IB Theory of Knowledge
Knowledge Issue: Truth and certainty cannot always be found in the senses.
Skill Set: Linking the areas of knowledge.
In theory of knowledge, students learn the areas of knowledge through the ways of knowing
which consist of emotion, logic, linguistics as well as sense perception. Sense perception is a way in
which students gain their knowledge through their senses. For instance, some people are visual learners
while others are auditory learners. Visual learners learn from using their sense of sight such as looking at
pictures, diagrams and charts. On the other hand, auditory learners learn by their sense of hearing, they
learn by listening to a lecture or a presentation. Either way, with the five senses, people can explore the
world and learn from them. However, something can always go wrong. For instance, we have seen in
movies that in desserts when people are so thirsty, they imagine water, this image is called a mirage. So,
what happens when we see these imaginary images, are our eyes playing tricks on us? Well, it is not
really our eyes, but our brain. The body is telling the body that it desperately needs water, and the brain
makes you think, you have found water. Therefore, this indicates that your brain can sometimes lie to
you which in turns makes your senses unreliable.
An empiricist is considered to be someone who believes that people obtain their knowledge
from sense perception or empiricism. If I see, hear, taste, smell or feel something, it will become part of
my knowledge and experience. For example, if someone tells me that mint chocolate chip ice-cream is
good, I will not believe them until I taste the ice-cream myself. This trust in our senses comes from our
trust in ourselves. Like the example mentioned above, you have to try things for yourself, if someone
else tries something, you do not believe them as much as you believe...
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