TOK Essay 1/2012
When should we trust our senses to give us truth? Name:
Syaza Yasirah Bte Abu Bakar
The Ways of Knowing of sense is related to empirical observation. From empiricism we might get facts, knowledge and truth. In this case, when our senses are reliable, it is defined as trust. Truth can be determined based on the three theories of truth. Although none of them is entirely satisfactory, each of the theories seems to capture a fragment of the “truth about truth”. Pragmatic theory of truth states that a proposition is true if it is useful or works in practice by being direct, obvious and the most practical. Secondly, correspondence theory of truth presupposes that an idea is true if it corresponds with a fact or reality. Thirdly, coherence theory of truth states a proposition is true if it fits in with our overall set of beliefs. Senses allow us to perceive everything around us and it provides evidence to support our knowledge claims. However, our senses can fool us at times for example, in an optical illusion. The limitation of our senses is that it does not portray the truth but instead trick us into believing what we see is true. From this, the first knowledge issue that will be discussed in this essay is to what extent do our senses give us truth. The second knowledge issue that will be addressed will be in which areas of knowledge are we able to trust our senses and what are the limits of sensory information in these areas of knowledge. Senses are rather objective and we use all of our five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch) to give us truth or what we think is to be true. Senses are usually linked to perception but can we use our senses without perceiving things? We are able to gain knowledge or information from our surroundings based on what we sense followed by the electrical impulses that are sent to our brain. For example, when we hear a dog barking,...
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