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TOK Essay Title #2

For artists and natural scientists, which is more important: what can be explained or what cannot be explained? Discuss with reference to the arts and the natural sciences.

This Theory of Knowledge Essay prompt allows for a lot of creativity. Though this TOK Title requires certain Areas of Knowledge (Arts and Natural Sciences), there is a lot to talk about here. Nearly any piece of evidence can work for this -- what is something that can't be explained? What is something that can? Boom. Done. Now compare them. Plan on explicit comparison paragraphs here. More thoughts and a video will be uploaded shortly. If you want extra help, tutoring, or proofreading, click here to have me read your essay! 


Evidence Used in my Video:

How the Large Hadron Collider Explains Explained and Unexplained Knowledge. 

Michio Kaku - Is God a Scientist?

Picasso's Guernica

Do We Need a New Evolution?

My notes:

  • This is a comparison prompt – don’t just write about what can and can’t be explained.

  • You must decide, in the conclusion, which is more important. Take a stand and pick a side.

  • The organization for this is pretty simple for a basic TOK essay:

    • Arts – something that can be explained

    • Arts – something that can’t be explained

    • NS – something that can be explained

    • NS - Something that can’t be explained.

  • Make sure that each paragraph talks about why this perspective is important.

  • Natural Sciences -- what can’t be explained? This is what drives sciences forward. Pick something scientists can’t currently explain, and talk about how this is prompting new research, ideas, and knowledge. Theoretical physics, string theory, space etc.

  • Article – Do We Need a New Evolution? Scientists say that Darwin doesn’t explain everything! This would be an interesting idea, as it’s taking something that can be explained, but addressing what cannot be explained by it.

  • Natural Sciences, something that we all agree is true and well explained by science. What is the use of that? Elements, how light travels, back to evolution, maybe things like planets and their movement.

  • The Arts -  ask: ‘what can be explained by the arts?’ There are simple answers, such as art that depicts history and specific events or people.

  • I’d also argue that art is able to explain the unexplainable. Or at least it can explain things that other AOK’s can’t. Art can explain beauty more than other AOK’s, so think about how Art is able to bring meaning to feelings, emotions, or existence – things that are not always explainable.

  • Stay away from talking about works of art that can’t be explained. This isn’t what the prompt is asking.  

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