Friday, September 11, 2009

Truth and Chuck Norris

Three Theories of Truth
1. Truth as corresponding with reality (the truth is out there, we just find it)
2. Truth as what is pragmatic or functional (what works become the truth)
3. Truth as intersubjectivity (what is agreed upon through debate)
Returning to the idea that someone is going to answer a challenge to a statement they make by saying, 'because it is true' and someone is going to retort with the demanding question, "but what is truth?", what they are really saying is, "Do you think truth exists independently of everyone as a standard by which we should judge our beliefs?".

Most internet users have heard at least a few of the satirical Chuck Norris Facts that have been circulating on the web for the past year. Like: "When the Incredible Hulk gets mad, he turns into Chuck Norris." These Facts became so widespread that Norris's popularity rose significantly, and he was asked about it often during interviews. He wrote that the phenomenon was mostly "just promoting harmless fun," and that "maybe these one liners will prompt some one to seek out the real facts about [him] and the beliefs that have shaped [his] life." But there is another Chuck Norris out their on the internet.

A. What is the truth about Chuck Norris?

B. What was your source for this truth?

C. How do you know what truth is or even more simply how do we know?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

How do we determine the internal and external world using perception?

The Brain and Sense Perception

The results of an anatomical analysis of our perceptions systems can give us a lot of information about how we really - in this case - see the world. But there are others factors.

After viewing the video clips answer two of the five questions below.

Keep Focused on the center of the screen

When reflecting on knowledge acquisition, knowledge claims, even just making sense of the world, this is the key to our thinking about perception - we are influenced in the way we receive the world.

In the TOK guide it is suggested that, "perception is the active, selective and interpretative process of recording or becoming conscious of the external world through sense experience", and therefore "this experience should be examined and critically evaluated."

But this does not necessarily tell the whole story?

Sense experience can be a misleading term.

1. What are our senses?
2. How do we define them?
3. Why only the external world? What is the external world?
4. Why not the internal world as well?
5. Where are the boundaries between internal and external?

Ultimate Optical Illusions Video

After viewing the 2 video clips answer the 3 questions listed below

Watch the video entitled "Basketball Game" using the link below.
Count the number of passes the white shirt team makes.

Make sure to count only the white shirt team.

After viewing the video clip, please answer the following questions

1) When we work out how are senses can be tricked, are they still problems of knowledge?

2) A Panchatantra saying (Hindu storytelling, part of an oral tradition; that centers around animal fables) is,

"Knowledge is the true organ of sight, not the eyes".

Is the right conceptual understanding more important than being able to see?

Did you see the gorilla in the basketball game?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

ToK Prescribed Titles (2010) Question 7

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.

The essence of the Q: concentrate on the words 'see' and 'understand': which WoK do they correspond to? The quotation appears to distinguish between the world 'out there' or 'things' and human minds or 'we'. What are the problems for knowledge that are generated by this distinction? Is it a valid distinction? The implication is that there is no knowledge of reality or truth without human minds; that knowledge comes from an interaction between human minds and the world. If I see and understand the world as I am and you see and understand it as you are, do we see it as the same? Again, you must address the issue of 'subjective' and 'objective' belief and the limitations involved. Think about whether this claim holds true across different cultural/international boundaries.

Knowledge Issues: How far is it true to say that the human mind shapes the world according to its knowledge needs? To what extent do we experience the same reality? In what way do our cultural beliefs limit or enhance the way we 'see' and 'understand' ourselves and our world?

Aproaches: Scientists apparently see the same reality - they experiment on it to produce data to prove/disprove their theories about the world. Also their need to understand the world creates technological breakthroughs that help to shape that world differently - think of examples. The past is a fixed reality, isn't it? The things that have happened are a constant, so to speak. Then how is it that historians 'see' and 'understand' those events differently? We all perceive ethical problems differently and deal with them differently, jus as we agree or disagree about what makes a work of art good. Is this because of the way 'we are' or because of the nature of the ethical issue or art work itself? If you believe, as Pythagoras did, that the real world is ruled by numbers, that mathematical relationships between these numbers determine events and our very own behaviour, then surely we have to reverse the claim: what we see and understand is limited by the world outside - the very 'things' that we see shape our understanding...