To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old questions from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science. ~ Albert Einstein
Units of Study
Ways of Knowing
Knowledge and Truth
Areas of Knowledge
There are many ways to define what ToK is. Simply put, it is a course intended to be used as a source of - and sharpening of - critical thinking skills. We will do this by helping you generate questions that facilitate an evaluation of the knowledge that you acquire in your other courses and in other real-life experiences. The primary questions will be:
Inevitably, of course, these questions lead to many other questions such as the nature of Truth. In fact, one of the central maxims for this class is that developing 'good questions' is far better than thinking that you have all the answers. This is counter-intuitive for many students, and worth pausing to consider more fully.
Philosophical discussion habitually makes men happy and joyful, not frowning and sad.
The ToK course is an introduction to philosophy course which focuses its attention in an area known as epistemology (theory of knowledge). This is a central part of any and every worldview, whether consciously acknowledged or not. Many of the ideas and theories discussed in this course will be valuable to you now in your other courses, and for a longer range in the university context and in life! This is because - as an adult - it is important that you be increasingly aware of yourself as a learner (how you learn and what motivates you) AND that you become more capable of evaluating the underlying values, beliefs, and theories that your community, society, university, and culture directly or indirectly expose you to.
Know thyself! ~Thales
In this course you are finally free to question the knowledge that has been passed on to you by your teachers, your school, your peers, your culture, and your parents for the last 16+ years of your life. For most students, this can be an exciting and/or disillusioning experience. It is not uncommon to feel a little depressed (or overwhelmed) from time to time in ToK. Take heart! With patience, it is likely that you will be glad that you opened yourself up to such a process as it will likely develop in you new and useful perspectives, as well as a revised hope in your own contributions to the world.
Please find links to different units of the course on the left, as well as noting the documents and links below. Note that not all links will be active or all pages have content at all times.
Peace be with you always!