TOK Essay

Topics: Gregor Mendel, Pythagorean theorem, Genetics Pages: 4 (1084 words) Published: February 26, 2014


“We see and understand things not as they are but as we are.” Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing.

Although human DNA is 99.9% the same, every person is unique in his own way. Our identity, which consists of our values and beliefs, can sometimes alter our take on the reality that surrounds us, for it is the lens through which we evaluate the world. Given that the word “see” in the prompt stands for sense perception and “understand” stands for interpretation and meaning, our identity, which consists of our biological personality, social class, upbringing, and life experiences, shapes much of the reality that we hold to be true. This can be seen in our use of rationality and sense perception as ways of knowing.

Politics are an example of the way in which one’s identity shapes one’s reasoning process. Individuals’ political views are based upon their identity, which consists of their social class, the values that their parents have instilled in them, and their morals and empathy for those who political decisions will impact. For example, the vast majority of the students in my school in France, most of whom are quite wealthy, have adopted their parents’ conservative views. In addition, because they tend to associate themselves with people of their own social classes, they are less able to truly understand the struggles faced by people of lower classes. Rather, they empathize with the wealthy, who, like them, naturally oppose French President Francois Hollande’s substantially increased income taxes. However, my political persuasion differs from theirs because my identity is different. My middle class parents instilled liberal values in me and I am not as financially well off as most of my peers, yet the predominant rationale for my political beliefs is my life experience. I regularly play football in the park near me, mostly with the children of North African immigrants who live in HLM’s, low-income housing buildings that...

Bibliography: Hall, Mandy. Johann Gregor Mendel. Muskingum University, Dec. 1999. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. .
Morris, Stephanie J. "The Pythagorean Theorem." The Pythagorean Theorem. The University of Georgia Department of Mathematics Education, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.
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