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IB ToK Essay Topics: May 2013

Here are links to the full titles of the six May 2013 IB ToK Essay topics:

I briefly mention some points to consider for each title below; however, the personalised service I offer is tailored to each student.

You should be very wary of simply repeating phrases and words from ToK websites.

In particular, basing your essays on downloaded templates carries considerable risks. First, you don't know with whom you are dealing.

Secondly, your essay will share the same structure as many others and will likely be considered as plagiarised. As an experienced philosophy and ToK examiner I know how easy it is to identify essays with a common source.

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If you require personal help with any of these May 2013 ToK essay topics, I'd be delighted to receive your email: May 2013 IB ToK Essay Topics Enquiry

Title 1: In what ways may disagreement aid the pursuit of knowledge in the natural and human sciences?

Thoughts to consider with essay 1 include:

  • the difference between natural and human sciences involving uncertainties relating to human behaviour
  • the distinction between rational and non-rational disagreement
  • ways of resolving rational disagreement
If you require tailored help with topic 1 of the May 2013 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 1 ToK Essay May 2013 Enquiry

Title 2: "Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge. Only seeing particular examples can give us understanding." To what extent do you agree with these assertions?

Thoughts to consider with essay 2 include:

  • the concept of abstraction as it relates to generalising from particular examples
  • the logical relations between knowing and understanding
  • the extent to which a knower can have knowledge without understanding and vice-versa
If you're considering answering topic 2 of the May 2013 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 2 ToK Essay May 2013 Enquiry

Title 3: "The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility." Evaluate this claim.

Thoughts to consider with essay 3 include:

  • the distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge
  • the role of knowledge in the rational justification of moral actions
  • the distinction between sins of omission and commission
If you'd like to discuss topic 3 of the May 2013 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 3 ToK Essay May 2013 Enquiry

Title 4: The traditional TOK diagram indicates four ways of knowing. Propose the inclusion of a fifth way of knowing selected from intuition, memory or imagination, and explore the knowledge issues it may raise in two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 4 include:

  • the logical relation between the existing four ways of knowing
  • the difference, and relation, between suppositional and sensory imagination
  • the varieties of memory
  • empirical testing of intuition

My doctorate from the University of Oxford was on the role of imagination in providing knowledge of the world. So I would be particularly happy to help you with this essay.

If you'd like help with topic 4 of the May 2013 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 4 ToK Essay May 2013 Enquiry

Title 5: "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." (Christopher Hitchens). Do you agree?

Thoughts to consider with essay 5 include:

  • the nature of self-evident truths
  • the concept of rational justification of assertions and dismissals
  • the distinction between refutation and dismissal
If you're considering addressing topic 5 of the May 2013 ToK essay titles, then by all means email me: Topic 5 ToK Essay May 2013 Enquiry

Title 6: Can we know when to trust our emotions in the pursuit of knowledge? Consider history and one other area of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 6 include:

  • the relation between emotion and reason
  • the pragmatic nature of trust
  • the varieties of historical evidence
If you're writing on topic 6 of the May 2013 ToK essay titles, then I'd be happy to receive your email: Topic 6 ToK Essay May 2013 Enquiry
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