Ranking Knowledge

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”


In my Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class, we questioned several statements in order to challenge the certainty of each claim. I quickly realized, after thinking outside the box, that many statements I hear everyday are not always as definite as I originally assume them to be.

Now, I must apply the skills I gained from TOK class in order to evaluate the certainty . of different pieces of knowledge from each of my IB subjects (I waited to write this blog post until after the process of changing my geography option to history was completed) :

Higher Level 

History-  Apartheid was an ideology used in the 20th century that supported the segregation of people based on their race = Fixed 

Economics- Humans use a cost-benefit analysis in order to make rational decisions = May Change 

English (Language/Literature)-  Newspaper articles can contain biased personal opinions that influence our beliefs = May Change 

Standard Level 

Mathematics- Functions have a one to one or many to one relationship = Fixed 

Spanish Ab Intio-  Most of the time, the ending of adjectives needs to be altered in order to match the “gender” of the noun it is describing = May Change

Chemistry- The temperature of a substance that is undergoing a change in state of matter will remain constant = Fixed 

In conclusion, I would rank my IB subject knowledge claims in the following order of certainty (#1 being the most certain) :

  1. Chemistry = This is a scientific fact, which means that it can be proven to be true.
  2. Mathematics = This is the set definition of a function.
  3. History = This can be proven based on historical events and records.
  4. Economics = Humans are not always rational people.
  5. English = Some newspapers may actually be unbiased.
  6. Spanish Ab Intio = Some adjectives do not need to be changed.

Have a great day,

Fio Wibawa

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