IB ToK Essay Titles and Topics: May 2022

Here are links to ideas and suggestions relating to the the six May 2022 IB ToK Essay topics:

I briefly mention some points to consider for each topic 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 choosing your May 2022 ToK essay topics, I'd be delighted to receive your email; I'll send details of my services and fees: May 2022 IB ToK Essay Topics Enquiry

Title 1: Can there be knowledge that is independent of culture? Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 1 include:

  • the relationship between truth and knowledge
  • is truth always relative to some context?
  • can the same truth be seen in different ways?

These thoughts, and others, will be developed here shortly: come back soon!

If you require tailored help with topic 1 of the May 2022 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email; I'll send you details of my services and fees: Topic 1 ToK Essay May 2022 Enquiry

Title 2: To what extent do you agree with the claim that "there’s a world of difference between truth and facts". (Maya Angelou) Answer with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 2 include:

  • truth is a property of representations, e.g. factual sentences
  • facts are truth-makers - what make true sentences true
  • do all facts exist independently of all minds?

The kinds of things that can be true or false are representations: they represent things as being a certain way: some represent truly, some falsely (misrepresent things). Photographs are representations: an acceptable passport photo represents the face of the passport owner with a true likeness, for example. Factual sentences are an important kind of representation.

True factual sentences describe or represent the actual facts: e.g. the factual English sentence "gold is a metal" is true because gold is, in actual fact, a metal. False factual sentences misrepresent the facts: e.g. "gold is plastic" is false because, in actual fact, gold is not plastic, but is metal.

True factual sentences are therefore an important way of recording and communicating factual knowledge: knowledge of the facts. For example, I can use the English sentence "The city of London is on the river Thames" to communicate the factual knowledge (knowledge of the fact) that the city of London is on the river Thames.

Facts are therefore truth makers: they are what exist in reality to make factual sentences true. Reality therefore comprises, or contains all the facts. Someone who claims to live by "alternative facts" is therefore claiming to live, literally, in an alternative reality.

Many TOK students make the mistake of talking about "true facts". This commits a category mistake. Facts aren't the kind of thing that can be true or false, precisely because they aren't representations, they just exist there in reality. It is factual sentences that are true in virtue of the facts.

Some facts undoubtedly exist independently of all minds: the fact that the earth orbits the sun is so, it is a part of reality, whether or not anyone does think, or ever has thought, about it. However, are there some facts which rely on minds for their existence, such that if minds ceased to exist those facts would too?

These thoughts, and others, will be developed here shortly: come back soon!

If you're considering answering topic 2 of the May 2022 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email; I'll send you details of my services and fees: Topic 2 ToK Essay May 2022 Enquiry

Title 3: Is there solid justification for regarding knowledge in the natural sciences more highly than another area of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 3 include:

  • the uses and purposes of knowledge
  • how are beliefs justified?
  • the difference between knowing and claiming to know

These thoughts, and others, will be developed here shortly: come back soon!

If you'd like to discuss topic 3 of the May 2022 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email; I'll send you details of my services and fees: Topic 3 ToK Essay May 2022 Enquiry

Title 4: How do historians and human scientists give knowledge meaning through the telling of stories? Discuss with reference to history and the human sciences.

Thoughts to consider with essay 4 include:

  • the role of narrative construction in knowledge creation
  • the difference between trivial and significant knowledge
  • genealogical explanations of concepts and knowledge

These thoughts, and others, will be developed here shortly: come back soon!

If you'd like help with topic 4 of the May 2022 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email; I'll send you details of my services and fees: Topic 4 ToK Essay May 2022 Enquiry

Title 5: How can we distinguish between good and bad interpretations? Discuss with reference to the arts and one other area of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 5 include:

  • the purposes and uses of interpretation
  • the difference between interpreting an artist's intentions and interpreting their work
  • the relationship between interpretation and truth

These thoughts, and others, will be developed here shortly: come back soon!

If you're considering addressing topic 5 of the May 2022 ToK essay titles, then by all means email me and I'll send you details of my services and fees: Topic 5 ToK Essay May 2022 Enquiry

Title 6: If we conclude that there is some knowledge we should not pursue on ethical grounds, how can we determine the boundaries of acceptable investigation within an area of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 6 include:

  • the ethical difference between knowing something and using that knowledge
  • should ethics provide decision-making procedures?
  • can we assume there are there clear ethical boundaries that it is possible to determine?

These thoughts, and others, will be developed here shortly: come back soon!

If you're writing on topic 6 of the May 2022 ToK essay titles, then I'd be happy to receive your email; I'll send you details of my services and fees: Topic 6 ToK Essay May 2022 Enquiry
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