Do We Care Whether Our Beliefs are True?

Posted on Sep 3, 2013 in Featured Content, TOK

You’ve already written a response regarding the degree to which you can agree and disagree with the quote, “We see the world not as it is, but as we are” from the Talmud.  In this next section we are going to continue to examine how our biases influence the formation of knowledge and what we can do to avoid the pitfalls of hasty conclusions and complete relativism.

Current Learning Objectives

  • To continue to develop a formative understanding of the role you play in creating knowledge.
  • To identify and challenge some of your dominant knowledge sources.
  • To identify and cultivate a personal connection and understanding of some of the fundamental course concepts including personal and shared knowledge.

Key Terms and Concepts

 Bias  Objectivity  Subjectivity  Knowledge
 Ways of Knowing – Language  Areas of Knowledge  Personal Knowledge  Shared Knowledge
 Absolutism  Modernism  Relativism  Post-Modernism

Study Process

  1. Go to the assignment form and click a link to one of your classmates response posts. Read their post and then post a supportive comment that a) shares an idea you had while reading their work and b) asks an insightful follow-up question. In a context without judgement live and let live would prevail as a dominant societal norm. In it’s purest form, this would mean that there would be no factual information, no objective views, no truth, no right, no wrong, among others. This is known as relativism whereby everything is relative or seen in the context of its formation with no one in a position to judge anyone else.
  2. Either/Or as a class – See this List
  3. She’s a Witch! (see Video) Don’t we behave, though, as if there is some objective truth.
  4. In Class Reading – Do We Care Whether Our Beliefs Are True? – What Are Your Reactions? What can we do about this?
  5. Modernism vs. Post-Modernism (video link) – The information expressed here is balanced, concise, and consistent with much of the discussion about modernism vs. post-modernism. What bias does this speaker have? Do you pick up on any emotional tone?
  6. Understanding How Knowledge Is Supported? – Apples to Apples
  7. Follow-up Reading – The Nature of Truth

(If you are reading this and are not a member of the YIS community, please post a comment here requesting access to the readings and I will share those with you. – AC)

1 Comment

  1. mbaylor
    September 10, 2013


    As a fellow TOK teacher, your posts are an excellent resource to draw from.

    Could I be added to the document list?

    Thank you!

    M. Baylor


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