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Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1734

Essay

Topic: “Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge”. “Only seeing particular examples can give us understanding”.”

Abstract

More often, there is a perception that scholars are the ones with the interest of gaining knowledge. However, that is not the case, as most of us struggle to gain knowledge in one way or another.’ The difference comes in the method of obtaining the knowledge. When one knows one thing, there is the desire to know what to follow. The scholars will study, obtain the first degree, go for a masters and a PhD in the subject, yet still desire to carry out researches and many more ways to gain more and more knowledge. In other words, the more one knows, the more he realizes the need to know more[1]. So is there someone in the world who knows everything, of course not. The best one can do is specializing in a subject, master, research in it and do all it pertains to know more about the subject. Now, we consider seeing general patterns. It is a way of obtaining knowledge, just like seeing particular examples.  This paper discusses the extent to which one can agree to the topic of discussion “Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge”. “Only seeing particular examples can give us understanding”.

Discussion of the general terms in the topic of discussion

The topic has four key words, general patterns, knowledge, particular examples and understanding.

General patterns simply mean repetition in a logical and regular manner. One could have a decorative design on a wall, paper or clothing. After following up the pattern in several inches, then one is in a position to predict what is to follow. There could also be general patterns in a community that seek to explain the underlying structure of that particular community.  A species could take a pattern, where by, in no case would some species occur together in the same place. Probably, the underlying factor to explain this is the fact that one of the species may exclude the other from the existence through competition. A long-term study of a pattern gives one the knowledge to predict the outcome.

Knowledge is learning to obtain information. Gaining of information is through life experience, reading, or through undergoing a formal education. Having the right amount of knowledge is of paramount importance, as knowledge is justified as a true belief and a working model. More often, people spend almost half of their lifetime, plus millions of money to study in schools, not for any other reason, but to obtain knowledge[2]. Reading mainly occurs in school, but there is also the personal or rather self-studying at our leisure time still to obtain knowledge. Knowledge not only enables one to pass exams in a school-based situation, but also in the daily lives. The things we know that help us get through with life. It is common sense to know at least something little about everything. Knowledge enables one to be a responsible person. In other words, an ignorant person would find it difficult to survive in this hustling world comprised of educated people.

An example is an illustration that seeks to give a practical explanation. We take an example of a mathematics teacher who has to give out a formula. The formula best understood once the teacher illustrates it in a practical example. Most phenomenon best explained through exemplification. In fact, out of a hundred persons, only 20% would understand a concept without the use of an illustration. The rest would just have question marks at the back of their mind trying to figure out the real meaning of the concept in the real world situation.

Understanding is scooping the inner meaning of a concept. It is having an internalized sense of highly advanced concepts of a particular topic. A person who has understood has an analogous mastery of the topic. He is confidence in the topic and can present it confidently. This person is in able to answer questions on the subject from all corners and angles. He can answer seemingly difficult questions in a precise and relaxed manner, such that the audiences get hugely impressed. A person who well understands a topic simplifies a difficult topic to what can look like magic[3].

Arguments for the topic

To get a greater view of the topic, we had better divided it into two. We first get a deeper overview of the first part, “Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge”. As described, general patterns give an insight of what is likely to happen tomorrow. Getting an insight of occurrences of what is to happen today, and studying the trend brings one into the awareness of what is to happen in days to come[4]. We take an example to a rainfall pattern. If a researcher has an interest in studying the rainfall trend, then he takes a study of approximately 5 years. There after the keen study of the pattern, he gains the knowledge of not only the rainfall pattern, the weather and climate of the region of interest. Patterns give a greater insight of obtaining the knowledge of a particular phenomenon.

The second part of the topic of discussion states, “Only seeing particular examples can give us understanding”. This is a factual statement, and as discussed earlier, examples present the leading route to understanding. Examples drawn from real life experience present the best route to drawing a deeper understanding. Research shows that an exceedingly difficult scientific or mathematical concept driven home using a practical example[5]. One is often confident about something, more especially in a geometry presentation, for as long as he has an airtight proof for it.

Arguments against the topic

More often, we take things as right until one gives a critical look and understanding. If we consider the first part of the topic of discussion, “Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge”. It is a fact that general patterns give an essence of gaining knowledge. However, is it only seeing general patterns that give knowledge? The answer is no. Knowledge is a general term, widely gained and obtainable from several ways other just observing patterns.  The first and foremost thing that enables one to have the desire of knowledge is curiosity.  An extremely curious person turns out to being a keen observer, which is an immensely significant step in gathering more and more knowledge[6]. The other ways of obtaining knowledge include logic and reason, and in his case, intelligence takes rule. A knowledgeable and intelligent person gives his opinions to a subject that truly matters.

Now, considering the second part of the topic, “only seeing particular examples can give us understanding”. The extent to which this statement is true is very shallow. Examples, as discussed give understanding. However, not only examples do give understanding, as there are many other ways of driving one into understanding. If for example, one gave a touching testimony, may it be spiritual or not, personal or not, it gives a deeper explanation and understanding of a person.

Once again, arguing from another angle. Having knowledge means one understands justifications for beliefs. The interest in a subject and willingness to spare time for the subject shows the desire to learn[7]. This learning bears knowledge, and from the knowledge, we gain a deeper understanding.  Consequently, knowledge and understanding interlink, in that one leads into another.

From the discussions and arguments, it clearly shows that general patterns and exemplification play a major role the obtaining knowledge and understanding respectively. However, knowledge is a widely obtainable item. Every bit of anything we see formulates knowledge in our minds. The knowledge thereafter subjected into deep thoughts to give a clear understanding[8]. The visible items are not necessarily patterns, and understanding neither compresses itself to exemplification only. I therefore a do not agree with the assertion that only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge, neither do I agree that only seeing particular examples can give us understanding.

Work Cited

Constantinides, P. Chiasson, Mike W. &  Introna, Lucas D. The Ends of Information Systems Research: A Pragmatic Framework.  MIS Quarterly., Vol. 36 Issue 1, 2012: p1-20. 20p.

KihlstromB. &, John F. Searching for the Self in Mind and Brain. Social Cognition. Vol. 30 Issue 4. 2012: p367-379. 13p.

Kilduff, M.,Mehra, A. &,Dunn, Mary B. From Blue Sky Research To Problem Solving: A Philosophy Of Science Theory Of New Knowledge Production.  Academy of Management Review. Vol. 36 Issue 2. 2011: p297-317. 21p.

Lakshman, C. Postacquisition cultural integration in mergers & acquisitions: A knowledge-based approach. Human Resource Management. Vol. 50 Issue 5. 2011: p605-623. 19p.

Lee, JongkukThe Alignment of Contract Terms for Knowledge-Creating and Knowledge-Appropriating Relationship Portfolios. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 75 Issue 4. 2011: p110-127. 18p.

Mathews, Jose. Vikalpa. The Journal for Decision Makers. Vol. 37 Issue 3, 2012: p73-86. 14p.

Nonaka, I., & von Krogh, G. Tacit Knowledge and Knowledge Conversion: Controversy and Advancement in Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory.  Organization Science. May/Jun2009, Vol. 20 Issue 3, 2009: p635-652. 18p.

Sue Young Choi,  Heeseok L. & Youngjin Yoo. The Impact of Information Technology and Transactive Memory Systems On Knowledge Sharing, Application, And Team Performance: A Field Study.  MIS Quarterly. Vol. 34 Issue 4, 2010: p855-870. 16p.

[1] Lee, Jongkuk.The Alignment of Contract Terms for Knowledge-Creating and Knowledge-Appropriating Relationship Portfolios. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 75 Issue 4. 2011: p110-127. 18p

[2] Constantinides, P. Chiasson, Mike W. &  Introna, Lucas D. The Ends of Information Systems Research: A Pragmatic Framework.  MIS Quarterly., Vol. 36 Issue 1, 2012: p1-20. 20p.

[3] Kilduff, M.,Mehra, A. &,Dunn, Mary B. From Blue Sky Research To Problem Solving: A Philosophy Of Science Theory Of New Knowledge Production.  Academy of Management Review. Vol. 36 Issue 2. 2011: p297-317. 21p.

[4] Kilduff, M.,Mehra, A. &,Dunn, Mary B. From Blue Sky Research To Problem Solving: A Philosophy Of Science Theory Of New Knowledge Production.  Academy of Management Review. Vol. 36 Issue 2. 2011: p297-317. 21p

[5] Nonaka, I., & von Krogh, G. Tacit Knowledge and Knowledge Conversion: Controversy and Advancement in Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory.  Organization Science. May/Jun2009, Vol. 20 Issue 3, 2009: p635-652. 18p.

[6] Mathews, Jose. Vikalpa. The Journal for Decision Makers. Vol. 37 Issue 3, 2012: p73-86. 14p.

[7] Nonaka, I., & von Krogh, G. Tacit Knowledge and Knowledge Conversion: Controversy and Advancement in Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory.  Organization Science. May/Jun2009, Vol. 20 Issue 3, 2009: p635-652. 18p

[8] Sue Young Choi,  Heeseok L. & Youngjin Yoo. The Impact of Information Technology and Transactive Memory Systems On Knowledge Sharing, Application, And Team Performance: A Field Study.  MIS Quarterly. Vol. 34 Issue 4, 2010: p855-870. 16p.

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