Reason Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Reason note helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Reason note) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to try IBMastery for free.

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...
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Memory Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Memory note helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Memory notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to try IBMastery.

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...
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Sense Perception Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Sense Perception note helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Sense Perception note) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to try IBMastery.

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

Sense perception has three steps:

We perceive the world through...

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Ethics Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Ethics note helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Ethics notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to join IBMastery.

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...
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Emotion Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Emotion note helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Emotion notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to try IBMastery for free.

 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...

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History Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK History notes helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full History notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to join IBMastery.

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)
  • ...
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Human Science Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Human Science notes helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Human Science notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation.

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, it's 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...
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How to Answer IB Business Management Questions

For some reason students find the longer IB Business Management questions very hard to master.

Actually I know why this is.

Just have a look at the list of things you have to do to get full marks in a 10-mark Business Management question.

Or don't. It's a bit overwhelming!

You don't need to read this paragraph, but... (For a 9 or 10, you need to show: "Good understanding of the demands of the question, including implications, where relevant. • Relevant business management tools (where applicable), techniques and theories are explained clearly and applied purposefully, and appropriate terminology is used throughout the response. • Effective use of the stimulus material in a way that significantly strengthens the response. • Evidence of balance is consistent throughout the response. • The judgments are relevant and well substantiated.")

Do all of those things, while also answering the question. How are you supposed to remember to do all of that? 

¯

...

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Examples to Avoid in ToK Essays

In Theory of Knowledge we always encourage you to use original evidence. It's always more interesting when a student uses an example (a quote, a story, a fact) that we haven't heard of before.

Original "evidence" in your essays doesn't necessarily make them better essays, but it does suggest that you've taken some time with your research and not just using the first thing you found in a last-minute Google search.

The best examples can be the worst --because they're just so darn good.

So again we do tell our students to use "original evidence", but for the student it can be hard to know what is original. As teachers we might see some of the same examples used every year. But it would be hard for a student who is new to the subject to know to know which examples to avoid. 

Good examples of bad examples

The May 2016 ToK Subject report has come to the rescue, with a list of some common examples you might want to avoid. It's not mandatory to avoid these examples, but it could...

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How to Change Your Habits in Three Simple Steps

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit" (Aristotle).

A lot of what we do every day is habitual. Obviously, some of our habits are good and some aren’t, but they all work in the same way.

Think of how powerful it would be if you did the things you knew you should: If you didn’t procrastinate; if you did you got in the habit of getting ahead in your homework, if you always asked questions in class; if you did extra questions from the textbook.

A lot of times we see our habits as something we simply have to deal with, something we have or don’t have, a result of undisciplined childhood. But changing habits isn’t so hard when you understand how they work. I just finished Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit, which explains the psychology and social science behind habits and outlines the simple, three step process involved in all habit.

Let’s take one of Duhigg’s examples: alcoholics anonymous. The...

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