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Consider the following claim:
I don’t agree with the claim above, what I believe is that art is full of knowledge, not pure entertainment. According to the article ‘Can knowledge be found in works of art’ by Jessica Herrington and the speech ‘The true purpose of art’ by pianist Aurelia Shimkus, the message that both of them want to deliver is that art gives us a lot of knowledge, but the knowledge it gives us is different than the one science gives us, it is conceptual. The knowledge that science gives us is direct, it is fact or something that can be tested. However, what we learn from art, is emotional knowledge. It is something that connected with our souls, according to Aurelia Shimkus, the goal of art is not to entertain us, the goal of artists is to show the way to another world, which helps us to purify and regenerate our souls, as well as experience catharsis. She used an example of a piece of abstract music, which most people don’t understand, which proves the purpose of art is not to entertain us, because we can’t get amused by that music, we have to deeply understand the knowledge of that music and know the emotion as well as the message behind it. Jessica Herrington gives a lot of examples of knowledge in the art. For example, she uses Ai Weiwei’s work to explain the moral knowledge we can get in art. Moral knowledge is conveyed by looking at his work, we can have the sense to know about corruption and human right.
One counter-argument could be some people think of art as entertainment. If one looks at a piece of artwork, they might feel released and purified in his heart from that because he is pushed too much and stressed from daily life. In that way, people can claim that art provides them with happiness and reduce their pressure. Some people don’t want to put time and effort into art, so they won’t understand art fully, then it is hard for them to understand the knowledge in art. Meanwhile, they can appreciate the beauty and aesthetic part of art.
Reading about pseudoscience
Video and the demarcation problem
Sample TOK writing (NOT what I expect from your blog post–just an example of TOK writing)
It is unsurprising when we hear that experts in Art can’t always agree what ‘is’ and ‘is not’ Art. We might say that the distinction between what ‘is’, and what ‘is not’ art, is not always clear.
Similar to the problem of defining art, the distinction between science and pseudoscience is equally unclear.
Evaluate this claim.
Notice that the question of whether or not there is a clear distinction between science and pseudoscience is a knowledge question. In answering it, be sure to explore arguments and counter arguments. At the end of your response, attempt to demonstrate why the answer matters in real life.
Find a Real Life Situation (RLS) and…
Articulate the ‘real life level’ claim(s) being made
Explain what makes your TOK radar go off (2nd order)
Articulate a relevant KQ
Explain why answering the KQ is relevant to the RLS
Provide an example of another RLS that the KQ can apply to
Review Occam’s Razor: HERE (mandatory)
Reading from Chapter: HERE (mandatory)
Suggested reading: HERE (optional)
How can scientists decide between competing hypotheses?
Develop your response with specific examples and counter arguments.
In terms of counter-arguments here, you are not likely going to present ‘yes vs. no’ arguments, but are more likely to demonstrate how one or more of the possible criteria for choosing between hypotheses are not completely satisfactory or at least problematic.
Scientists decide between competing hypotheses through the way of Occam’s Razor, which is a problem-solving principle that if there are two possible ways to explain some phenomenon, one assumes the existence of many things and the other assumes the existence of a few things, as long as both of the hypothesis have the equal assumption, we should believe the fewer things hypothesis more. The example that is used in the THUNK video is a sequence of genetic code, we tend to believe the easier one. According to maximum parsimony, which is a good theory there are good statistical justifications for using Occam’s Razor, if you have to make fewer assumptions to achieve the same explanatory power with a theory, then you are less likely to make an error, so it’s less likely to get the wrong conclusion. However, by using Occam’s Razor, there is the possibility to get a totally wrong conclusion. Using the genetic code as the example again, two totally unrelated species will happen to get the same nucleotide in their DNA. That is why scientists need to use a few cross-references to verify their hypothesis.
Read each of these two articles and articulate 3-4 explicit and implicit claims for each of them:
Knowledge in the arts is clearly story-like, whereas knowledge in natural science is clearly map-like.
Evaluate this claim with reference to arguments, examples and counter-arguments.
What story-like knowledge means is tales, parables, or epics, while map-like knowledge is formulas, equations, everything that can be proved. I would like to agree with this argument if saying art is more story-like and natural science is more map-like instead of clear story-like or map-like. Some reasonings to support this claim still can be made. Art is the way to express our emotions, it is our own understanding and experience of everything, which is personal knowledge. As story-like knowledge requires more personal knowledge, which each individual has different experience so that they all have different views on the same thing. For example, by looking at the same masterwork “Mona Lisa”, various meanings of her face can be understood by different people. Some people might say there is a serene expression on her face, which represents peace and calm. Other people might say her smile is a smirk. However, there is common knowledge in art. The seven basic art elements are commonly known by all artists, they are line, color, shape, form, value, space and texture. All of these are used in artwork, so this can’t be story-like knowledge, then art is somehow map-like.
Link 1–main points about map-like and story-like knowledge
Link 2–examiner notes on an essay topic of a similar theme.
“Do the problems of language always limit the production of knowledge?”
I agree with language always limit the production of knowledge. Limit means there are some restrictions of understanding the meanings, it is not possible to only use language to understand all the things and expand some certain knowledge. Some of the problems could be, for example, different languages can cause ambiguity in the definition of objects and things. Sometimes there are words in some language to describe something, while there are no words to describe that thing in some other languages. Saying Chinese and English, the word “available” is widely used in English, however, when I was learning about this word, I couldn’t find a Chinese word that matches the meaning. Instead, I have to use a sentence to explain it, which sometimes may cause ambiguity. Another example is language in different fields. Using a scientific language makes a huge difference in using an artistic language. We found out that using these two languages to describe exactly the same thing can give two different of perspective. We think more about science when using scientific language, while thinking more about feelings, shapes, and other things when using artistic language. This proves language limits the way that we think. That’s how language can always limit the production of knowledge.
The counter arguments could be those problems can be used in some positive ways. Still using Chinese and English as an example, some of the words cannot be translated directly from one to another, we can take the advantage of it to know about the other culture and the other way of describing something. That’s how the people from all over the world can still communicate, though there are a lot of languages existing in the world. We are trying to understand each other, for the better interpretation of the language. To add on, language is not the only way to communicate and get knowledge. Even if there are some limitations, it would not affect the communication all around the world.
In conclusion, the limitations of languages to obtain knowledge can be both negative and positive. There are some clear problems of the languages, which can lead to ambiguity and narrow thinking. However, the problems can be seen as a benefit for expanding the area of knowledge if we take it in another way, so that people can understand each other better.
The sciences are all about using reason to understand the world, there is no place for emotion in science.
As an art student, I have tried to use different ways to produce artworks, however, all the artworks have one thing in common: emotion. This lead to an argument: emotion is the most important thing in art. When creating a piece of artwork, the thing that first comes to my mind is emotion. Art is a form to express my own emotion, if artists don’t have emotion, then there would not be artwork, at least fine artwork. The reason why some artists are famous and even their works have already been kept for over a hundred years, is because we can tell the emotion behind those works, that might echo with the audiences’ own experience. Thus, we can say that for art, emotion is always put on the first place.
The counter-argument would be art not only requires emotion input but also needs techniques which can paint the emotion out correctly. If the artist only has emotion, but he doesn’t know any techniques about art, it is impossible for him to create a good artwork. By saying that, techniques in art is also very important, it can be prior than emotion. There is someone who is really good at painting, that his painting skills cannot be replaced by anyone. He can absolutely paint something without emotion, but with good techniques. People can still give compliments on it because of his extraordinary skills and people can still feel something about the art.
To balance out, the statement is not true. Emotion is not the only most important thing in art, techniques are one of the most important things in art, in order to express the emotion. Art is the way to express emotion with some certain techniques. Only with art skills, we are able to create art with emotion.
a) Outline the role of 1 WOK in 1 AOK in the production of knowledge.
Perception is the way of knowing for arts, which is one of the areas of knowing. Perception means the ability to the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. People interpret artworks with their five senses, we can see the artwork, and then we know about it. We can feel the mood and tone of the artwork from our senses, which cannot be sensed by the other ways of knowing.
c) Knowing that WOKs are double-edged swords: they are sources of knowledge and are also fallible, how do any disciplines (in the AOK you chose above) guard against the weaknesses of the WOK you chose?
Perception can be a double-sided because it is each person’s own feelings, which can not be judged by a standard. For example, when analysing a piece of artwork, what I do is to describe what I see and what the feeling of artwork give me. Sometimes it is hard to have empathy with that artwork because my personal experience is different from the artist’s experience. So that would mislead me to a wrong understanding of the artwork, like the usage of the colours might be totally different from my point of view. This has been a problem for years since I have started looking into different artworks. I have figured out that if I look deeper into the artists’ background and the situation when they were creating their artwork, it seems to be more likely to get a right message from the artworks.