Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Try out a ToK prompt!

Greetings, ToKers -
Now that you've learned some of the vocabulary and have engaged in some excellent discussions about relevant issues, I'd like to challenge you to tackle the following ToK prompt from a former prescribed title list.

As you think about responding, consider: What is the question really asking? Are there more than one way to answer it (think claims and counter-claims)? What real-life examples can you use to illustrate your claims and counter-claims?

Shoot for a paragraph or two. After you're done, you might want to give a quick reflection on how this went for you. Was it easy? Difficult?

If you don't want to try it yourself, you might want to read some of your fellow students' responses and give them some feedback.

Question: What is the difference between 'it is certain' and 'I am certain,' and is passionate conviction ever enough to say you really know anything?

Have fun! Mrs. King


Ali said...

"it is certain" relates to the coherence theory. It is certain implies that it was proven universally. For example, if someone were to say "It is certain the sun will rise tomorrow" it would be considered a fact (unless you believe in judgement day and that any day now the world will be no more....)

"I am certain", on the other hand, relates to the pragmatic thoery in that it is more of an opinion or something which is more useful for the person saying it. Not always a fact or not always true. "I am certain I will pass the test" This is not something which is universally accepted but instead accepted by the individual who says it.

Ali said...

ok i forgot to answer the second part :$
I think that passionate conviction goes back to the whole "I am certain" thing I said earlier. Even if one strongly believes that what they are saying is right, it is still not enough to call it a fact or a law.

Vvyynn said...

Pile of Chocolate Ice Cream is relevant? Heh. Anyhoo, since I started writing, I guess I have to answer. For the most part I'd have to agree with Ali. "It is certain" Implies that the global society believes heartily that this will happen (i.e "The Sun will rise tomorrow" or "The Sky is blue", etc.).
However, "I am Certain" implies that YOU alone believe this heartily (i.e "I am certain my dog can think"). This implies that this is something that is. This is a truth to me, which is the only thing I'd add to Ali. "Certain" means that you have no doubt in your mind, and that this is the closest thing to a universal truth as you have. Thus, the difference between the two phrases is that one is implied by a society and the other by an individual.

Deep Chandegara said...

"I am certain" refers to acquaintance knowledge and "it is certain refers to descriptive knowledge"
If someone says "I am certain" then they believe its a properly justified true belief; Often, whatever someone is certain of is private, and often it is an opinion. It may not be true for everyone else, but it's true for you. If someone says "it is certain" they must have evidence to back it up or else how can they really be certain of the fact that they are certain?
If someone says "It is certain" then you know its a universally accepted belief. It requires evidence that everyone can understand. It must be judged as either true or false.

Vvyynn said...

I've already answered to this. LOOK OUT FOR THAT BUS!