Language Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Language Quotes

  • "How often misused words generate misleading thoughts" (Herbert Spencer)
  • "The limits of my language stand for the limits of my world" (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
  • "If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."  (George Orwell)
  • "Language was given to man to disguise his thoughts." (Talleyrand)
  • "Who does not know another language, does not know his own." (Goethe)
  • "Language was the real innovation in our biological evolution; everyting since has just made our words travel faster or last longer." (Steven Pinker)
  • "Man is the animal that speaks. Understanding language is thus the key to understanding man." (Thomas Szasz)

Language Definitions

As with just about anything we come across in ToK, language can be defined in multiple ways.

  • “Language is the expression of ideas by means of speech-sounds combined into words. Words are combined into sentences, this combination answering to that of ideas into thoughts” (Henry Sweet, English phonetician...
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Intuition Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Intuition Quotes

  • “I believe in intuitions and inspirations...I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.” (Albert Einstein)
  • “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice." (Steve Jobs)

  • "Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once" (Johann Kaspar Lavater).
  • “Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way” (Florence Scovel Shinn)
  • “I’m supposed to be a scientific person but I use intuition more than logic in making basic decisions” (Seymour R. Cray)
  • “Knowledge begins with intuitions, proceeds from thence to concepts, and then ends with ideas” (Immanuel Kant)
  • "Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind." (Immanuel Kant)
  • "Intuition is reason in a hurry." (Holbrook Jackson).
  • "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the...
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Faith Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Faith Quotes

  • “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” (Voltaire)
  • “Faith means believing the unbelievable.” (Anonymous)
  • "Some, indeed, demand to have the law proved, but this is because they lack education; for it shows lack of education not to know of what we should require proof, and of what we should not. For it is quite impossible that everything should have a proof; the process would go on to infinity, so there would be no proof... “ (Aristotle, Metaphysics)
  • “Faith is a passionate intuition.” (William Wordsworth)
  • “Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” (St Augustine)

Faith Definitions

  • "Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof." (Oxford)
  • "Firm belief in something for which there is no proof." (Merriam Webster) 

The insights of faith 

  • Faith is capable of...
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Reason Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Reason Quotes

  • "It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this." (Bertrand Russell)
  • "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." (Galileo Galilei)
  • "He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave." (William Drummond)
  • "Critical reason is the only alternative to violence so far discovered." (Karl Popper)
  • "Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." (G K Chesterton)
  • 'You do not reason a man out of something he was not reasoned into." (Jonathan Swift) 

Definitions of Reasoning

  • Reasoning is the process of thinking about something in a logical way in order to form a conclusion or judgement. (Merriam-Webster Online)
  • The process of forming conclusions, judgements or inferences...
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Memory Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Memory Quotes 

  • "We can invent only with memory." (Alphonse Karr)
  • “Memory and imagination help [a man] as he works. Not only his own thoughts, but the thoughts of the men of past ages guide his hands; and, as a part of the human race, he creates.” (William Morris)
  • “Memory feeds imagination.” (Amy Tan)
  • “Memory is imagination in reverse.” (Stephen Evans)
  • "Memory is deceptive because it is coloured by today’s events." (Albert Einstein)

  • "It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time." (Barbara Kingsolver)
  • "Memory is man’s greatest friend and worst enemy." (Gilbert Parker)

  • “I always think everything is going to last forever, but nothing ever does. In fact nothing exists longer than an instant except the thing that we hold in memory.” (Sam Savage)

  • "No memory is ever alone; it’s at the end of a trail of memories, a dozen trails that each have their own associations." (Louis...

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Sense Perception Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Sense Perception Quotes 

  • "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend" (Henri Bergson).
  • "A fool sees not the same tree that the wise man sees. (William Blake).
  • "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" (Mark Twain).
  • "Two thirds of what we see is behind our eyes" (Chinese proverb).
  • Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it" (Vladimir Nabokov).

Sense Perception Definitions

  • "Perception by the senses rather than by the intellect." (
  • "Perception by or based on stimulation of the senses." (Medical Dictionary)

We perceive the world through our five senses. (Hearing, Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste)  

Sense perception has three steps:

  1. Our sense receptors are stimulated by sensory information.
  2. The brain translates the sensory information into sensations such as sound, taste, temperature, etc.
  3. Higher centres in the brain either ignore or recognize the sensations and their meanings,...
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Ethics Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Ethics Quotes

  • "Everything has been figured out, except how to live." (Jean-Paul Sartre)
  • "Happiness is good health and a bad memory." (Ingrid Bergman)
  • "The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying." (Thomas Henry Huxley)
  • "A moral being is one who is capable of comparing his past and future actions or motives, and of approving or disapproving them." (Charles Darwin)
  • "Every man, in his own opinion, forms an exception to the ordinary rules of morality." (William Hazlitt) 
  • "Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness." (Immanuel Kant) 
  • "A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world." (Manley Hall)
  • "The first step in the evolution of ethics is asense of solidarity with other human beings." (Albert Schweitzer)

Definitions of Ethics 

  • "Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives." (Ayn Rand)


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Emotion Notes - Theory of Knowledge

 Emotion Quotes 

  • "Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalised his emotions" (David Borenstein).
  • "Emotions are not just the fuel that powers the psychological mechanism of a reasoning creature, they are parts, highly complex and messy parts, of this creature's reasoning itself." (Martha Nussbaum)
  • "Anger is never without a reason but seldom a good one" (Benjamin Franklin).
  • "Nothing great is accomplished in the world without passion" (Georg Hegel).
  • "Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason." (Oscar Wilde)
  • “Anyone can be angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not easy.” Aristotle

  • “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Shakespeare)

  • "Feelings are not substances to be discovered in our...
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History Notes - Theory of Knowledge

History Quotes

  • “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the future but by the past.” (Edward Gibbon)
  • "We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." (Stephen Hawking)
  • “Men think themselves free because they are conscious of their actions, but ignorant of their causes.” (Baruch Spinoza)
  • "History is but the register of human crimes and misfortunes." (Voltaire)
  • "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." (Winston Churchill)
  • "Historians are dangerous people. They are capable of upsetting everything." (Nikita Khrushchev)
  • "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)
  • "What is history but a fable agreed upon?"  (Napoleon Bonaparte)
  • "Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it." (Oscar Wilde)
  • "A page of history is worth a volume of logic." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
  • "History...
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Human Science Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Human Sciences Quotes 

  • "The social sciences are good at accounting for disasters once they have taken place"  (Claude T Bissell)
  • "If it cannot be expressed in figures, its not science; it is opinion." Lazarus Long
  • "Life is heredity plus environment." (Luther Burbank)
  • "An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday did happen today." (Laurence J Peter)
  • "Human behaviour makes most sense when it is explained in terms of beliefs and desires, not in terms of volts and grams." (Steven Pinker)
  • "We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself." (Carl Jung)
  • According to Eric Schmidt of Google, every two days now the human race

    creates as much information as we did from the dawn of civilisation until 2003.

Human Sciences Definitions 

  • "A branch of study which deals with people or their actions, including the social sciences and the humanities, as contrasted with the natural sciences...

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