AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
TOK RESOURCE MENU

The Areas of Knowledge are highly organized aggregates of Shared Knowledge characterized by distinct subject matter and methods of inquiry.

Areas of Knowledge are socially constructed and incorporate the Ways of Knowing in various nuanced combinations.

The individual Areas of Knowledge have endured and have evolved. They have commonalities and differences which are important to pinpoint including: specialized insider vocabulary, underlying assumptions and persistent open questions or frontiers.

From the TOK perspective the Areas of Knowledge encompass not only the Academic Disciplines but also Religious and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE FRAMEWORK:

1. Scope/Applications
2. Concepts/Language
3. Methodology
4. Historical development
5. Links to personal knowledge

CLASS ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES

1. MATHEMATICS

Pure mathematics: invented or discovered?
House of cards investigation
The Monty Hall problem
The special case of mathematical induction with a guest mathematician
Mathematics as a human enterprise reader
The great mathematical debate


2. NATURAL SCIENCES
41 orders of magnitude at Homo discens
E. O. Wilson’s sciences chapter in Consilience
Nature: an encounter with a real science journal
Is there a scientific method?
Popper and falsifiability
Consilience and emergence
at Homo discens
Paleontology and Archeology: boundary methodologies

3. HUMAN SCIENCES
Random numbers and deconstructing statistical evidence
Isaiah Berlin’s pluralism
Partnership week with NewsTrust: What is good journalism?
Radical libertarianism
Causation and correlation


4. HISTORY

Professor Marwick of the Open University: The Fundamentals of History
Draw history
Paradoxes of time: TOK Knowledge Questions or metaphysical speculation?
Cubist history
Memory at Homo discens
   

5. ETHICS
What are ethics and morality all about?
Gorilla language and personhood
 

Moral Sense Test lab
The limits of Utilitarianism
Kant’s Categorical Imperative
Rawls’ “Veil of Ignorance”
“The Seven Deadly Sins”
What is a war crime?—Nuremberg and the European Criminal Court
Guest scientist works with human volunteers
Reckless Black Night and brave Sir Robin—Aristotles Golden Mean
Vera Drake: saint or serial killer?
“Between beasts and angels”―the banal and the sublime

6. THE ARTS
Picasso’s lie
Highly provocative artworks collection
Mathematics, physics and music
BBC video on You Tube: Live orchestral performance of John Cage's 4’ 33’’
Attempting to Draw a Naked Human Being
“That willing suspension of disbelief”

7. RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS
A persistent meme
Faith as a Way of Knowing
Jonestown case study
Radical atheism
Religion/religiosity vs. transcendent personal faith
The universality of the Golden Rule
When Buddhist monks tackled the Trolley Problem

Smullyan's Is God a Taoist?


8. INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS
Defining “indigenous”
Case studies
Jared Diamond on lessons learned from indigenous cultures
Exorcising cultural relativism
Global ethics resources


 

Paleontologist at Dinosaur National Monument.
Photo: Northern Arizona University