IB TOK Essay 9/10 Sample: Past & Present Knowledge

"Present Knowledge is Wholly Dependent on Past Knowledge." Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

What makes human knowledge so sophisticated is our ability to accumulate knowledge, which outlasts an individual and goes on for generations and generations. So, it seems legitimate to state that the present knowledge, the more elevated and comprehensive form of justified true belief compared to past generations, cannot exist without prior knowledge. However, does this indicate that present knowledge is wholly dependent on past ability? This question cannot be answered simply as true or false, as knowledge development is not a simple mechanism but is affected by many factors. The answer could also differ significantly depending on the Areas of Knowledge, like natural science or human science, as a different epistemology governs each, and the concept of reliance on knowledge could be applied differently depending on the context. Natural science is defined as the discipline that seeks to prove the fundamental laws of nature by scientific processing of data. In contrast, human science is the study of social, cultural, and biological characteristics of the human being.

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