TOK Evidence

A knower relies on four ways of knowing: reason, emotion, sense perception, and language. Personally, I rely more heavily on two ways of knowing– reason and language– than the others. I, the knower, am most familiar with myself and thus know how I study, process, conceive and analyze information. Therefore, it is true that “I am my own evidence. ” The evidence is my own opinion. Generally evidence consists of concrete facts and proof, but in this case, it is what I think and believe because I cannot prove which two ways of knowing are my best.

I will be the judge and my evidence is my belief or personal truth. Although I am not the model of rationality, I still consider myself as logical and practical in many ways. I am loosely connected to emotion; therefore, I am not a slave to passion. Reason triumphs over emotion when I am making minor or great decisions everyday. Reason is my tool of understanding for it produces a clear path to organizing my perceptions and instincts. Clarity is important in deductive and inductive reasoning; the purpose of both is to form knowledge.

Emotions can contradict each other but logical thoughts are constant and definable which is significant in evaluating ideas and facts. Reason can be used to compare and combine that new information along with other ways of knowing to acquire a more complete understanding. Last week, my neighbor accidentally received my mail from the school district and wrote that I had moved. This one action caused a chain of events. The school received the letter and told me that I may have to move schools because my letter was rejected by my own house which causes the district to believe that I lived outside of the boundaries of the SJUSD.

I am nearing the end of my senior year by only a couple of months in a school that I grew up in. I should have become engendered or depressed by the news. However, I realized that these bubbling emotions would not solve any problems. Instead of lashing out at my neighbor for making a foolish mistake, I discussed the issue and he explained to me the reason for his mistake. I also went to the office and provided government documents to prove my address. My reason prevailed over my emotions and over my problems.

I rationalized about what I had to do instead of letting my anger and distress cloud my judgment. I do not let my feelings muddle my thoughts because I can isolate the two ways of knowing of reason and emotion when needed. For others, combining the logic and emotion would yield the best decision, but usually my emotions conflict with my thoughts and what I feel would not produce the best decision. I think in poetry; my ideas and thoughts appear as sentence fragments, glimpses of images, and sounds. Through organizing my thoughts, I can communicate them through the medium of language.

I do not believe that I am extremely well spoken and articulate with my words, but I believe that I have used language in copious forms to my advantage. Language appears through facial expressions, written symbols, spoken words, and art. I can use it to captivate an audience or evoke a wide array of emotions from a few lines. The many uses of language is exemplified in my experience with expository speech. This is a informative speech where I convey facts about a specific topic. This year my topic is gum, but I do not just talk about it. I write and present the speech, memorize my gestures, and make my visual aids.

In this form of speech, I use language–written, oral, body language, and art– in four different ways. I can manipulate language to convey emotion, information, or ideas in everyday conversations to job and college interviews. I use language as a learning tool because it is efficient and effective; therefore I rely on it as one of my best ways of knowing. Experience has taught me not to regurgitate information, but to learn, comprehend, question and teach knowledge and wisdom. I need language to facilitate each of these processes. The assumption in my claim is that I know myself best.

My confidence is my support for stating that I use reason and language the most. However, my teachers, classmates and family may tell me otherwise. Based on others’ observations, I may depend more heavily on emotion and sense perception than reason and language. Truth is an idea or piece of information that is unanimously agreed upon by many. By stating that it is a personal truth, the claim suggests that “truth” is not important if it is only relative. However, the knowledge issue states “I am my own evidence” which suggests that this should only be my perspective.

However, the matter of if what one believes is true or false is of no consequence. The basis of belief does not include any need for proof because faith and creed is a personal certainty that will always hold true in any circumstance. Beliefs do not need to be justified or accepted by others. Belief does not call for convincing evidence that can be analyzed, studied and tested. My hearing is fine, I have 20/20 vision, and the rest of my senses are intact, but my confidence in my five senses is low and my confidence in my abilities is the most important in discussing this issue.

The architecture of the human mind is intricately divided into three categories: knowledge, belief and opinion. The investigation of the source, nature, manner and limits of my thoughts unveils that I use reason and language to learn. The ways of knowing are not interchangeable. Each provides a foundation for one another; therefore they cannot be the same. Language, emotion, reason, and sense perception are all interrelated. Specifically, reason and language fundamental to how I think. Emotion and sense perception are innate ways of knowing. We are born to feel, see, touch, hear and smell.

The ability of sight and smell are natural and not learned. There are too many flaws with the naked eye like hallucinations and illusions. Therefore, I am not confident in an ability that I cannot further develop and improve. Similarly, with emotion, I was not taught to feel happiness, sadness, or anger. I have more faith in my learned abilities where I can explain my how I used and learn my ways of knowing. In reason there are fewer gray areas where my judgment is cloudy. Reason follows a pattern while emotion does not have trends. Also there are rules in language that keep it constant.

The laws of grammar, spelling, and syntax does not limit or restrict the ways we communicate, but only makes them clearer and easier to understand. In my perspective, I use reason and language the most. With reason, I can form clear judgments and conclusions and with language, I can express the logistics behind my judgments and conclusions. In the quest for discovering knowledge, it is best to combine all the ways of knowing. However, I personally know that in striving for wisdom, I use reason and language the most and the proof lies in my belief.

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