4. The traditional TOK diagram indicates four ways of knowing. Propose the inclusion of a fifth way of knowing selected from intuition, memory or imagination, and explore the knowledge issues it may raise in two areas of knowledge.
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Memory is a tool people use to process things they come to learn about the world. In psychology memory is described by the term cognitive processes which include perception, thinking, problem solving, memory, language and attention. Cognition is ones mental perception of the world like images, words and concepts. Memory is not an exact copy of experiences but an outline. What people actually remember and what they have been told by someone else, is mixed so the thing people remember and thinks is the truth is a lie.
This is called false memory and the brain would make an illusion or use imagination to twist the truth around. In this connection where people can manipulate memory questions may arise about the trustworthiness in a witness testimony. Also when people can manipulate memory how reliable is memory as a way of knowing.
If a person witnessed a robbery and testified to the police about what they saw, you would not believe that a person would lie but if the policeman were to ask the wrong question people would subconsciously lie about what they saw. For example if a police man could ask, what colour shirt was he wearing? The witness would thing about the colour of the shirt but if instead he asked, what colour shirt was he wearing? Green? Blue? The witness might mention one of those colours the police man mentioned. So the witness could accidently give a false testimony because the policeman’s question was not neutral hence, the witness got false memory.
This would be a connection to history as a area of knowing, history books consist of memories written down. Some history books are of primary memory, written by people who have experienced a historical aspect and secondary memory, written by people who have been told by another person who had experienced a historical aspect.
Since memory is not always remembered correct history books can be wrong. Memory is one of the most important ways by which our histories animate our current actions and experiences. Memory seems to be a source of knowledge. We remember experiences and events which are not happening now, so memory differs from perception. We remember events which really happened, so memory is unlike pure imagination. Yet, in practice, there can be close interactions between remembering, perceiving, and imagining.
Another area of knowing were memory is used is the arts. Actors, musicians and dancers use memory to remember words, notes and choreography. How they do this is by using motion, a required motion on stage, so the moves help the brain to recall stored information. Communication, reading lines out laud, even in early stages and try to visualise an audience you have to communicate to. Internalization, make the lines personal, to become the character, dancer or musician.
In the way of knowing memory plays a big role in inductive reasoning and you could ask, to what extent is reason based on previous memory experience? We jump to conclusions in inductive reasoning as the results of our memory since memory is the key to remember past events, for example a person has only seen a red rose all his life so therefore all roses must be red but that is not true because there are many different coloured roses and this is called the problem of induction. If something has happen often in the past, there is a good chance it will do so again.
The conclusions are drawn from limited evidence because we have no choice but to do so, most of the times this seems reasonable but sometimes not, we need to consider if the evidence supports a conclusion and when it doesn’t. Also in deductive reasoning we use memory to make generalisations and to draw similarities between issues, objects and thought. In deductive reasoning we would use memory to know what is required of valid and a true argument.
In language also a way of knowing, memory is used to remember and understand the ”codes” ,“symbols” and sounds in order to learn and communicate the language that is being taught. If we weren’t able to remember the”codes”, “symbols” and sounds when learning a language, languages would be
meaningless. Because all we would just have been taught would be forgotten right away.
Sense perception, a way of knowing, can only be used if we can remember what we see, hear, feel, smell and taste. Without memory we wouldn’t be able to recall these senses and perceive them. The other way around sense perception is a big trigger of memory, if for example the smell of a horse triggers my memory to think of my childhood because I grew up on a farm with horses so I would connect those things together, the smell of horses = my childhood.
The same if a heard a specific song in an important moment of my life then when I heard that song later on in life I would think of that moment. Big event makes people remember too for example 9/11, people can remember what they were doing and where they were at the moment they were told or saw it on the news.
Emotion is one of the ways of knowing which most people would argue could do without memory since it acts on impulse. However emotions are based on past experiences like affection and hatred towards somebody due to past events. In the dictionary emotion is described as particular type of mental state similar to memory.
People remember differently and they need to know what type of learner they are. Some people are visual learners and others are audio learners. Visual learners need to see things to understand them for example in chemistry a visual learner needs to see the atom to understand what it is. An audio learner would need to hear the things they need to learn out laud and would not be able to understand it if the person had to read things to learn. If we know which type of learner we are we can better learn and learn faster.
Memory is an important skill to have because without it we would not be able to exist. We would not be able to remember what we like, were we live, who to trust or what is right and wrong. Memory is the essential thing that the ways of knowing are build and based. It links all the ways of knowing together because all the ways of knowing needs memory to work precisely.
Memory would not necessarily be a fifth way of knowing since there are many flaw to memory, but I think that it connects the ways of knowing and it is an important skill to have so we can learn and use the accepted ways of knowing. Memory could be the overall term of ways of knowing and the four ways of knowing could be under the memory category.
Crane, John and Hannibal, Jette, Psychology course companion, Oxford university press, 2009 Alchin, Nicholas, Hodder Murray, 2003