Topic 5. Asserted without evidence, dismissed without evidence

Asserted without evidence, dismissed without evidence.


Evidence, assertion, dismissal 

The key to this question is how you define ‘evidence’. What one accepts as reliable evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, may for another not be sufficient to justify assertions (knowledge claims). People usually accept evidence that is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.

However, what is regarded as reasonable depends on the paradigm in which a knower(s) operate. There are many examples of this from different areas of knowledge as well as in popular discussion related to conspiracy theories.

Knowledge issues 

The topic assumes that evidence is the key criterion for dismissing assertions. You may want to challenge this assumption. There are other reasons to accept or dismiss assertions (knowledge claims) such as logical validity of an argument. Possible other knowledge issues/questions are...

Topic 1 TOK Guide reviewed by Lisa Schmidt on Jan 18 2013 Rating: 4