TOK Outline Essay title – “The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility”. Evaluate this claim. What knowledge issues I think are involved •How can you possess knowledge? How do you acquire it and do these ways affect your responsibility of imparting it on others? •How is the knowledge you have affected by your personal ethics? Some people would have no problem giving out certain pieces of knowledge while others would be very trouble giving out exactly the same information. •How can one know when they are ethically responsible?
How do you know how big the impact of the knowledge you are giving will have on the recipient? Ways of knowing, Areas of knowledge that are involved. •Ways of knowing oReason – Has huge relevance to the essay title. You use reason to decide how the knowledge you have will affect the recipient and if it is ethically responsible to do this. oEmotion – Emotion will always affect your decisions when doing something, For example if you don’t want to say something to someone as it may hurt them but they have a right to know.
Introduction: •State my view on the claim, whether I agree/ disagree oI agree with the statement above, its up to you whether or not to impart certain knowledge you have, depending on the situation. Person you’re speaking to, what the knowledge is, how it will affect them. •Thesis statement. 2nd paragraph •Try and explain the knowledge issues; “How can one know when they are ethically responsible” etc. See above for a list of some knowledge issues. •Discuss ethics, ‘possession of knowledge’ rd paragraph •State first area of knowledge – Ethics •State an example linking the AOK to the title. oAlbert Einstein’s involvement in the creation of the atom bomb. Knew it was going to be used in warfare. •Link it to the thesis statement, for and against oAs a scientist ethically responsible to impart his findings to the world. oBut as a human being he could have kept it to himself in order to save people’s lives •Make sure that both sides of the argument are stated. 4th Paragraph Same as 2nd paragraph except with second area of knowledge – Natural and human sciences. •Biology – example would be Ben Johnson at the 1988 olympic. Doctors ethical responsibility to give him the drugs knowing their effect and the details while Ben Johnson just trusted his professional ability. •Economics – Bank crisis in 2008. Did the banks have an ethical responsibility to tell the public that their money was being used for other things, instead of just letting the money be lost and telling them after they had invested it all. th paragraph •Explain how ways of knowing will be linked to the claim – Reason •Provide example. oIf someone stops you on the street and asks for directions then you use reason to determine that it seems perfectly fine for you to impart the knowledge you have and that it coincides with your ethics. 6th paragraph •Same as above with other way of knowing – emotion oA doctor giving the results of tests to a patient and telling them that they are terminally ill.
They may not want to impart that knowledge as they know it will greatly affect the person and emotionally you wouldn’t want to be giving that information. But they are ethically responsible as professionals to give that information. oAnother example that would go with this is a police officer having to tell the next of kin that they family member has died. Conclusion •Evaluate all the points that have been talked about. •Restate your thesis statement and talk about if you agree/ disagree again. •Don’t bring up any new points! •Round off the essay nicely, no trailing points.
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