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Ways of Knowing

Ways of Knowing

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Published by misterllanos

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: misterllanos on Jun 06, 2009
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06/15/2009

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Ways of Knowing The Ways of Knowing have been with most of you since birth.

Every day you use them without even thinking about them. They are so much a part of you and who you are that I doubt that you have ever really considered them or the vital role they play in your aquisition of knowledge. The TOK course defines the four ways of knowing as follows: Perception The senses, the way in which you see the world as it appears to you: sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste. Often taken for granted, until you lose them of course. Think about the amount of information that comes to you visually. Even the words you are reading now. Look around you, what do you see? Advertisements? Books? Posters? Magazines? What messages are you being given non-verbally? Consider how much information you are given audibly, that you need to be able to hear to compute. Information from the television, radio, teachers, parents, friends. Have you got a radio playing now? Is there a television switched on in the room you are in? Have you heard anything that the DJ or presenter has said in the last three minutes? Are you receiving information consciously or subconsciously? How about smell? Did you know that your sense of smell is more closely related to your memory than any other of your senses? Taste. How do you know whether or not you like something? Whether something might be rotten or stale and therefore may harm you if you eat it. Taste - the great lifesaver! Likewise touch, the ability to tell the difference between hot and cold, sharp and blunt, solid or liquid - again vital survival tools, providing you with information about the world around you. Language Can you remember when you started to learn your first language? Or when you were first able to make yourself understood and communicate with others? Of course not, you were too young to be conscious of the fact that it was happening. Even now, when you are fluent in at least one language you don't consider the enormity of that skill. You naturally develop your language skills without a second thought. Consider the books you were reading in Year 7, now compare them with the books you are reading for your IB Language A1, at what point were you able to read at such a sophisticated level? To understand such complex syntax? The acquisition of language plays a key role in the way in which your ideas are shaped.

motion Probably the most overlooked of all the Ways of Knowing. Yet emotions are integral to human awareness and intelligence. Also known as Instinct. How often have you felt that something simply didn't feel right? That somehow something was not as it should be. Often when people act on these feelings they are proved right in the long run. There are many tales of people cancelling journeys on doom laden trips, such as the Titanic, because it didn't feel right. Likewise it is possible to feel that something is intrinsically right. Relationships, for example, people often feel happy in a relationship for no tangible reason, but simply because it feels right. Reason Logic, well reasoned argument. You know when someone's argument is flawed and when it is solid. No training is needed to recognise problems in certain assertions. Even young children become adept at pointing out the faults in the arguments of adults. "If Father Christmas comes down the chimney, how come he gets into my bedroom which is in a flat on the 12th floor and we've got central heating?"

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