TOK- My first impression/ understanding of it

After this first TOK lesson I know I am in for some brain cracking questions and discussion, which I am definitely looking forward to!

My first learning moment took place when the slide with the triangle was pulled up. The questions read “What do these angles add up to?”, I quickly answered “180 degrees!!” which probably even a sixth grader could do. But then immediately after, I started to question “Why do I believe this?” and this led me on a little train of thought. I believe it because my teacher must have stated it as a “fact” when I was in middle school. But at that point in my life, I thought certain information should just be taken as it is, no need to question. But as I have started to study maths at a deeper level I have started to enjoy the ‘proof’ aspect of the subject. But I never did get around to questioning the basic concepts we were fed as kids. This triangle slide highlighted two points for me:

1) It is important to question the source of your information, and then justify the reasons for why you believe them or why you don’t

2) It is important to question the origin of an idea because this can then help you make more connections (in the case of the triangle, I can then put to use my knowledge about parallel lines). But in general, I think digging deeper into the origin of ideas pushes you to understand how contextual influences affect the way people think and how that led to the development of ideas

The Venn diagram also blew me away. I had never conceptualised knowledge to be the crossover of our beliefs and the truth. Now that I come to think of it I have never thought much about what ‘knowledge’ is, I always just believed it to be ‘things you know’ whether that be facts or experiences that lead to learnings, but I guess I was not completely wrong, because if you look at it form a birds-eye view, experiences shape your beliefs and facts are one of the elements of the truth set.

I am sure the Venn diagram was the simplest representation of what knowledge is, and I look forward to exploring its complexities.


3 conceptual understandings

The arts are a way of exploring and representing abstract ideas that can’t be conceptualised otherwise. The power of art lies not just in the artistry of the creator but the unintended discoveries or realisations it gives birth to when viewed by the receiver.


Different languages allow you to think in different ways and each can make you feel, and let you express an emotion that another probably can’t.


History is not only the study of past events but also an extrapolation of our own perception and context.

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One Comment

  1. Reply

    Thank you Aarushi; this is a very promising first post. I am glad you are intersted in these sorts of ideas; I think that does indeed show you will enjoy the course.

    Your questions about triangles is an interesting one we will return to. You are right that we can draw some parallel lines and make progress…but did you ever stop to think ‘why 180?’ Why not 100? Or 1000? These are questions we can return to.

    We shall also return to the idea of knowledge as a true belief. Turns out that’s not quite right… we’ll need to think a little harder there.

    Great start – thank yon for this strong initial post. Good to have you in the class

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