Knowledge and the Search for Truth
A. Take a book you’ve read recently (could even be a text for one of your classes) and
___answer the 4 questions on this page.
a. Out of all the possible topics or ideas regarding knowledge, what have the authors selected to give you?
b. Out of those topics and ideas treated, what have they emphasized, and how?
c. What kind of language have they used, and what emotions or values do you identify in the word choice? What images accompany the text, and how are they selected and used?
d. What is the context in which the book was written – by whom, for what purpose…?
As you post to your blog, try to
___add specific words from the book to support your answer for #3, and perhaps at least
___1 example of a photograph, diagram, or drawing (you can even take a photo with your phone to post as evidence)
_____Read the green box from Yeshey of Bhutan (don’t step on a book!). _____Then read about and watch Thomas Pettit, a Danish philosopher, discuss the Gutenberg Parenthesis and his view of books (tear one up!).
_____Answer: What are your thoughts about the sanctity of books and how did you arrive to your decision?
_____Answer: Do books really “hold learning”?
_____Answer: How would you rate where you get knowledge – media (various), books, teachers, family, friends, celebrities, etc.? (draw a continuum or explain)
Pg. 91: Classifying Knowledge
_____Check out the 1- 20 list: we will take some time in class do this with table groups and discuss…we will also use the following PDF for additional knowledge statements:
_____Which ways of knowing (sense perception, language, emotion, reasoning, intuition, faith, memory, and imagination) are most relevant to each of these categories: Shared Knowledge, Personal Knowledge, Experiential Knowledge, Procedural Knowledge, Knowledge Claims (some overlap) – try to provide a specific example for as many as you like after we’ve done the others in the list.
___ * you may come up with other categories as well! #tokkrew11 from Mulgrave did a similar activity and they included “prediction” , “feeling”, and “ability” for example. Here are some pics:
*why do other languages have several different words for “to know”? What are the constraints of English?
Pg. 92-3: Types of Knowledge
_____Check out Mohammed Youssef’s explanation of the 5 Stages of Knowledge / Wisdom in Arabic.
_____Provide a real life example of each, as it applies to your life.
_____Make your own list of an experiential knowledge (“knowing through direct experience”) you have,
_____a procedural knowledge (skills; “knowing how”),
_____and a knowledge claim (“knowing that”- tied to language)
_____What type is the easiest to learn? What type tends to stick the longest?
_____READ THIS ARTICLE outlining the different theories of learning and how Twitter could be used for each.
_____Answer: Which theory do you think best applies to our IB program? Which theory do you find most helpful as a style of learning?
Below is a scene from Good Will Hunting that touches on experiential knowledge versus rational knowledge…beware…some adult language.
Pg. 94-7: IB DP Subject Activity
_____Check out the green chart about Language A and Lit.
_____Choose 1 other of your IB DP subjects (not Lang A) and also CAS…make a similar chart. Then brainstorm with your group (maybe they have the same subjects!)…we’ll do a little shifting around and move into different groups to share more ideas…after we can analyze to see if the subjects are balanced or not. WE WILL DO THIS IN CLASS
_____read the CAS experience of Emily on pg. 95 to understand how CAS is a certain kind of knowledge acquisition. Then click here for another real-life CAS experience video.
H. The 3 kinds of knowledge are stored differently in the brain. Remember how Mr. Clive Wearing could still play the piano?
_____Find out the differences between each of the types of memory. Then Curate something on one of the following types of memory OR draw an illustration symbolizing one or the differences between them (you can take a photo if you do a hand-drawing and post to blog):
Here’s a cool explanation of “earworms” by neurologist Oliver Sacks, and then his discussion of the Power of Music and the Power of Doing…that is, procedural memory.
_____check out the green section on pg.100 to see what other students responded to the question: “Does it matter of what we believe in is true?
Pg. 100-103: TESTS for Knowledge Claims
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the following tests for truth? Discuss the questions in each section with a partner and be prepared to sum it up for the class
I. Identify if these tests are commonly used in the IB DP subjects you are studying now.
_____Coherence – based on other claims you believe – (do they agree?)
_____Correspondence – must match the evidence – (go and check it out!)
_____Pragmatic – must be able to be applied effectively in practice (does it work?)
_____be sure to understand why, in TOK, we abandon the catch-all “true-for-me” relativism and think in terms of “true-for-all” (see pg. 103)
J. CHECK OUT:
K. Pg. 104-5: 3 Truths and a Lie game and 1-9 “Good Reasons for Belief” (in class)
_____What is the difference between being sincere and being right? What is the difference between making a false statement and lying?
L. In class Activity: Pg. 105-6: Kinds of Claims
_____ Truth tests #1-9. In class in groups we’ll discuss #1-9 claims and see what reasons (justifications) we can give for believing or not believing in them.
After reading about rational, observational, metaphysical, and value judgments, we will play the card game on pg. 106. Each table will get four cards and think of examples for each.
M. Pg. 108-9: Justification Types
After reading about reliable sources (experts and general consensus), memories, emotions, intuition, faith, and revelation,
_____describe what role these might play in the Areas of Knowledge (your subjects)…for example, how might emotion affect and artist or intuition affect a scientist?
_____Here’s an awesome TED TALK which discusses the intuitiveness of the arts and sciences.
N. Pg. 110-111: Intensity of Belief
_____Draw or diagram something that represents the relationship between belief, truth, knowledge, and justification. (we might do in class)
O. Pg. 114: Do I Believe?
_____After reading about the 3 “s’s”: SOURCE, STATEMENTS, and SELF, choose something you’ve learned recently and evaluate it based on these, using specific examples.