MAY TOK 2014 help

Topics: Scientific method, Science, Nature Pages: 7 (2265 words) Published: January 23, 2014
1. Ethical judgements limit the methods available in the production of knowledge in both the arts and the natural sciences. Discuss.
a. What areas of knowledge & ways of knowing should be investigated? The arts, the natural sciences, ethics

b. What’s the question getting at?
The question is asking about the way in which ethical judgements can impinge on the way we both create (rather than interpret) the arts and the natural sciences. Basically, it’s leading students on to an exploration of controversies within the arts and the natural sciences in terms of the subject matter they deal with.

c. What are the potential knowledge issues?
To what extent do ethical considerations constrain the way the arts are created? To what extent do ethical considerations limit natural science experimentation and research? For more ideas, check out section 10 of the Essay Guide.

d. What sort of real life situations can be drawn on?
We’re interested in examples of where artists and scientists have been hampered (or encouraged) by ethical judgements. There are many ready-made examples for the natural sciences. For the arts, it is perhaps not so straightforward, but there are still lots of examples of ethically questionable works of art. In terms of counterclaims, it is the arts that are better served by real life situations, with plenty of pieces produced in order to tackle (and produce) ethical judgements. But here, too, you should be able to find scientific knowledge that has been discovered in order to solve ethical problems. You’ll find more specific examples, in the last section of the Guide.

e. What are the difficulties and challenges of this question? The question is perhaps a little confusingly worded, but it is clear in terms of the areas of knowledge to be tackled. Including personal examples will be trickier in this question than finding outside examples.

2. “When the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems begin to resemble nails” (Abraham Maslow). How might this apply to ways of knowing, as tools, in the pursuit of knowledge?
a. What areas of knowledge & ways of knowing should be investigated? The question is a broad one, and allows students to focus on their own choice of WOKs. It also potentially allows students to bring in the AOKs as well – particularly natural/human sciences (the scientific method), history (the historical method), and the arts (creation of art).

b. What’s the question getting at?
The question asks students to consider the way in which WOKs are used to provide us with knowledge. The quote suggests that if we view WOKs in too narrow and homogenous a way, it could limit the amount and type of knowledge we are able to acquire. The question requires students to consider the nature of each way of knowing, and try to think a little more creatively about each one; in addition, students could also consider how the areas of knowledge can themselves act as ways of knowing – ie, in terms of the scientific or historical method, and in terms of art as a way of knowing rather than an area of knowledge. Given that this is a question for the 2008 curriculum, its focus are the four ways of knowing (emotion, language, reason, sense perception). A quick look at the new curriculum will provide new possibilities for this, and perhaps provide a key to approaching the question (considering the validity of faith, imagination, intuition, memory).

c. What are the potential knowledge issues?
Are the four ways of knowing the only means of acquiring knowledge? Do we acquire knowledge only through the ways of knowing, or can it be acquired via the areas of knowledge? For more ideas, check out section 10 of the Essay Guide..

d. What sort of real life situations can be drawn on?
Given how broad the question potentially is, there is a large range of real life situations that can be drawn on. You’ll find more specific examples, in the last section of the Guide.
e. What are the difficulties and...
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