TOK Task #11 – Art and Truth

All topics can portray a “truth”, even if they are not the same. The arts and sciences are inextricably linked, as science can sometimes explain the beauty of art, and art is often used to convey scientific “truths” to the common man. Truth is the conveyance of the honest tendencies and experience of the human condition – it is not simply what happened, but how events were perceived by humans, and what impact they had on those same individuals. Truth can still be depicted even if not through direct means, as ideas can be communicated through a variety of ways. Ultimately, the quality of a “truth” is measured by its ability to allow individuals to grasp and fully comprehend the extend of a historical occurrence, economic trend, scientific phenomena, mathematical reality, or emotional universality.

Artists carry a special responsibility to convey the truth, as the impact of their work gives them power. The truth expressed by the artist can defeat the lie, as ‘one word of truth outweighs the whole world’. Factually true statements can be found in a work of literature just as much as in science, but there is something unique to art. However, by trying to figure out the truth in art, humans may be diminishing it. There is a value of art which goes far beyond the passing on of ‘truth’.

Both the essays show that knowledge can be produced in different ways, but knowledge is most definitely produced in art. The arts and the sciences are reliant on each other as empirical information and comparatively subjective information must work hand in hand to produce knowledge. There may be previously established knowledge that exists, but knowledge established from art can build upon that. This means that there are multiple perspectives and approaches to each story, and there is not just one objective way of viewing something.

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