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Theory of Knowledge Essay

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Name: Einar Ragnar Jónsson

Session: May 2010

Candidate Number: 000975-­‐009

Theory of Knowledge
#2: Examine the ways empirical evidence should be used to make progress in different areas of knowledge.

Candidate Name: Einar Ragnar Jónsson
Candidate Number: 000975-009
School Name: Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð
Session: May 2010
Word Count: 1595 words
1

Name: Einar Ragnar Jónsson

Session: May 2010

Candidate Number: 000975-­‐009

Empirical evidence has been viewed as a very prominent method of attempting to ‘prove’ something and can be applied to many of the areas of knowledge. The human sciences and natural sciences, for example, use empirical evidence to support theorems and laws, but is empirical evidence as applicable for, say, the Arts? To explore what is ‘true’ in the areas of knowledge, empirical evidence is applicable with certain limitations. ‘Empirical’ means “originating in or based on observation or experience”1 and ‘evidence’ is defined as “a thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment“2. From this, we can roughly define empirical evidence as ‘a thing helpful in forming conclusions/justifications based on observations and experience’. To attain empirical evidence, we rely on our sense perception, which provides the observations, reason, which allows for induction, and language, for communication to use the evidence. Emotion plays an important role with empirical research, especially in terms of experience as evidence. Empirical evidence insinuates that something must be proven, but is this really applicable in the areas of knowing, which don’t “seek” any particular truth, i.e. the arts? And to what extent is the seeking of truth possible through empirical evidence? Considering Descartes’ view on...

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