International baccalaureate tok essay_there can be no knowledge without emotion…until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours by felix dyrek
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International baccalaureate tok essay_there can be no knowledge without emotion…until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours by felix dyrek

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International baccalaureate tok essay_there can be no knowledge without emotion…until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours by felix dyrek International baccalaureate tok essay_there can be no knowledge without emotion…until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours by felix dyrek Document Transcript

  • Name: Felix Dyrek Candidate no.:001528-031 School no.:001528EXTERNAL ASSESSMENTTheory of Knowledge ESSAY TOPIC: “There can be no knowledge without emotion…. until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours” (adapted from Arnold Bennett). Discuss this vision of the relationship between knowledge and emotion. Candidate Name: Felix Dyrek Candidate Number: 001528-031 Session: May 2009 School Name: Kolegium Europejskie School Number: 001528 Word Count: 1258 1
  • Name: Felix Dyrek Candidate no.:001528-031 School no.:001528 There is a distinct relationship between knowledge and emotion. First of all, we haveto understand what knowledge is. The word knowledge has many different meanings. Forexample, we can study for a math test, and after we have understood the ways we have to useto solve the mathematical equations we have gained mathematical knowledge. We analyzedthe given information, accepted them to be true and retained them. The problem is that humans differ from each other. We have different interests and thepositive emotions one might feel while doing a task can occur to be negative emotions foranother human. While solving mathematical equations, one might be interested in learning theschemas. The person feels that the task he is doing does make sense and this is some kind ofinspiration to go on. The goal for this person is to understand the given information and retainit. On the other hand, a human who doesn’t like mathematical equations needs more timeto understand the information given. This human will not feel any positive emotions whiledoing the task. Other emotions, like anger or fear will destruct his sense of logical thinkingand perceiving of information. It is some kind of torture because he does know exactly that hehas to gain this knowledge in order not to be punished but he doesn’t understand the deepersense. He might be able to understand the information but he will have some mental distanceto it. He will not have the feeling that this knowledge he gained is his knowledge because hewas forced to gain it and it will not have any sense for his future life. That’s also a reason hemight forget the stored information after a short time. It is a fact that we are surrounded by information all the time. We do not even perceiveall the information. We just are aware of the information which seems to be useful to us. Inthis moment when we discover this information, we consciously or subconsciously see adeeper meaning in it. This deeper meaning or deeper sense we feel in this moment is the resultof an emotion that connects to the information. The information is analyzed and we gainknowledge, which we actually feel and understand. Emotions can be released through the evaluation of an object or a situation. Forinstance, many people who experienced very hard or brutal actions like soldiers during a warare diagnosed with mental disorders. Posttraumatic stress disorder is very common. We canlisten to the stories of the soldiers and we can try to imagine what happened, but we will neverbe able to actually understand what they felt. We know that it has been a cruel time for themand we can tell them how sorry we are that they had to go through this. However, we wouldlie if we would say that we know how they feel. The emotion you might feel is empathy, but 2
  • Name: Felix Dyrek Candidate no.:001528-031 School no.:001528this empathy can not explain to you how cruel the soldier’s experiences have been. It is just atheory in our own mind. Another example of linking knowledge with emotion is parachuting. Your friendmight tell you how great it was and that it has been one of the most intense feelings he felt inhis life, but you won’t be able to feel this if you are not going to do it as well. The knowledgeyou have in this moment is just a theory and you might get excited, but to actually understandit you will have to be in the same situation as your friend has been. Experiences have to beundergone, they cannot be known in the sense of real understanding. Without emotions such as curiosity we would not have discovered many things in thisworld. Curiosity is an emotion which stimulates us to gain knowledge. It is a fact that manyimportant discoveries which have been made were actually discovered by accident. Theresearch is the result of interest, which is also curiosity – an emotion. If we wouldn’t be ableto feel emotions as happiness, anger or curiosity, we wouldn’t have any motivation to explorethe world we live in. We would have no motivation to gain knowledge. Another proof for the correlation between knowledge and emotion is shown in theresearch of the psychologist Antonio Damasio. He had a patient named Elliot. Elliot’semotional center of the brain was damaged. A brain tumor destroyed parts of his brain. Afterbrain surgery, he was in a good psychological and physical condition. His intelligence wasassessed to be above average. He also had a good memory, perception and learning ability.But it appeared that he had totally lost the ability to make rational decisions. He wasn’t ableto allot his working time anymore; he transacted dubious business and lost all of his money.He divorced his wife and married another woman, but this marriage did not last long.1 Elliot wasn’t able to feel anymore. All of his decisions were irrational decisions,because he was not able to connect his thoughts and deeds with his sentiments anymore. Notonly had he lost his emotions, but also his measure of value. Obviously pure reason is notsufficient for decision-making. The case of Elliot proves that pure reason cannot fulfill ourlives. Without emotion we might be able to live, but we would not able to interpret situationswell and act instinctively. Humans who suffer from depression, and therefore have negative emotionsinfluencing them, can tell less details from their past than healthy ones. Also, they tend toforget recent occurrences. The information we are surrounded by is interpreted in a totallydifferent way by depressed beings. These humans feel sad most of the time and do not havethe strength to do something in their lives. They are not able to use the knowledge they have1 http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant%C3%B3nio_Dam%C3%A1sio#Elliot 3
  • Name: Felix Dyrek Candidate no.:001528-031 School no.:001528to the fullest because they are simply not able recall interpreted information. Around 30% ofdepressed humans complain about immoderate forgetfulness.2 Once again, the emotions ofhumans can completely affect how we attain and retain information surrounding us. An individual cannot acquire and understand knowledge unless they also comprehendits emotional significance, an implication that seems to strengthen the one attainingknowledge. This emotional significance is exactly what gives a person ambition to broadentheir knowledge. Even though this emotion triggers a person’s desire to search for thisknowledge, this emotion may also overwhelm the individual themselves. If someone is sopassionate about discovering knowledge, the emotion may create such enthusiasm for findingknowledge, but not much knowledge might be necessarily obtained. At some point, however,a great amount of discovery can be achieved, because the person stayed true to their emotionsand was patient enough. This is a reflection of all the scientists and other scholars throughouthistory who were emotionally attached to what they wanted to discover or learn; and at somepoint, they did and made a ground-breaking discovery. It could have been suggested by Arnold Bennett that knowledge does not genuinelybelong to someone until they allow themselves to be overcome by such passion, even thoughlogic and reason advises against this permission. When we dedicate all of our emotion inorder to gain knowledge that is important to us, we might lose other things in our life, and wemay also lose a part of ourselves; but what we gain when we become completely emotionallyattached is the fulfilling knowledge that evokes the emotion in us. Word Count: 1258References2 http://arbeitsblaetter.stangl-taller.at/GEHIRN/GehirnEmotion.shtml 4
  • Name: Felix Dyrek Candidate no.:001528-031 School no.:001528 1. “António Damásio.” Wikipedia. 08 February 2009.<http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant%C3%B3nio_Dam%C3%A1sio#Elliot> 2. “Gehirn, Gefühle und Emotionen.” Werner stangls Arbeitsblätter. 08 February 2009. <eitsblaetter.stangl-taller.at/GEHIRN/GehirnEmotion.shtml> 5