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.
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 chart– we will take some time in class do this with a partner and discuss
*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?
_____Which ways of knowing (sense perception, language, emotion, and reasoning) are most relevant to each of the 3 categories – try to provide a specific example.
_____In which category would you place the statement “I’ve heard about that” and why?
_____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.
_____Choose 3 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.
i. The 3 kinds of knowledge are stored differently in the brain. Remember how Mr. Wearing could still play the piano?
_____Curate something on one of the following types of memory or at least find out what they all are:
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.
Pg. 98-100: Voodoo Activity
j. We will discuss the questions in class in groups, but
_____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
k. 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)
“A Physicist’s Guide to the existence of Santa Claus“
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?
Pg. 105-6: Kinds of Claims
After reading about rational, observational, metaphysical, and value judgments, we will play the partner game on pg. 106
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.
Pg. 110-111: Intensity of Belief
_____Draw or diagram something that represents the relationship between belief, truth, knowledge, and justification.
Pg. 112-113- Pseudoarchaeology
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.