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IB ToK Essay Titles and Topics: May 2016

Here are links to the full titles of the six May 2016 IB ToK Essay topics:

I briefly mention some points to consider for each title below; however, the personalised service I offer is tailored to each student.

You should be very wary of simply repeating phrases and words from ToK websites.

In particular, basing your essays on downloaded templates carries considerable risks. First, you don't know with whom you are dealing.

Secondly, your essay will share the same structure as many others and will likely be considered as plagiarised. As an experienced philosophy and ToK examiner I know how easy it is to identify essays with a common source.

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If you require personal help choosing your May 2016 ToK essay topics, I'd be delighted to receive your email: May 2016 IB ToK Essay Topics Enquiry

Title 1: "In gaining knowledge, each area of knowledge uses a network of ways of knowing." Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 1 include:

  • the concepts of verification and justification in gaining knowledge
  • the distinction between practical and theoretical knowledge
  • are some ways of knowing more fundamental?
If you require tailored help with topic 1 of the May 2016 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 1 ToK Essay May 2016 Enquiry

Title 2: "Knowledge within a discipline develops according to the principles of natural selection." How useful is this metaphor?

Thoughts to consider with essay 2 include:

  • the difference between causal and rational processes of selection
  • the distinction between practical and theoretical knowledge
  • what corresponds to the 'fitness' of an item knowledge?
If you're considering answering topic 2 of the May 2016 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 2 ToK Essay May 2016 Enquiry

Title 3: "The knower’s perspective is essential in the pursuit of knowledge." To what extent do you agree?

Thoughts to consider with essay 3 include:

  • the distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge
  • the difference between subjective and objective knowledge
  • the essentially perspectival nature of knowing what an experience is like
If you'd like to discuss topic 3 of the May 2016 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 3 ToK Essay May 2016 Enquiry

Title 4: "Without application in the world, the value of knowledge is greatly diminished." Consider this claim with respect to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 4 include:

  • the difference between practical and theoretical knowledge
  • the practical application of knowledge
  • the value of theoretical knowledge
If you'd like help with topic 4 of the May 2016 ToK essay titles, then I'd be delighted to receive your email: Topic 4 ToK Essay May 2016 Enquiry

Title 5: To what extent do the concepts that we use shape the conclusions that we reach?

Thoughts to consider with essay 5 include:

  • the difference between sensing and perceiving
  • the role of concepts in perception
  • the relation between conceptual schemes and factual knowledge
If you're considering addressing topic 5 of the May 2016 ToK essay titles, then by all means email me: Topic 5 ToK Essay May 2016 Enquiry

Title 6: "In knowledge there is always a trade-off between accuracy and simplicity." Evaluate this statement in relation to two areas of knowledge.

Thoughts to consider with essay 6 include:

  • the difference between knowing a fact and knowing a theory
  • Occam's Razor and the simplicity of theories
  • are accuracy and simplicity exclusive concepts?
If you're writing on topic 6 of the May 2016 ToK essay titles, then I'd be happy to receive your email: Topic 6 ToK Essay May 2016 Enquiry
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