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Powerpoint for my TOK class

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  1. 1. TOK<br />Introduction<br />
  2. 2. The main question in Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is…..<br />‘How do you know’?<br />
  3. 3. The course encourages you to…..<br />Think critically about subjects you’re studying<br />Ask good questions<br />Using language with care and precision<br />Support your ideas with evidence<br />Argue coherently and make sound judgments<br />
  4. 4. An overview of the main elements of TOK<br />
  5. 5. In small groups discuss the meaning of the following quotes<br />‘All men have opinions but few think’ George Berkeley 1685-1753<br />‘To know ones ignorance is the best part of knowledge’ Lao Tzu 565 BCE<br />‘It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions’ T.H.Huxley 1832-1895<br />‘A very popular error – having the courage of your convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon ones convictions’ Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900<br />
  6. 6. Introduction <br />We live in a strange and perplexing world. Despite the explosive growth of knowledge in recent decades, we are confronted by a bewildering array of contradictory beliefs. Consider the following….<br />
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  15. 15. Furthermore knowledge is not static but has a history and changes over time<br />
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  22. 22. Also when we consider ourselves from the perspective of the vast reaches of time and space further doubts arise<br />
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  25. 25. Common Sense<br />Some people believe knowledge to be common sense. Whilst common sense provides us with a coherent picture of the world it does have limitations<br />For example<br />Common sense consists of little more than vague and untested beliefs<br />Often based on prejudice, hearsay, blind appeals to authority<br />Also what seems like common sense becomes less and less obvious the closer you look at it<br />
  26. 26. Mental Maps<br />We all have what is called a mental map of reality which includes our ideas of what is true and what is false, what is reasonable and what is unreasonable, what is right and what is wrong etc. Although no one but a fool would tell you to rip up your mental map and abandon your everyday understanding of things, you should – at least occasionally – be willing to subject it to critical scrutiny.<br />
  27. 27. Activity<br />On your A4 paper provided<br />Draw your brain in the middle of the page<br />In the style of a mind map or spider diagram list 3 things under each section that help to form your mental map of the world you live in.<br />3 things you believe to be true<br />3 things your parents taught you to believe<br />3 things you think are morally wrong<br />3 things that you love about your country of origin?<br />Also answer these questions<br />What countries have you lived in?<br />What languages do you speak?<br />Favourite music?<br />Favourite book?<br />What do you think is the most important thing in life? Why?<br />Why do you think we and the rest of the universe exist?<br />
  28. 28. Pass round to other members of the group<br />Discuss<br />Rip up<br />
  29. 29. To illustrate the limitations of our common sense understanding of things let us make an analogy between our mental map and real geographical maps. Look at the world known as the Mercator Projector<br />Think of as many different ways as you can in which the world map shown is <br />Inaccurate<br />Based on arbitrary conventions<br />Culturally biased<br />
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  31. 31. Compare the Mercator Projection with another map known as the Hobo-Dyer Equal Area Projection<br />
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  33. 33. Disorientated, Confused<br />
  34. 34. The point of looking at maps is to realise that like the Mercator Projection our common sense mental maps may give us a distorted picture of reality. Our ideas and beliefs come from a variety of sources, such as our own experience, parents, friends, teachers, books and the media and since we don’t have time to check up on everything to make sure that it is true, there are likely to be all kinds of inaccuracies, half -truths and falsehoods woven into our mental maps.Furthermore, it can be difficult for us to think outside the customs and conventions with which we are familiar and see that there may be other ways of looking at things.Finally, there may be all kinds of cultural biases built into our picture of the world. If you ask an English person to name the greatest writer and scientist of all time they will probably say Shakespeare and Newton. If you ask the same question to an Italian, they are more likely to say Dante and Galileo.<br />
  35. 35. ‘The map is not the territory’What relevance do you think the slogan above has to do with our search for truth?<br />
  36. 36. The betrayal of images by Rene Magritte (1898-1967)What has this got to do with our discussion?<br />