That is the main TOK question, how do we know? Well we know through our experience, senses, knowledge, and reasoning etc. What is reasoning? For me it’s a claim, which supports essential processes, interactions, relationship; as well we base our reasoning on some knowledge in order to find some truth. However, reasoning as knowledge can be objective and subjective. On the picture on the left you see an apple; it is a usual apple, grown up somewhere in America. For a 3 year old child, it’s just a red apple with a nice smell.
Apple has these traits and without child or person trying it, therefore this knowledge is objective, it exists without any other influence. But when kid is eating it, an apple becomes tasty, or bitter, in other words it becomes a subjective knowledge. I. e. the girl on the picture is eating an apple; she is excited and happy, the apple is tasty for her, she just experienced that, it’s subjective. Therefore, reasoning might be defined as, just an objective knowledge existing without any external effects and as knowledge based on our (individual) experience.Order now
Now let’s see, examples of reasoning of an Apple in different areas of knowledge. As far as I choose reasoning for my TOK topic, for me I thought that the closest area of knowledge to reasoning is a science. So that’s what im going to talk about now. Everyone knows Newton Gravity Law, or Newton’s Laws of Dynamics. There is a legend that Newton found out Gravitational Law, while he was lying under the tree, suddenly apple fell down on his head, and he got the idea of gravitation.
The thing is that apple itself doesn’t carry any gravitational meaning, its only Sir Isaac Newton (for any other guy it probably will not have any effect) had a previous knowledge, and for him it was a subjective reasoning, and apple was understood as an object going down with an acceleration g, later understood as weight. Since, Universal Gravitational Law was founded science start developing really fast; Newton actually opened a new world for science and created a fundament for everything that we have nowadays, i. e. technology, Cosmo rockets etc.
And here reasoning can be said as a positive effect, human civilization developed, now we know more than 200 years ago, and it can be considered as a strong side of reasoning as a way of knowing. As well human development sometimes can lead to some cruel effects. It can be seen or studies in the area of knowledge, called Humanities or social Sciences. You know that with development of a certain society, the system (doesn’t matter economical system, or technology) absorbs values of people. For example, I live in Almaty, in the city which is famous for their apples.
It’s even translated from Kazakh as an apple town. Before Almaty, was a city full of apple gardens, right now on the place of theses beautiful apple trees we have roads and expensive cottages for rich people. As far as we are a developing country, we have our own economy, different business spheres; it brings more profit to invest in new buildings, rather than into growing trees. If thinking rationally, on one hand true may be selling houses is really profitable, however on the other our cultural descents that brought apples here and made an apple our cultural characteristic is disappearing now.
Now apple it’s not an object of pride of each citizen of Almaty, now it’s a good that can give you a lot of money if you know how to sell it. In the particular situation an apple carries a cultural value, which is subjective according to the history of the city where it was grown up first. On the other hand, an apple is a good which carries an economical characteristic such as price which is more important in this system of values. So that, civilization, development absorbed the cultural values, which I consider as negative effect of reasoning.
As well, I would like to talk about Arts, as another area of knowledge. The arts make our world more beautiful, because it is actually beautiful, you just need to see it, and Arts opens this opportunity for us. The Arts of course include paintings, poems, literature, and music and so on. For example if we take an apple in Arts, what associations do you have? When you here this word? Well as for me, I immediately start thinking about Kalliste, an apple that claimed ‘For the most beautiful one’. If you know the legend, Paris supposed to give it to the most beautiful goddess, he gave it to Aphrodite.