# How does reason work differently in the arts and maths?

As we saw in class, maths is a reasonable AOK. It’s completely created in reliance of this WOK. Were we to think about it, there’s no possible way to solve mathematical problems without the use of deductive logic, not even when using the known method of “induction”. On the other hand, the intention of the artist make the arts be reasonable. There is a reason why artists create art no matter if we regard paintings, books or even films.

Reason is used in both AOK. However, it works completely differently in each. Maths uses deductive knowledge to reach any conclusion. As we saw in class, even the process known as “induction” uses deductive knowledge to reach the mathematical correct solution. Nonetheless, the arts also uses reason. There are always logical or illogical reasons why the artist creates what he/she creates. E.g. I feel sad. Sad is expressed with the blue color. My painting (which expresses my feelings) will be blue.

Therefore, deductive reasoning is used in the same way in this almost opposite AOK. However, it’s used more often in maths than in the arts, where imagination rules over the other WOKs.

# To what extent is a film useful as an historical source?

In our previous history class we saw a film called Taegukgi to understand better and in more detail the Korean war. Our teacher asked us a TOK question which I found quite interesting: To what extent is a film useful as an historical source?

A film is an audiovisual representation of a story or fact. This visual contextualization is the reason why films are extremely useful when investigating a historical event. It’s mostly because of its easy comprehension.

In the film we were watching, appreciating how the war and the soldiers’ situation was in every moment helped us see the constant violence and horrible and difficult surviving  in every moment. Our imagination cannot reach that point of precision a lot of times , mostly when we’re talking about unaware contexts like, for example, Korean culture.

On the other hand, scriptwriters aren’t normally expert historians. This is why details shown in films always contain imaginary facts. This is why we say films are “based in real life” and they are not “real facts”.

In conclusion, films are helpful historical sources when trying to contextualize an event. However, they are not completely reliable and that’s why they cannot be considered as good sources.

# How does inductive reasoning work in maths?

Mathematical knowledge is quite peculiar. This AOK is the only one that explores its own information, that is to say it doesn’t use any other AOK to carry out contributions which expand its information.

Both deductive and inductive knowledge are used to expand knowledge. Although deductive knowledge is the mostly used, inductive knowledge is also useful.

It is a method that goes from particular to general, so it is always used when talking about series, for example. In this mathematical area we start with few numbers and suppose a general formula is followed by all the terms in the series. We’re not completely sure about it, since numbers don’t need to follow this rule and maybe in infinity numbers follow a different pattern or don’t follow it at all. However, it is the way from which mathematicians solve this problems since there are no other previous facts from which we can deduce the series.

This way, we prove by deduction an inductive fact.

In conclusion, in an AOK based in reasoning, inductive knowledge is used when there’s no possibility to use deductive knowledge because of the lack of specific information. However, there’s a deductive methodology.

# To what extent is maths knowledge determined by mathematicians?

Maths facts are proven by mathematicians by the use of logic. However, to what extent do we know what they are proving is true?

To be able to answer this question, we should first consider whether maths is an invented science or if it is something that already exists that we are in the process of discovering. Let’s take the platonistic view and consider maths an established non-invented Area of Knowledge. Up until now, every mathematician has proven very axiom by logic. Were we to regard how a second degree equation is solved, for example, we use the formula which has already been proven. However, what if all our maths methodology is wrong because this procedure isn’t exact.

This is exactly the paradigm of the philosopher and mathematician Russel, who came up with an impossible logic problem: the paradigm of catalogues, which represents the different sets of numbers.

In conclusion, I think our current discovered knowledge in mathematics is completely determined by mathematicians since their atoms are constantly used either to solve known problems or to try to expand knowledge. However wether to think this is actual knowledge or an incorrect method human beings have chosen is completely uncertain.

# To what extent can we state the arts main purpose is communication?

Artists use the arts to share information.  For example, as we saw in our Spanish classes, most authors’ purpose when creating their stories is to be read. Not only does this happen in literature, but also in other art creations such as advertisement spots or paintings themselves. Gabriel García Marquez wrote “Cien años de soledad” to show

Europeans the different culture Latin-Americans had and to complain about the imposition of colonizer’s culture.  Moreover, Munch’s “The Scream” reflects the terrifying feeling society deeply felt towards industrialization. His aim when painting this drawing was to express this feeling, to try to express a common emotion and communicate it.

However, some art creations don’t have this goal. Prehistorical drawings painted in caves, such as the ones in the cave of

Altamira (Santander) are believed to have a religious meaning. It is said they were painted when doing rituals. This means there was no purpose of communicating, but to carry out those religious events.

In conclusion, art has different intentions depending on the artist that creates it. It can intend to communicate, but this transmission of information is not required for something to be art. As Oscar Wild stated in an essay, arts is “Art for art’s sake”.

# To what extent can we claim art standards of judgement are universal?

Art is part of an individual, even though some people think it is created by them. This is the reason why most of us find the same things pretty. When a couple of friends of mine and I went to the American Museum in order to learn about Latin American culture for our Spanish class. While looking art their art, I realised Aztec pottery was really similar to ancient Greek ones.

Aztec                                                 Ancient Greek

As we can see in the pictures, the silhouette is almost the same, both colours used for painting are black, they represent human activities, the bottom is decorated with geometric figures, the two of them are varnished… The interesting thing about it is these cultures didn’t meet, but they have the same judgements of a “beautiful” vessel. With this example, we can deduce every human being has the same image of beauty.

However, there are external reasons why these two cultures made their pottery this way. The figure must be because it is an easy way to hold it and pour the liquid that goes inside. The varnish must be son the paintings don’t erase…

# To what extent can shared information change personal knowledge in the arts?

The arts is probably the most subjective area of knowledge, and so opinions and pints of view are the basis of the transmitted knowledge. Although it can focus on internal human behavior or it can also be a tool to keep the ‘status quo’, I’ll look at society criticism through the arts to try to answer this question.

Whenever a book is published or a drawing exposed, what they both transmit becomes artistic shared knowledge or information. On the other hand, what each one of us as an individual believes is our personal knowledge. However, this type of knowledge is much weaker since we should have clear ideas in order to stand up for our thoughts.

The thing within the arts is they have developed so many manipulative skills and defending your ideas is much more difficult when you are ingeniously being persuaded.

Taking as an example Shakespeare’s play Othello, we can see he specifically chose a black man as the main character in order to make people realize race shouldn’t determine a man’s position in society. Perhaps some watchers in the XVII century realized what the artist was seeking to express and their racist pain of view was changed.

However, this is also done in visual arts, where revolutionary paintings such as Napalm, Blansky’s famous painting of the Vietnamese girl, which complain about politicians or society as a whole. A lot of American citizens felt ashamed of their politicians when they saw this and maybe some of these were completely in favour of the current party before having seen the painting.

If we consider the media as arts, that’s the most powerful manipulative source of information to which we are exposed everyday. Besides, most people constantly have their minds changed by them.

In conclusion, after having analysed the meaning of each knowledge and the impact of art with an example, I consider the arts can definitely change personal knowledge and that’s one of their objectives: artists try to expose their pain of view in order to convince people about their way of thinking.

# To what extent is it possible to state there is a one crucial WOK when acquiring knowledge in the natural sciences?

While doing my first essay about how WOKs work a doubt came up to my mind: is there one essential WOK, which is far more important than others?

The natural sciences can quickly be associated to sense perception since it is every experiment basis. However, even though they are not as recognized, other WOKs such as imagination (to come up with a hypothesis) are just as important. Besides, we should never forget scientists must study previous discoveries in order to make useful explorations.

In order to make my reasoning more professional and true, I decided to base my arguments on the prestigious psychiatric William Glasser. His theory about the Learning Pyramid claims there are different actions from which we retain knowledge. However, theres an interaction of WOKs in each of these.

The learning pyramid. (2017). [image] Available at: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/0a/78/f3/0a78f305a0fa625f869786318132ecd0.jpg [Accessed 28 Jan. 2017].

Glasser admits we obtain a 5% of what we’re taught, process in which we only use our language to understand the information and faith in our teacher.Wen reading or listening to information we remember what we have learnt and (memory) we add imagination to try to view the situation. When demonstrating, we also use reason to link information and reach a logical conclusion. If we discuss about the knowledge we have learnt (where there are normally two points of view), we use intuition to support a side. We can practice by experimenting and realize what we were taught was right (or wrong) so sense perception would be used again. Nonetheless, it is when sharing our knowledge that we retain more information since all the WOKs and previous processes are used.

In conclusion, basing my statement from William Glasser’s pyramid, we can clearly see there is no essential WOK, but all of them are used together and knowledge is linked as we learn. In addition, it is proven above that the processes in which we retain more information is by using all of them.

# To what extent is it possible to ignore knowledge?

This Christmas most important piece of news was probably the new driving restriction to reduce pollution in Madrid. However a lot of people complained about it.

The fact is we all know Madrid has high quantities of pollution, but we are too lazy to change our ways of living in order not to keep this situation. That’s the reason why we ignore a fact we actually know. Although it is a piece of information kept in our memory, we don’t think about it.

I consider we have “more important” issues to be concerned about such as day-to-day problems, individual ones. The truth is we can have an unlimited number of problems, but we cannot focus on all of them to try to solve them. This is to say each problem is a different challenge, and we need to try and complete them.

People see the effects this issue will have quite far away. However, the effects of not driving their car and so arriving late to work which are closer obstacles worry us much more.

To sum up, I believe knowledge can be ignored. It is still in our brain, though it’s just not possible to pay attention to every issue we have.

# To what extent does physical activity affect the way we obtain knowledge (especially using memory)?

In Christmas holidays, while I was exercising one morning a question came up to my mind: since the physical and the mental are connected by the body, does any physical activity affect how we gain knowledge?

After checking some reliable sources, comparing it with personal experiences and thinking about it, I realize it definitely does!

Reynolds, G. (2016). How Exercise Can Help Us Learn. [online] Well. Available at: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/how-exercise-can-help-us-learn/?_r=0 [Accessed 26 Dec. 2016].

According to a study done in the University of British Columbia, cardio daily exercising boosts the size of the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning (hippocampus). The fact is that apart from all the direct effects it has, exercise improves mood and sleep and reduces stress and anxiety. So basically, exercising improves indirect conditions which are essential to ameliorate the ability to obtain new information.

Not only does this experiment prove the statement, but my personal experience does too. I try to exercise almost every school day. Even though this takes a lot of time and leaves less than 2 hours to study, that amount of study time is more than enough since it is the most efficient.

Another study that recruited 81 healthy German women reached almost the same conclusion: memorizing while exercising leads to best memorization.

All things considered, I think exercising clearly improves the way we obtain new information, mostly when memory is required, so exercising before studying for an exam is the best way to lean it quickly.

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