ToK Term 2

  1. knowledge claim
    • an assertion that something is the case
    • a true or false statement
  2. knowledge counterclaim
    a problem or limitation with a knowledge claim, or an opposing view within the same perspective
  3. an opposing view
    the opposite of your claim
  4. problem or limitation
    things that weaken the argument, make it problematic
  5. same perspective
    within biology - counter claim must be withing biology
  6. first order question
    can be answered within the subject
  7. second order question
    • the question is about the subject
    • general, contested
    • should not be in the language of the real-life situation
  8. knowledge question
    • question about knowledge
    • a second order question
    • a contested question (no one true answer)
    • a general question (not specific)
  9. starts to knowledge questions
    • to what extent
    • at what point
    • what is the role of
    • how do we know
    • in what ways
  10. way of knowing
    • a way in which we acquire knowledge
    • memory
    • intuition
    • language
    • reason
    • faith
    • sense perception
    • imagination
    • emotions
  11. area of knowledge
    • area in which knowledge can be found
    • human sciences
    • natural sciences
    • mathematics
    • ethics
    • arts
    • history
    • religious belief systems
    • indigenous belief systems
  12. linking concepts
    • link different aspects
    • within ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
    • between ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
    • link ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
    • culture
    • values
    • technology
    • certainty
    • truth
    • evidence
    • explanation
    • belief
    • interpretation
    • experience
  13. problem of knowledge
    • something that poses doubt in the process of knowledge acquisition
    • limitation
    • uncertainty
    • bias
    • verification
    • justification
  14. personal knowledge
    • knowledge that a particular individual has of the world
    • experiential or second-hand
  15. experiential knowledge
    • knowledge gained through experience
    • knowledge by acquaitance or practical knowledge
  16. knowledge by acquaitance
    • first hand knowledge based on perceptual experience (knowledge of)
    • colours, smells, noises, people, places, tastes
  17. practical knowledge
    • skill based knowledge (knowledge how)
    • running, walking
    • needs practice
    • hard to put into words
  18. second-hand knowledge
    • acquired through sources such as school, culture, internet, media
    • academic knowledge
    • informal knowledge
  19. academic knowledge
    knowledge of academic subjects
  20. informal knowledge
    stock of cultural and local knowledge, random facts, trivia
  21. obstacles of personal knowledge
    • influence it
    • ignorance
    • apathy
    • fantasy
    • bias
  22. shared knowledge
    a stock of academic, practical, and informal knowledge which can be communicated verbally or non-verbally to other people
  23. dangers of shared knowledge
    • authority worship
    • groupthink
    • power distortions
    • fragmentation
  24. authority worship
    uncritically accepting something as true simply because an authority says so
  25. groupthink
    a form of peer pressure which leads everyone in the group to think in the same way
  26. power distortions
    governments and corporations have vested interest in influencing our beliefs and values
  27. fragmentation
    • division within a particular area of shared knowledge
    • there can never be a unifying voice
  28. sources of shared knowledge
    • the internet
    • cultural tradition
    • school
    • expert opinions
    • the news/edia
  29. relationship between personal and shared knowledge
    • personal knowledge contributes to shared knowledge
    • shared knowledge influences personal knowledge
  30. knowledge
    • justified true belief (plato)
    • we can only know the things that exist and for us the only things that exist are the ones we know
    • Gettier cases
  31. anthropomorphism
    ascribing human traits to something that is not human (God)
  32. views on religion
    • theism
    • pantheism
    • atheism
    • agnosticism
  33. theism
    the universe is governed by an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator God
  34. pantheism
    • God is everything and everything is part of God
    • reality is spiritual in nature and the everyday world is an illusion
  35. atheism
    denial of the existence of a creator God and believeing that the universe is material in nature and has no spiritual dimension
  36. agnosticism
    a position which neither asserts nor denies the existence of God or some higher reality but keeps an open, skeptical mind
  37. the nature of God
    • described with human language and attributes
    • in trying to describe God with human language there is a danger we either reduce him to something less than god or run into insoluble paradoxes
  38. the god of the philosophers
    • describing god in abstract language
    • all-powerful (omnipotent)
    • all-knowing (omniscient)
    • all-loving (omni amorous)
    • paradoxes
  39. paradox of omnipotence
    could God create a being that God could not subsequently control?
  40. paradox of suffering
    • God is all-loving and does not want us to suffer
    • God is all-poweful and can prevent us from suffering
  41. paradox of free-will
    • if god is all knowing he also knows the future
    • this would make human free-will an illusion
    • if everything is predetermined, why do we sin
  42. arguments for and against the existence of god
    • the argument from religious experience
    • the teleological argument
    • the cosmological argument
  43. the argument from religious experience
    • people who claim to have witnessed the existence of god
    • miracle
    • religious experiences are difficult if not impossible to verify
  44. miracle
    an extraordinary event which is brought about by god's intervention in the natural order of things
  45. counter-argument to the argument from religious experience
    David Hume - denied existence of miracles, it is never rational to believe in them because the weight of evidence is always against them
  46. the teleological argument
    • the order and harmony of the universe is evidence for the existence of an intelligent creator
    • William Paley - analogy between a watch and a watchmaker and God and the world
  47. coutner-argument to the teleological argument
    • David Hume
    • - analogy is poor becuase there is little resemblance between the world and a machine
    • - the most the argument can prove is the existence of an architect God
    • -the world is very faulty and imperfect compared to a superior standard
    • theory of evolution explains complexity and harmony of nature without having to appeal to a god
  48. the cosmological argument
    • sees the very existence of the universe as strong evidence for the existence of a creator god
    • the fact that it exists at all
    • no answer to what caused the big bang - nothing can come from nothing - universe was created by god
  49. counter-argument to the cosmological argument
    • do we really need a creator god to explain the existence of the universe
    • the universe has always existed - big bang = result of big crunch - the universe has been expanding and contracting forever in a series of cycles
    • the big bang was the uncaused first cause
  50. the problem of suffering
    why is there so much suffering in the world
  51. nature of faith
    • is it possible to give a neutral definition
    • does it concern only religion or is it tolerant of other areas of knowledge
  52. three key elements of faith
    • a cognitive element
    • an emotional element
    • an ethical element
  53. a cognitive element
    • faith is a form of belief
    • many beliefs do not involve faith
    • faith describes deeply held conventions
    • closely connected with a worldview
    • the relation between fatih and evidence is controversial - quest for evidence weakens faith
  54. worldview
    an overarching theory about the nature of the universe and the place of human beings in it
  55. an emotional element
    • faith implies an emotional commitment
    • having faith shapes the pattern of your behaviour more than believing in something
    • faith goes beyond evidence - includes risk
    • faith lacks objective certainty
    • subjective certainty: faith = unwavering commitment or faith includes doubt
  56. an ethical element
    • faith carries the idea that things will work out for the best
    • confident hope
    • if you have faith something will happen you both hope and believe
    • also to trust
    • faith in someone is faith that something is the case
  57. the evidentialist challenge
    • w.k. clifford argued strength of a belief should be proportionate to the strength of the evidence for it
    • it is irrational to believe something with insufficient evidence - faith is belief based on insufficient evidence - faith is irrational
    • complications: what is evidence? how much evidence is sufficient? who has the burden of proof? why accept evidentialism?
  58. evidentialism
    idea that we should believe in something only to the extent that there is evidence for it
  59. religious faith
    faith in the truth of some kind of divine revelation which is directly based on personal experience and indirectly based on the authority of a religious text
  60. defending religious faith against evidentialism
    • compatibilism
    • fideism
    • separate domains
  61. compatibilism
    • faith and reason are both god-given faculties and are compatible with one another
    • rejects premise 2 of evidentialist argument
    • the divine sense theory
    • the rational faith theory
  62. the divine sense theory
    • faith = independent faculty which gives us knowledge in the same way as sense perception
    • we sense god's presence directly and immediately like the external world
    • 'divine sense' like sense perception - placing velief in God on it is as rational as placing belief on the world
  63. criticism of divine sense theory
    • theory is based on a false analogy - is a fallacy in itself - if you reject sense perception you might not survive but you can function normally without a divine sense
    • theory cannot explain distribution of belief, why it is stronger in certain countries than others
    • postulating a divine sense seems arbitrary - can lead to invention of other new senses (alien sense)
  64. the rational faith theory
    • what is grasped by faith can be supported by evidence and arguments based on ordinary experience
    • faith and reason = two different ways of arriving to the truth
    • any apparent conflict is due to an improper appeal of faith or unsound reasoning
    • faith and reason support each other and keep one another in check
    • faith without reason leads to superstition, reason without faith leads to relativism
  65. criticism of the rational faith theory
    • why is faith required at all
    • does reason support faith
  66. fideism
    • faith is irrational
    • it's opposed to and superior to reason - we must rely on faith not reason in seeking religious truth
    • criticism: fideism is too permissive - anyone can claim to know anything, faith in what - no guidence of the direction
  67. separate domains
    • faith is arrational
    • faith and reason are appropriate to a different domain of enquiry and both play a role in our attempt to understand reality
    • reason - facts and theories about natural world
    • faith - questions of ultimate meaning and moral values which are beyond the reach of empirical enquiry
    • conflict only when one domain trespasses on the territory of the other - scientism and superstition
    • criticisms: most religions make claims about the natural world, meaning and values need not be based on faith
Card Set
ToK Term 2