Up till now in TOK we have been exploring the natural sciences. We established the complex nature of the scientific method, realising that it is not a completely ‘objective’ area of knowledge, which has now led us to the study of arts. I was not there for the introduction of ‘the arts’ but here is what I could make of the slides and my own understanding when it comes to comparing the arts and the natural sciences.
The sciences seek to explain the physical truths of the world, while the arts portray and explore the human experience, and emotion. The physical nature around us all is the same, so technically it should/ could be explained the same way by all of us, therefore science relies on shared knowledge. Whereas human experiences and emotion are personal to an extent, and therefore art is a cultivation of individual knowledge or it would be fairer to say that art is not created with the intention to be agreed by everyone (although it does happen) whereas science is.
The creator and receiver interaction in both areas of knowledge can be a similarity and a difference. For example, the general public plays a role in the acceptance of a theory, and when paradigms are really strong the receivers are harder to influence. And similarly, in art, the receiver plays a role in making an artist famous or not. So the presence of such relationships could possibly be seen as a similarity between the two areas of knowledge, and the nature of the relationships differentiate them. In science, ideas are put out with the intention to be accepted. In the arts, although an artist might have their intentions, it is not necessarily for the receivers to comply. And when art is looked at through time, it can be interpreted differently depending on the receiver’s context, whereas science does not necessarily have this sort of subjectivity.
Both science and art challenge and question existing knowledge. They both have an aspect of curiosity to them, which is essentially a common driving force. There is an equal sense of imagination and thinking outside the box that takes place in these two areas of knowledge. I firmly believe that an artistic and scientific brain go hand in hand. Having the qualities of an artist, I think, can help a scientist be more successful. Because I think it tunes your brain to notice more abstract patterns. And if we look back at the great minds of the past, almost all were adept in a variety of fields, theatre, science, philosophy etc.
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