the premises are uncertain or the reasoning is done incorrectly.
What are the problems with each of these kinds of logic and what we can do to overcome some of these problems?

A popular example of inductive logic notes that since all the swans we’ve seen are white, we may conclude that all swans are white. This is not, however, necessarily true, and it can never be proven without some level of doubt. All inductive claims can be disproven (e.g. finding a black swan), but they cannot be completely proven.

The fault in deductive logic arises when the premises are uncertain (as they usually are in the real world). An example may be claiming that since all men are mortal, and John is a man, then John is mortal. Although the reasoning is perfectly sound, we do not know that all men are mortal (since this is an inductive claim: all men we’ve seen are mortal, not necessarily all men), and so we cannot know with certainty that John is mortal. Not all premises, however, are uncertain. The broadest set of premises that comes to mind are those found in math: since we, as humans, invented math, there is no way it can be false.

August 28, 2017

Sense Perception

Filed under: TOK,Uncategorized — 053601 @ 12:47 pm

I agree more strongly with perceptual relativism (the idea that there is no way to understand the world objectively) as opposed to perceptual realism (the idea that our senses generally give us correct knowledge of the world). This is because our view of the world is inherently subjective; everything we experience is unique to us and cannot be completely shared with anyone else. Perceptual relativism makes more sense as there is, by definition, no way to differentiate between illusions and reality. Everything has the possibility of being an illusion, and it is impossible to know, with certainty, that anything is not.

When we dream, we cannot know for certain that we are dreaming; although it is certainly different from the life we know and understand, we can only have any reason to believe it a dream when we wake up. Likewise, there is no way to know for certain whether or not the world as we know it is not an illusion.

August 16, 2017

Knowledge Claims/Questions

Filed under: TOK — 053601 @ 3:51 pm

1st order knowledge claims:

  • Literature is the most essential part of any culture
  • Adam Smith is the founding father of modern economics

1st order knowledge questions:

  • Is literature the only important aspect of culture?
  • Is it possible to decide who founded economics?

2nd order knowledge claims:

  • Communication requires language
  • Opinions are as valid as facts
  • All things exist (i.e. existence does not require human invention)

2nd order knowledge questions:

  • In what ways can communication occur without language?
  • To what extent are opinions as valid as facts?
  • Is it possible for something to be real without physically existing?

August 10, 2017

Personal Knowledge and Shared Knowledge

Filed under: TOK,Uncategorized — Tags: — 053601 @ 5:51 pm

1. Explain the map metaphor.

A map is a simplified depiction of an area where the simplifications are based on the intended use of the map. No map will show everything you could know about an area, as it would be overwhelming and unclear. Instead, several maps of the same area can be made and used for different purposes: even though they depict the same place, an MTR map and a topographic map are distinct and provide different information. Neither map is inherently superior than the other. TOK functions similarly; anything can be studied in various ways, through the lens of various disciplines. An artist may look at the world quite differently from a scientist, and it is important to acknowledge that neither of their opinions are superior to the other, but that their perspectives can be applied in different ways and that we can learn more about the same thing thanks to this variety.

2. What is the difference between personal knowledge and shared knowledge?

Shared knowledge tends to be more lasting and more universally accepted, such as historical facts. Personal knowledge can be somewhat more subjective, and (naturally) differs from person to person, such as knowing how to cook. Shared knowledge is what a certain society knows and agrees upon, whereas personal knowledge is influenced by emotions, memories, religion, etc., and differs among individuals.

3. If you cannot explain something to someone else, you do not know it. Agree or disagree? Why/why not?

I agree that if you can explain something to someone else, then you do understand it, but I do not believe that being unable to explain something automatically implies the opposite. Explaining something is a great way to see how well you understand it, as it will be impossibly to fully explain without knowing about it yourself. I imagine, however, that there are cases where you can fully understand something, but be unable to explain it (you could be inarticulate, they could lack knowledge on the subject to fully understand, etc.).

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