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TOK Summative Blogpost #1

Every day, we add a little more to our basket of knowledge using the eight ways of knowing: perception, reason, emotion, language, memory, faith, and intuition. The knowledge we accumulate over the years lead us to truth “in accord with fact or reality, or faithfulness to a standard”, as defined by the TOK guide. Truth is based on reality but is also characterized by faith, suggesting that truth is somewhat malleable. By classifying different, I will compare and contrast different methods of knowing and how some are more advantageous when discerning truths.

 

For abstract creations, such as art, truths are individualized. Every individual fosters different faiths, imaginations, emotional capabilities, and language abilities, making their perception of art unique. In this sense, there is no absolute truth, but some ways of knowing are more beneficial for obtaining their individualized truth. A Harry Potter novel utilizes the medium of language, which we digest and compile with emotion and imagination to form our own truths about the novel. When dissecting art, these ways of knowing are more useful than perception, for example, in which everyone senses similar things.

 

For studies in nature, the truth is more objective: same theories should be accepted in a generation but also be changing. To elaborate, people have observed that when a feather and a brick drops, the feather always lands later than the brick for centuries. They used inductive reasoning, reaching the truth that lighter objects always fall slower. Come Galileo and his Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment that showed freefall time is independent of mass. He imagined a world without air resistance, which allowed him to make one step closer to the truth we accept today. We can perceive this truth directly through this vacuum chamber experiment. Clearly, emotion, sometimes leading to irrational judgements, would not have been as helpful as perception or reasoning in proposing scientific theories, neither would have been language, open to interpretation.

 

However, some may argue that all ways of knowing are equally likely to lead to truth. For example, the Bible states that God created Adam and Eve, while scientists say evolution created humans. Believers in creationism use faith, while believers of evolution use more reasoning from substantive evidence to reach their truth. Some may argue that both are correct and that all the ways of knowing lead an individualized but equal truth, hence relativism; they are right, only if we organize arguments into categories: science, in which incorporating faith into this field of study where objectivity is the goal is not efficient, and faith, which corroborates with imagination to engender a man-made belief. Notice both cases are supported by evidence. Thus, certain ways of knowing are more beneficial for forming ideas, depending on the context of which it is received.

 

In conclusion, there exists different methods of knowing, each with its separate advantages, and different truths. However, within one frame of reference, there should only exist one truth backed up by evidence and a corroboration of different ways of knowing.

 

works cited:

Heydorn, Wendy, et. al. Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma Course Guide. Cambridge University Press, 2020.

What do I know for sure, and how do I know it?

Hi, my name is Sunny. I’m a 16-year-old girl from Korea. I like music, bubble tea, and windy days

 

What I know for certain can be classified into 3 classes: true by definition, knowledge from experience, and self-awareness.

 

First, the definition of something will always be true, because it was made up by us humans. For example, I know for certain that one second is the “unperturbed ground-state hyperfine transition frequency of the Caesium 133 atom” (NPL). Even if the definition of it changes, one second will be one second – regardless of the value of it – because scientists defined it to be that way. It is also the case for me: I am 16 years old and from Korea because humans invented the idea of years and nations.

 

On the contrary, instead of being determined by us, knowledge from experience is the result of our interactions with the past and the outside world. For example, the sun, that has been rising for the past few millennia, will probably rise again tomorrow morning, but there also is a possibility, albeit minuscule, that it will not rise. The only thing I know is that the sun has the possibility of rising. Similarly, right now I know that I like music, bubble tea, and windy days, but I may not in one day, one year, or one decade. I only know that events have a possibility – some greater than others – of happening, but not for certain that they will happen.

 

Lastly, the last truth comes from inside. Some of these facts are true only to me. For example, seeing $40 in my wallet, some may say I am poor, and others rich. However, if I think I’m rich, the truth to me is that I am rich. It is a matter of perspective – my perspective. Self-awareness also questions physical existence: we may be brains in containers. If this is the case, how do I know I exist? To this, I borrow the words of Descartes, “Cogito, ergo sum”. Even if the physical is an illusion, the fact that I am currently thinking is irrefutable.

Blogpost 4

My final product:

front view

top view

This is how the boat works in water:

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The power generated from the solar panel gets transferred to the motors. Because there are two circuits and two different motors, the power from the batteries are evenly shared, and it allows me to change the direction of one motor without affecting the other. The power from the motor then is used to spin the wooden axes that are connected to the propeller. The propellers act like paddles, going against the water’s resistance, making the boat go forward.

I was successful in making the final product move. The boat didn’t sink and stayed afloat. The motors worked in the right direction and powered the propellers well. I was successful at connecting the motors to the solar panel. Besides building the boat, I was successful at fixing the wires of the light that snapped in two and making the light turn on again.

What I could have improved on more are the propellers. First, the propellers were uneven and kept on hitting the side of the cans. Because they kept hitting the sides of the cans, I had to cut them. However, this made it so that the area that pushed the water lessened. When I stuck the propellers onto the bottle cap, I should have seen the direction of the propellers. Also, the motors were uneven and irregular. Sometimes, one would work fine while the other one turned very slowly. Other times, the other one would turn fast while the one turned slowly. Besides this, I wish I had a bigger tank to test my boat out.

This product is eco-friendly because it uses recycled bottles and cans. This product uses also solar energy. The fact that this uses solar power may affect the conumer because strong sunlight is needed to power this product.

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