IB ToK Essay Titles and Topics: November 2020

Here are links to ideas and suggestions relating to the the six November 2020 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 November 2020 ToK essay topics, I'd be delighted to receive your email; I'll send details of my services and fees: Nov 2020 IB ToK Essay Topics Enquiry

Title 1: "If a disagreement about knowledge claims needs to be resolved, then it is essential to give equal attention to both sides." Under what circumstances is this good advice?

Thoughts to consider with essay 1 include:

  • might some knowledge claims have more than one side?
  • the distinction between rational and non-rational agreement
  • proofs resolve disagreement about knowledge claims, what else does?
If you require tailored help with topic 1 of the Nov 2020 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 Nov 2020 Enquiry

Title 2: "Understanding something requires being able to answer ‘What if…?’ questions about it." To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Thoughts to consider with essay 2 include:

  • the nature of counterfactual reasoning
  • the role of the imagination in 'what if' thinking
  • the varieties of understanding
If you're considering answering topic 2 of the Nov 2020 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 Nov 2020 Enquiry

Title 3: "Too much of our knowledge revolves around ourselves, as if we are the most important thing in the universe" (adapted from Carlo Rovelli). Why might this be problematic?

Thoughts to consider with essay 3 include:

  • how can we measure the amount of knowledge, if at all?
  • how do we distinguish trivial from non-trivial knowledge?
  • what does genuine self-knowledge involve? Is it a bad thing?
If you'd like to discuss topic 3 of the Nov 2020 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 Nov 2020 Enquiry

Title 4: "The process of gaining knowledge is more valuable than reaching an end result." Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 4 include:

  • the extent to which any item of knowledge relies on other knowledge
  • how do we measure the value of a process of gaining knowledge?
  • the varieties of value involved in gaining knowledge
If you'd like help with topic 4 of the Nov 2020 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 Nov 2020 Enquiry

Title 5: "The questions we can ask depend more on what we already know than on what we do not know." Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 5 include:

  • do we have to be ignorant of some item of knowledge in order to ask about it?
  • the role of our concepts in framing questions
  • is possessing a concept a form of knowledge?
If you're considering addressing topic 5 of the Nov 2020 ToK essay titles, then by all means email me and I'll send you details of my services and fees: Topic 5 ToK Essay Nov 2020 Enquiry

Title 6: "Reliable knowledge can lack certainty." Explore this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 6 include:

  • can we know a falsehood?
  • are there degress of certainty?
  • what is more important to the reliability of an item of knowledge, it's truth or it's justification?
If you're writing on topic 6 of the Nov 2020 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 Nov 2020 Enquiry
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