Topic 2. General patterns and particular examples

Seeing general patterns can give us knowledge.
Can you see the individual example in the pattern?


General patterns, particular examples, knowledge, understanding, only

‘To what extent’ type of question requires you to discuss under which conditions you would agree or disagree with the quote. The disagreement or agreement may depend on ways of knowing, areas of knowledge, your interpretation of ‘patterns’ and ‘ particular examples’ or your interpretation of ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’.

Knowledge issues

The question assumes that it is possible to ‘see’ general patterns and particular examples, and that seeing is linked either to knowledge or understanding respectively. You may challenge these assumptions by raising following knowledge issues/questions:

  • Can we separate recognising general patterns from particular examples? We have an ability to recognise patterns (based on your past experiences and conditioning) and only because of this ability we can later recognise particular examples as being part or distinct of patterns.
  • Is there a dichotomy between knowledge and understanding? Having knowledge means you also understand justifications for beliefs. Consequently, knowledge and understanding are interlinked ...
Topic 2 TOK Guide reviewed by Julia McKenzie on Jan 05 2013 Rating: 5