Prescribed Title Essay

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with an opportunity to become engaged in thinking and reflection.

What are outlined below are strategies for deconstructing the TOK titles as they have been given.

Knowledge that arises from the sciences and the mastering of this knowledge is what is held as “valuable” today and has been held as valuable for the past two hundred years or so .

This “usefulness” is due to the fact that this “knowledge” “empowers” us in meeting our ends which, at bottom, are the controlling and commandeering of beings/things towards what is determined to be “useful” for us.

The world and its resources viewed as “disposable” to our ends is our “empowerment”, and the value of this “empowerment” is recognized by our communities through our “shared knowledge” in the construction of what our curriculums will be in our education and in the awarding of the variety of positions of power within our communities for those who have mastered those curriculums or those who have gained the theoretical and practical knowledge that is to be found through those curriculums or our “shared knowledge”.

In order for something to be considered “knowledge”, an account must be rendered of what that “something” is.Such a rendering of the account of things is shown, for example, in the algorithms which dominate our sciences and information technologies and communications in today’s world.This rendering of accounts through the principle of reason may be metaphorically compared to a fish and its surrounding by water: the fish is entirely unaware of the water which surrounds it but that water nevertheless sustains its life.In TOK, we call this account our WOKs or our ways of knowing.Our ways of knowing are our renderings of the accounts of things: the ‘what’, the ‘why’, and the ‘how’ of some thing.My experience has been that candidates whose examples match those to be found on TOK “help” sites (and this is of those TOK help sites) struggle to demonstrate a mastery of the knowledge claims and knowledge questions contained in the examples.The best essays carry a trace of a struggle that is the journey on the path to thinking.Remember to include sufficient TOK content in your essay.When you have completed your essay, ask yourself if it could have been written by someone who had not participated in the TOK course.The account of the knowledge of things held to be most “robust” or “useful” for us is that which is given through the mathematical in the form of algebraic calculation.This account of the knowledge of things is the “language as a way of knowing” that allows us to “measure” things whether through statistics (“how many people”) or through some other calculation that renders the “reasons” for things being as they are and allows us to make judgements about them (their ‘truth’).


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