TOK mindmap “Without application in the
world, the value of knowledge is greatly
Reasons that I'm interested in this title
1st Reason: When evaluating this title, I found that it
could be linked with most areas of knowledge and ways
of knowing, therefore I realized that it gave me
numerous angles to work from
2nd Reason: It was the title that
evoked the most reaction and
emotion from me.
3rd Reason: I found myself constantly
changing opinions when evaluating it,
something that made the question
Both the application and the withdrawal of personal knowledge influences the creation of
shared knowledge, making it so that the value of knowledge in itself is defined not only by
it's application, but it's lack of thereof.
Area of Knowledge: HISTORY
Ways of knowing: memory, language, emotion and reason
When not shared or applied, personal
knowledge has value nonetheless.
Throughout history, a lack of knowledge and information has led
numerous people and even leaders to take decisions that have
altered the course of the world. In this way, one could say that
ignorance has defined the world just as much as knowledge has.
Personal knowledge has been widthheld throughout history
through manipulation, lies and secrets, which have caused chain
reactions that in many cases can still be seen today. Keeping a
secret means avoiding the application of that specific piece of
knowledge in a situation, but in doing so, one could deliberately
control that situation. Personal knowledge and the acts of both
hiding and revealing it changes possible outcomes of history, and
irrefutably has value as a result.
President Nixon of the United States is considered one of the biggest liars in history. The Watergate Scandal, or the incident that earned him
this title, was the result of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office
complex in Washington, D.C.. Richard Nixon's administration attempted to cover-up of its involvement as did the president. When the conspiracy
was discovered and investigated by the U.S. Congress, after resistance Nixon and most of his team resigned. This led to a constitutional crisis in
the United States. Had Nixon shared his personal knowledge with the world instead of denying his involvement, the whole of this decade in the
USA could have been played out differently, thus altering that moment in time. In this sense, personal knowledge was not applied, it was
withheld, but defined history nonetheless.
Shared knowledge is directly applied in
the world therefore it is valuable..
In terms of shared knowledge, I believe that history is an
area of complete relevance. The concept of history it in itself
relies on sharing, as it uses history books, broadcasts and
basically all information to recollect parts of the past and
make them publicly availeable and known. Though few
people are the protagonists of history, those who collect all
the the events into textbooks, articles or whatnot
contribute to make it shared. History is studied in schools
and referenced daily, making it so that it is inevitably
applied with frequency in the world. If it weren't as widely
spread or known as it is, History would not have the same
impact on the world. History repeats itself but nonetheless
it is important to learn from mistakes and understand
one's past, as well as the past of others. Keeping history
personal would greatly dimish it's value, as that would
mean hiding important information from the world, and
avoiding there was ever a past to begin with.
The publicity surrounding the atomic bomb of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki in 1945 was an instance in which History
became shared knowledge. Due to the spread of images and
horror stories about the attack, governments have gone to
extreme lengths to avoid repeating the past. John F.
Kennedy's Appeasement Strategy in the Cuban Missile
Crisis of 1962 averted a Nuclear Holocaust, and this is only
one of the instances in which countries have gone a long
way to prevent a nuclear war. Had the information about
Hiroshima and Nagasaki been kept completely personal, the
people, aswell as governments would not know enough
about the past in order to avoid repeating it.
Area of Knowledge: THE ARTS
Ways of knowing: Emotion, imagination and memory
Shared knowledge is directly applied to the world, therefore it is valuable
In the visual arts, projects are seldom not shared with
the world, as the main purpose of them is to exhibit and
even sell. Art is made to be seen and shared, therefore it
is born personal knowledge and develops into shared
knowledge once it is finished and exhibited. The same is
true for music; if musicians didn't share their music with
a general public, they wouldn't really be considered
musicians at all. The arts are made to share. As for
application, most investigations behind any artistic process
stem from earlier works of art. One usually has
inspiration from an exterior source when creating art. In
making art shared knowledge, one is contributing to the
artistic world, as numerous people take both inspiration
and simple joy in viewing it. In the same way, art is
applied in the world through sharing, as artists
continously learn from eachother. If art was never shared,
and was simply personal, the depth behind it, and it's real
potential would never come to light.
Lucio Fontana was the first artist to
make an intervention in a canvas. Before
him, people had done nothing but paint
on canvas. He was revolutionary and the
influence he left on the art world is still
seen today. His influence can be seen in
the art of many, namely in the work of
Spanish artist Angela de la Cruz
When not shared or applied, personal knowledge has value nonetheless
Though works of art in themselves can be considered combinations of different kinds of shared knowledge, the fact
that personal knowledge plays a valuable role in this area is unavoidable. Yes, art is created to be shared, but one's
interpretation behind it is always influenced by emotion, reason and imagination. IB Visual Arts HL has a whole
criteria based on the concept behind projects, and because of this I can affirm that interpretations are essential in
art. Paintings and things of the sort are made to evoke emotion, and generate a response in the viewer. Whatever
personal knowledge one has inevitably reflects not only the concept one gives to a piece of art, but the way the
work of others is interpreted. The arts are supposedly a window to the soul, and without personal knowledge, this
would not be true; the value of the arts in themselves would be diminished. One does not have to 'apply' or share
one's opinion in order for it to have value.
"At the beginning of his essay ‘Fact, Explanation and Expertise’ philosopher Alasdair Macintyre tackles the problem of a world
without interpretation... This paper explores possibilities for teaching interpretation through a report on an action-research project
based on Tate Modern’s Summer Institute for Teachers, held in 2002. In doing so, it argues for the value and necessity of
interpretation as a taught skill." (Charman and Ross, 2004).
To what extent is shared knowledge more valuable
to the world than personal knowledge?
Subsidiary Knowledge Questions
How can one define 'value'?
Is it fair to say that if knowledge is not
shared, it is not applied in the world?
The title is asking me to analyze
whether or not the worth of knowledge
is determined by it's application or use in
The key concepts related
to the title are
The Areas of
Knowledge that best
apply are. History, the
Arts and Indigenous
The Ways of Knowing that best apply are.
language, emotion, sense perception, reason,
imagination and memory.