I originally thought that knowledge was just information that I personally believe to be one hundred percent true. This meant that anything I did not believe to be one hundred percent true was just useless information. I also believed that truth can only be obtained through “evidence” or “proof”. In simpler terms, I would have been classified as purely a “scientific type of knower”. That meant that I required “evidence” for every piece of information I encountered in order for me to consider it as knowledge.
An example of this would have been me not taking in everything my parents “tell me” as pure knowledge immediately. This meant that I would always try to verify whatever they tell me with books or with experts like doctors. Moreover, as a “scientific type of knower” I always expected “certainty” with everything that I considered as knowledge. Since, I always required “certainty” with my knowledge I believed there was only one way of acquiring knowledge and that is usually through “authorities/experts” like doctors and teachers for example. In other words, I would usually obtain what I “believed” as knowledge through scientific journals ,books, teachers at school and everything they teach me, and other professionals.
I would value the “information” these people provide me as knowledge because I believe these people are well educated and would be able to “verify” information they present to me. Furthermore, by being more of a kind of a “scientific type of knower” I was also more interested in acquiring knowledge that was more of a scientific or mathematical nature and less of an artistic nature. In brief, even though acquiring knowledge in only one way may simplify life it also presents many problems.
The problem of only acquiring in one way could be summarized in this quote by Bertolt Brecht “A man with only one theory is a lost man.” I myself, never truly acknowledged the problems of acquiring “knowledge” in only one way until I began taking TOK a few weeks ago. The thing that changed me the most were the questions that was given to me on the second week. These questions like “How did you know your best friend” or “How do you know you are in danger” really couldn’t had been answered by knowledge from experts or though verification.
Instead, I finally learned to realize the importance of other ways of acquiring knowledge like through experience and instincts in these cases. Additionally, the learning of “knowledge issues” like biases also made me reconsider my belief that I should always believe “experts” and that they are always right. Last of all, TOK have already taught me to look at knowledge at different perspectives and not only with one and that had made me realize the importance of other forms of knowledge like the arts. All in all, TOK have already changed me as a knower and that would continue to evolve as I have only skimmed the very surface of this course.