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The Theory Of Knowledge Essay

1326 words - 6 pages

“That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow.” What is knowledge? Knowledge can be defined as the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject acquired by a person through experience or education . There are seven official ways of knowing according to the Theory of Knowledge text book provided by the IB Diploma Program, these are: language, reason, perception, emotion, memory, imagination, and intuition. These areas conflict with the subjectivity they may bring since hey may be biased or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. Therefore, there is no certainty that the knowledge acquired through these areas is an absolute truth . ...view middle of the document...

However, examining the event more objectively, it can be proven that the subjectivity of those affected altered the perception on the event. Hence, this prior knowledge can be discarded since history is a factual way of knowing, and to what extent does history transcend as pure knowledge if it is being recounted subjectively? An example of this is the legend of the Costa Rican hero Juan Santamaría. During the Campaign of 1856- 1857 , under the command of General José María Cañas, a twenty-five year old soldier, Juan Santamaría, volunteered to burn down a small hotel where the filibusters were taking refuge. The filibusters, who were person engaging in unauthorized combat against a foreign nation, had an advantageous firing position, putting the soldier in a risky situation. Several soldiers futilely attempted to thatch the roof with a torch. Until Juan Santamaría persevered, despite being severely injured along the way, and ensured freedom to Costa Ricans by burning down the place and defeating the filibusters. Because this soldier was responsible for the Costa Rican victory, although he died at the scene of his act, he continues to be remembered for his bravery by Costa Ricans. It is not just his bravery which made him a hero, but that he volunteered on the condition that, in the event of his death, his mother would be taken care of. Because of the bravery and the values Santamaría represented, he was presented to Costa Ricans as a role model. However, a hundred and fifty seven years after the event, historians now question the legitimacy of the account of Santamaría’s actions. Many have discarded the historical event of him performing the heroic act, claiming that the government devised the story in order to set him as a role model for a society that was facing war times and needed someone to look up to. These historians are being objective, and discarding knowledge that was not questioned fifty years ago. Nevertheless, it can be argued that there are records of the man’s existence, just no proof for his actions, so the event must have been real. This would be an argumentum ad ignoratiam , since it implies arguing that because there is no proof that it did not happen then it must have happened. However, although many historical events are told from one specific perspective, this perspective can give a clear and accurate image of what the event was like.
During World War II Adolf Hitler led the Nazi party into the mass genocide of Jews best known as The Holocaust by putting them in concentration camps such as Auschwitz. Hitler believed annihilating all Jews was the best that could be done, so he put them in camps, where Jewish families were separated, abusively put to work, or gassed in huge chambers were they thought they would be simply taking a shower. In 1944, at age of sixteen, Ellie Wiesel, a Jew from Hungary was taken to Auschwitz with his family. Wiesel struggled to survive for a little over a year in the camp, and grew up to write...

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