52 terms

TOK Terms (non-systematical)

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Skepticism
The position that we can know nothing: that all our methods of gaining knowledge are inherently flawed and that we cannot rely on any of them exclusively.
Dogmatism
Pronouncing claims as undeniably true, without consideration of the evidence (or the opinions of others).
Epistemology
The study of how we come to know things, and the characteristics of the knowledge claims we make.
(This is basically the philosophical discipline which has been recreated of some sorts in the IB as ToK).
Bias
A lack of objectivity. To approach an investigation with predetermined views of the outcome (it doesn't matter if it are consciously perceived or not).
Soundness
The quality of an argument: measuring if it is strong (induction) or valid (deduction) and also refers to the premises.
Realism
The view that the impressions of the world, which we derive through our senses, are accurate.
Constructivism
The view that we "construct" or "create" our understanding of the world through the ways in which we incorporate our interpretations of the stimuli provided by the world.
Dualism
Any philosophy that suggests that explanations can be generated in terms of some interaction between two "poles".
Idealism
The philosophical view that ideas (non-physical) are basis of reality; or that we can understand reality only insofar as we can understand our ideas.
Pragmatic
An approach that focuses on practicability. As a theory of truth, a claim can be accepted as true if it "works": if the claim "works" insofar as it explains some phenomena and related matters.
Coherence
The quality of a theory in which the parts fit together and connect to each other. As a theory of truth, the Coherence Theory claims that a statement is true if it coheres with other claims we accept as true.
Correspondence
A theory of truth that notes we can claim that a statement is true only if what it claims corresponds to the way the world is.
Validity
A technical term to describe the property of a deductive argument when it is not possible or the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true. In a non-technical sense, it simply means the state of being true or justified
Consequentialism
The evaluation of an action in terms of what the action produces, that is, the consequences of the action.
Value
The expression of what is considered important, usually in terms of being important to people and their relation to others and the rest of the world.
Fact
The contents of a declarative proposition: Some "X" is stated to be the case. The nature of "X" may well depend upon the particular AoK.
Analogy
A claim that because X and Y have some properties in common, they will have other (relevant) properties in common.
Metaphysical
Literally: "Beyond the physical". These phenomena lie outside (or beyond) the empirical realm.
Methodology
A study of the way in which some process is undertaken.
Causation
The process whereby one action, event, phenomenon is sufficient to produce another action, event, phenomenon.
Correlation
Where two (or more) phenomena seem connected: a change in one is accompanied by a corresponding change in the other.
Shared Knowledge
A claim that a group accept as true and generated by adhering to the methods of the relevant AoK.
Personal Knowledge
A claim that is accepted as true by an individual, and unknown to others. Some personal claims may be shared with others to become shared knowledge.
Determinism
The view that all our actions and choices are inevitable - that we are following a pre-set pattern, whether we know it or not.
Free Will
The concept that our choices are real: that although there are things that influence our lives, we can do as we wish.
Analytical
Describes the process of "breaking down" a complex phenomena into simpler, constituent phenomena. The explanation then proceeds by investigating the connections between the parts.
Paradigm
The intellectual, cultural, conceptual background through which we view the world and beyond.
Falsification
The requirement that it must be possible to show that a claim is false in order to class it as a scientific claim.
Holistic
An approach that seeks to explain a phenomena by investigating its role in a larger context.
Reductionist
An approach to investigations that emphasises how the (basic) parts come together to form the whole.
Inductive
Describes a process whereby recognised patterns are argued to continue through space and time.
Deductive
Describes a process whereby the logical connections between claims are investigated to generate new claims.
Universal
The quality of a claim that notes it applies at all times, in all places, in all cases, as defined by the parameters of the claim.
Deontology
A moral philosophy that notes only those actions done in consideration of a basic principle are moral actions.
Truth
That quality that the referent of a claim is a fact.
Absolute
Without qualification.
Objectivism
The perspective that the processing of information can be achieved without the effects of one's personal paradigm.
Subjectivism
The perspective that one's personal paradigm influences, to a larger or lesser degree, the way one processes information
Relativism
The view that everything depends upon something (or everything) else. Anything has properties only insofar as it relates to something else.
Utilitarianism
The ethical theory that the net amount of happiness determines the rightness or wrongness of an action.
Morality
A study of what makes an action right or wrong.
Ethics
A study of how one ought to live, how to act.
Knowledge
The claims that are made by adhering to the methods required by the relevant AoK.
Belief
An acceptance of some claim without the degree of justification that would normally be required.
Rationalism
The view that we can come to know things about the world through thought alone (or mainly through thought alone)
Empiricism
The view that we come to know things about the world primarily through the interaction of the world and our senses.
Anthropocentric
Describes the concept that we come to know the world through the perspective of human beings.
Nihilism
The view that there are no intrinsic values and nothing to base such values upon.
Normative
Referring to the way things ought to be.
Descriptive
Referring to the way things are.
Ad hoc Hypothesis
To modify a hypothesis simply to account for an anomaly so many times that the hypothesis loses its explanatory value.
Perspective
For IB ToK, this refers to a possible approach. A Knowledge Question should be approachable from a number of different aspects.