Precepts to use in everyday life

1. Think for yourself, 2. Be yourself, 3. Speak up, 4. Feel free to agree and disagree, 5. Be honest with yourself and others, 6. Be open-minded, 7. Avoid being judgmental and 8. Question everything - even your own thinking.

TOK Essay Titles May 2015

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knowledge Issues - Examples

KIs in a TOK Presentation

Following on from the last post, here’s a worked example using the framework for KIs in preparation for a TOK Presentation:

Real Life Example: 'Which kids join gangs? A genetic explanation.'

Problem: This article is about scientific explanations of human behaviour/nature and nurture.

Knowledge Problem (Facts): What is the truth about children’s behaviour in their peer groups? This question uses one of the 5Ws.

Knowledge Issue (Closed question in context): “Is the survey data very reliable?” This question is ‘in context’ in that it is focused on the details of the article and requires a ‘yes/no’ answer.

Knowledge Issue (Open question in context): I’d like to transform the previous question in this way: “In what ways can the statistics about children’s behaviour be verified?” This question induces further discussion and also asks you to research beyond the article itself while remaining rooted in the details of the article.

Knowledge Issue (Generalised Open Question): "To what extent are the explanations of science liable to bias?" " How certain are scientific explanations of human behaviour?" These are now fully fledged ‘strong’ KIs ready to be explored in the Presentation.

KIs in a TOK Essay

Here’s a worked example using the framework for KIs in preparation for a TOK Essay:

Essay question: “Can a machine know?” (Question 9 from the Prescribed Essay list 2006-7) (You might like to look at the Blog entries on Consciousness at the same time.)

Problem: This question is about whether machines with Artificial Intelligence have consciousness or minds.

Knowledge Problem (Facts): Which WoKs does a machine use to acquire knowledge? A 5Ws-type question.

Knowledge Issue (Closed question in context): “Do machines only know what they are programmed to know?” This question is ‘in context’ in that it is focused on the details of the question and requires a ‘yes/no’ answer.

Knowledge Issue (Open question in context): I’d like to transform the previous question in this way: “How can we know (ie. verify) that machines actually know something?” This question induces further discussion and also asks you to research beyond the question itself while remaining rooted in the details of the question.

Knowledge Issue (Generalised Open Question): "How far is it true to say that machines and humans know in the same way?" "To what extent is knowledge or knowing limited to organic life forms?" These are now fully fledged ‘strong’ Kis ready to be explored in the Essay.

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