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"We See And Understand Things Not As They Are But As We Are." Describe What The Above Quote Meant.

1750 words - 7 pages

TOK Essay : "What we see and understand things not as they are, but as we are."Jess MihanWhile at first thought this seems like an obvious statement, it presents an idea that is at the very core of our existence. This claim suggests that one's understanding of something is based on their interpretation rather than actually is. The statement can be understood that when one gains a new understanding of something, the accumulated information/knowledge is based on what one already knows and one's personal understanding, leaving everything based on bias. For one thing here may be hundreds of different interpretations, because of people's differing perception. This statement touches upon all four ways of knowing: reason, perception, language, and emotion. Furthermore, within these fields, the statement covers many of the linking ideas, including: certainty, evidence, experience, technology, interpretation, truth, and belief.The issue here is that one person may see an object or situation (for example) but they may perceive it in a different way due to influences on their past. We then create an understanding of a situation due to our own perception of life and the world around us. There are also factors that can affect our understanding, such as, past experiences, personality, culture, religion and gender. We all act according to our past experiences, whether they are good or bad. When I was 5 my parents divorced, this was very emotional and life-changing experience in my life. It has changed how I feel and understand marriage and what it means in life and society. As a child I grew up believing in "Happily ever afters", true love and soul-mates. However after the divorce I grew up faster then other children, and I stopped believing in fairy tale love, this experience changed how I perceive and understand the world around me..Each person has a different personality that could affect their perception. For example an optimistic person may think that a glass is half full or that it is a lovely day, however a pessimistic person could say that the cup is half empty and pick up on the few clouds in the sky. There is also gender, from my personal experience when my friend and I watch a horror movie we, the girls, seem to become more emotionally attached to the characters. However the guys seem to just sit there letting us hide behind them and laughing at the poor graphics or the unrealistic death scenes. Religious values and culture could affect the way we perceive the world, as countries never eat cows because they think it is their god and who ever kills one will be punished, but in some countries and religions it is different and they are allowed to eat cows and will never be punished. All of these factors affect the way we are and our knowledge of the world.There appears to be no major problems with the statement. However, with further inspection, a knowledge issue is shown. By the use of certain words the statement can make hints and carry important...

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