Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do you know what I mean?

With thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and his excellent blog, via Bill Ivey and his excellent emails, please read and respond to the following for Friday.

Review these links on knowledge issues. Please takes notes and respond in the comments section, using these prompts as your non-limiting guide:
1) What is a knowledge issue?
2) What are key ideas to remember when you are trying to write one?
3) Write two or three knowledge issues.
4) Which resource was the best in helping you understand knowledge issues, and why?

Now let's hone those Knowledge Issue skills: read through the articles and watch the video found via the five new links at the top of the "TOK LINKS" list on the right.  Choose two of the links, and derive two KIs from each (for a total of four).  Post them in comments for Tuesday morning; please indicate from which article each KI comes.


  1. On a quick note before I begin, I would like to respond to the title of this prompt by saying, “No. I don’t know what you mean... Do you?”

    Now to business:

    The websites that have been posted were very helpful in allowing me to have a better understanding of what knowledge issues are. One of the websites deemed a knowledge issue to be one that is open for exploration. Another website defined a knowledge issue as “a question concerning knowledge where there are at least two plausible alternatives.” Both of these sites made it clear that knowledge issues are not supposed to have a solid answer. The word “know” is in the word “knowledge”, so it is important that the questions are one pertaining to knowledge and the way that we have it work. A knowledge issue should be one that can have multiplicity in meaning that will allow the thinker to ponder and go deeper into the question. In other words, the question should not be specific to one thing. These questions should also not be ones that call for debate- simply having different answers based upon opinion and how the thinker decides to approach it. I find that with knowledge issues, it is much easier to have more definite examples to answer the question at hand. Therefore, when trying to write a knowledge issue, it is also important to use the TOK vocabulary in its objectives because they are specific areas of knowing that will help the thinker answer the question on a deeper level.

    An example of some knowledge issues could be:
    • To what extent can reason help us perceive the knowledge of art?
    • In what ways are emotion and sense perception used to support different areas of knowledge?
    • How does the interpretation of knowledge justify the area of art?
    • In what ways are emotion and sense perception used to support different areas of art?
    • How does faith justify the knowledge of religion?

    The resources that I found to be the best in helping me understand knowledge issues were the Extracting Knowledge Issues site: ( and the Theory of Knowledge Guide ( .

    The Extracting Knowledge Issues website was helpful in going in depth about what was expected in a good knowledge issue. It gave examples of poor questions versus good ones, and showed step by step how a regular question could be altered to a knowledge issue. The Theory of Knowledge Guide from the IB website was very helpful in explaining what a knowledge issue was, and how knowledge issues can be perceived differently based on the nature of knowing. Through these websites, I feel like I have gained a better understanding of what is expected of me when I am prompted to write a knowledge question, and has instilled in me the ability to differentiate knowledge issues from regular questions.

  2. Knowledge issues are questions that directly refer to our understanding of the world, or I could say the truth for all elements in the universe. And for these knowledge issues, it is required to use vocabularies which construct a question that include depth and variety of answers which might create more questions in order to explore knowledge. These Knowledge issue should be an area that have no limitation of exploring and searching the truth or knowledge that people would gain after all the questioning, answering, thinking or discussing.

    a. How does emotion and perspective shape History?
    b. How does Language and speech relate or affect to the culture?
    c. Are there emotions for how human makes right or wrong judgment?

    The “Theory of Knowledge” helps me the most by having different section and pages to explain different issue. It is very easy to find what I was looking for, and as well as examples that I need for understanding.

  3. Based on what I have read,

    A knowledge issue is a question that concerns knowledge where there are at least two possible, credible positions. Knowledge issues refer to our understandings of ideas. When presenting a knowledge issue, it is important to include thinking words that do not offer a clear cut answer. For instance, a knowledge issue should force the audience to interpret, assume, justify, and prove. Here are some examples of knowledge issues:

    How can we know that knowledge presented to students in school is the entire truth?

    Can theories be handled as knowledge?

    I must say, all of these resources presented helped me understand knowledge issues. Each of them offered the different stages in knowledge issues. I went from the bottom line definition, to the vocabulary of a thought-provoking knowledge issue, to the structure of the thought process when confirming whether or not the given knowledge issue is performing its purpose. I loved the last resource because it mapped out exactly what my thought process is whenever I am presented with a situation. Its almost as if I am aiming for a bird's eye view, and once I have studied everything enough, I come flying down like a hawk to my opinion of the knowledge issue.

  4. Through what I have read, I have been able to further grasp the concept of knowledge issues and understand more about how to formulate one.

    Basing off of the articles, I have formulated my own definition of knowledge issues which is: a knowledge issue is a question that inquires upon further knowledge of the world and how knowledge functions as a whole. A knowledge issue makes one ponder about what they have learned and how knowledge is based off of more than just class. It forces one to look beyond the walls of the classroom and further expand their minds in thought and how thought works.

    Each of these sources helped in giving a guide on how to formulate a knowledge question. In order to create a decent knowledge issue on must:
    1. think of things that are not knowledge issues, in order to have something to work up from
    2.try and make a simpler question by using the word knowledge in your question.
    3. Make sure your question cannot be simply answered with "yes" or "no."
    4. make sure your question is focused and concise rather than general
    5. Apply critical thought to your question, and expand the vocabulary to make it a little more complex.

    By following those 5 steps, one will be able to create a knowledge issue of their own. There is always room for improvement, though, and the creation of a knowledge issue does not necessarily have to follow those steps precisely.

    The articles gave good examples of knowledge issues:

    1. To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in different areas of knowledge?

    2. Evaluate the role of intuition in different areas of knowledge.

    3.Consider the extent to which knowledge issues in ethics are similar to those in at least one other area of knowledge.

    I created my own knowledge issue, and although i know it has yet to reach its full capacity i thought i would add it to the blog:

    How can emotion be used to further uncover truth in ethical endeavors?

    I personally believed that the articles on the website were the most helpful. They all used day-to-day language to help the reader fully understand what was expected of them.

  5. Many of these links had different definitions of a knowledge issue. What seemed to be the most understandable definition was that, ‘Knowledge issues are questions that directly refer to our understanding of the world, ourselves and others.’ These issues are designed to expand, explore, and strengthen what one knows. They can reveal how knowledge can be considered a gift, a pleasure, and a key to exploring all that is life.

    When one is forming a knowledge issue, one has to consider the use of several Theory of Knowledge vocabulary and concepts. Just as you would edit someone else’s knowledge issue one would approach theirs the same way by doing the following: Knowing the two sides of the knowledge issue, what makes it convincing, and what would make the reader make judgment.

    Some examples of knowledge issues include:

    • “Is it justified to claim that our thoughts are determined by our language?”

    • In one or two areas of knowledge, how far does our language describe the world or express our feelings about it?”

    • “How far is our knowledge of the world limited by our sense perception?”

    The sites that served as the best resources would have to be, and This is because they both gave me a clear definition of what a knowledge issue was, and some really great examples as well.

  6. I found the websites helpful and reinforcing. I enjoyed sifting through the first link and understanding the different categories of knowledge issues; it was both exhilarating and scary to realize how many knowledge issues there can be (and are). I also was grateful to several of the websites for their definitions of knowledge issues, particularly where the answers were concerned: I was thinking too much along the lines of asking and not enough about trying to answer the questions, and therefore found it interesting that the definitions specified two or more possible answers or outcomes, and have found this useful as I look over the websites once again.

    Some knowledge issues that came to my mind:
    To what extent can history be considered truth?
    Can a truth be revised?
    Can perception and opinion be separated?

    While writing these I found it challenging to write a question specific to certain knowledge concepts and issues, while still answerable in a general sense not specific to a discipline or subject.
    I found the first link most useful. While I drew on the rest for basic information for the best formulation of a knowledge issue, the first was most inspiring and mind-opening.

  7. Before reading all the links, I had a vague idea of what knowledge questions truly meant. I had gained some information on them from handouts in class but I still lacked a concrete understanding. I still lack a concrete understanding but the concrete is beginning to harden ever so slowly. A knowledge issue is a question that is open ended, meaning it does not have one simple answer and it concerns knowledge. Ideas to remember while formulating a knowledge issue are to have an opened, broad question. The question asked must not have one simple answer but many complex answers all that require a certain amount of thought.
    Some knowledge issues may be:
    How could plagiarism or “over helping someone” be justified and distinguished?
    How can emotions be used in the certainty of knowing what is right and what is wrong?
    The second link was the most helpful for me. It reinforced the idea of what a knowledge issue is which is something I really needed. It also described what a knowledge issue was in a clear concise way that was really easy for me to understand.

  8. Knowledge issues are questions that refer to people’s understanding of the world and have multiple aspects to them. While writing a knowledge issue keep in mind that it’s not suppose to be too general. Knowledge issues also need to be able to encourage discussion and have different aspects. Knowledge questions would be:
    To what extent does a person’s perception of the world around them define or reflect their actions?
    To what extent does language limit emotions?
    The most helpful websites were the Theory of Knowledge Student website because it broke down what was expected and provided examples which made it easier to understand. The Theory of Knowledge guide was also helpful because it was very detailed which made understanding what the website was trying to explain much easier.

  9. I know I've already commented, but LolaTOK's question seemed to me to lead to this one:
    To what extent does language limit knowledge?
    (This question could even be used to address questions about faith.)

  10. From the readings, my understandings of knowledge issues are that they are questions that relate to our understanding of the world, ourselves, and others. Also, knowledge issues generally talk about knowledge or how that knowledge is put to use. The knowledge issues tend to have two possible alternatives. Important ideas when trying to write a knowledge issue, there are certain vocabulary words that should be used to make it narrower, because there are only supposed to be two possibilities to the answer. The most important part of creating a knowledge issue is the four different levels.

    Knowledge issues:
    How can the most reliable route to knowledge be determined?
    Can the most effective way to solve problems be established by one reason?

    For me, the most useful resource was “” because it had an easy layout and its information was easy to comprehend. It also made knowledge issues seem less complicated then I thought.

  11. My understanding is that a knowledge issue is a question that refers to the world we live in and people around us.These are open ended questions which aslo explore the strength of our knowledge. During TOK class two weeks ago I came up with one knowledge question which was "How does perception limit the development of our society" So, this does not only question and refer to our world but it also tests your knowledge strength by how well you can answer it.
    Also when we were discussing in class how language shaped the way we think. In french (which being my first language) knowing is two different thing. Connaitre and savoir. Connaitre is usually used when referring to harder or more philosophical thing for example when saying "Je connais cette histoire par coeur" is "i know this story by heart"...but when using savoir its a more relaxed way of knowing for example when saying "Oh, oui je sais!" is "Oh yes, i know!". so, the difference in english in not as clearly made, so that is why I think knowledge issues are a more difficult concept to understand and to formulate.
    Last but not least the question that really caught my attention is- "How does believing that" and "Believing in" differ. so i other words how does belief differ from knowledge? If one cannot make a clear separation between the two then it is very difficult to make and answer a knowledge issue.

  12. Ami, despite technical difficulties, writes:
    A knowledge issue is an issue that does not have an immediate answer: an issue that makes the mind go deeper into their whole way of knowing to answer the question. It is an issue that has at least two ways or sides you can agree with and even better if it has no limitations.

    The use of TOK vocabularies helps with the making of knowledge issues by making the issue answerable with more than one idea.

    How does knowledge differentiate people?

    To what extend does knowledge impact decision making?

    All the websites helped me with coming up with knowledge issues but it was

    that helped the most because it separated the different questions and how each are different because of how is phrased.  It also gave me a congruent example I can work with.

  13. From "How Web Affects Memory"
    •How have technological advancements altered the need for memories?
    •How has language evolved because of technology and human's dependence on technology?

    From "Hit-makers: knowing what's popular"
    •How have inventions changed the world for the worse?
    • What is the 'norm' and why is it that ideas that is considered to be 'normal'?

  14. My questions from "How the Web Affects Memory" are:
    • To what extent has technology become our brain?
    • To what extent is computer dependency a good thing?
    • Will peoples’ memory shorten over time because of increasing technology?

    My two questions are from “What can we know about space-time?”
    • Is there another universe out there, and how do we know that we know what we know?
    • To what extent is Intuition controlled by survival, and what does that have to do with understanding the universe?

  15. Chris Sauter: The Whole World
    Through perception, how can the direct relationship between the object created and the wall be proven?
    How does language and science mystify the unification of everything?
    To what degree does art make the mind wonder?

    How the Web Affects Memory
    Can humans choose to have dependency on the web?
    What makes the facts on the web reliable? (How can we trust the web?)

  16. Limits and Risks of Neuroscience:

    -To what extent does technology have an effect on the perception we have of the brain.

    -To what extent does the use of neuroscience in society change the views we have on ethics.

    What can we know about space and time:

    -How can belief and culture further influence ones emotion toward the universe that surrounds them.

    -How can ones interpretation of the surrounding world influence their faith.

  17. From "Decoding the Brain's Cacophony":
    •How does better understanding of the brain alter our beliefs in "knowing"?
    •To what extent does perception change our views on responsibility?

    From "How the Web Affects Memory":
    •How does technology affect our perception of knowledge?
    •To what extent does technology give access to knowledge?

  18. I created these question after I watched the video titled, “Chris Sauter: The Whole World”.
    To what extent should emotion justify why one does what they do?

    How can scientific theory deny humans of truth?

    I created these questions after I read “Hit Makers: Knowing What’s Popular”.
    How can personal perceptions hurt and help the team effort?

    How can reasoning affect the entrepreneur spirit?

  19. Chris Sauter: The Whole World

    -How does understanding a small aspect of the world, help us to understand the universe in which we live in?

    -In what ways does our knowledge help us to connect the relationships between two vastly different things?

    Hit-makers: Knowing what's popular

    -How does understanding, lead to discovery?

    -In ways does knowledge inspire us?

  20. Hit-makers
    1. In what manner does knowledge shape our understanding?
    2. How does augmentation in our knowledge change how we perceive things?
    How the web affects memory
    1.How has technology influenced our thinking capacity?
    2. How has human communications changed with the advancement of technology
    3. How has technology affected the human mind and its power to remember things?

  21. How the web affects memory:
    Can the value of knowledge be quantified?
    Can one be aware of one's subconscious?

    Cosmic Log:
    Are there ways to be as certain of untestable theories as of tested ones?
    Is there knowledge that should remain unknown?

  22.  From "Free will"
    1. To what extend does knowledge play a role on free will?
    2. How does faith shapes knowledge?
    From "Brain myths"
    1. How does emotions help preserve memory?
    2. To what extend does the regulation of emotions helps achieve more knowledge?

  23. How the Web Affects Memory
    - Did life style shape human brain structure?
    - What are some thoughts about the improvement of the convenience of human life style?
    How strange can space-time get?
    - How can the expansion of knowledge of the universe relate to our life style.
    - Did the study of unknown object realistic?


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