Tasnim Rahman002163-015May 2010
TOK ESSAY “We See and Understand Things Not As They Are But AsWe Are.” Discuss this claim in relation to at least two waysof knowing.
Each and every one of us are different from each other. We have our own way of thinking, own perception and our very own way of explaining and understanding things,to ourselves and the people around us. At the same time, there is the nature, andeverything around us that has its own way of being around us. We sustain by interactingwith our surroundings and over thousands of years of human evolution, the way weinteract with the nature or our surroundings has evolved too which is termed as‘civilization’ of human nature. Individuals interact with their surroundings or environment individually, that means the way I would perceive, observe and experienceeverything around me would not be same, but likely to be similar when it comes to, for example, understanding the exponential functions in Math or the reason why H2SO4 issuch a volatile and highly reactive chemical with reasoning. Because the reasoning of such issues are proven and universally true, although the way we understand it will bedifferent from one another, but we will all end up understanding and obtaining the sameknowledge. Rudolf Arnheim said “All perceiving is also thinking, all reason is alsointuition, and all observation is also invention.” The reason why we would consider whatArnheim said to be true and relate it to ourselves would be because when we experienceand undergo the acts of perceiving, reasoning and observing, the way we do it is personalto us and therefore is different. The fact that we carry out these acts differently is becausewe are individuals. Relating this individuality in ways of gaining knowledge or knowingin human beings to nature of nature itself, the issue that rises is that we are unable to gainequal knowledge because of the way we interact with our surroundings and in terms of that “some are more equal that others” [Animal Farm, George Orwell]. Just imagine howdifferent things would be if the entire human race lived the same lifestyle as the very first