The Knowledge questions that arise from within title #1 are in its use of the concepts of “quantity”, “knowledge”, “measured”, “how many people”, and “accept”. Reflection shows us that these are all related to “value” determinations of what “knowledge” is and how its “quality” may be measured. The “quality of knowledge”, historically, has been measured by its “usefulness” towards the achievement of the ends that human beings have determined and have in mind.
For example, in the IB itself the “quality of knowledge” which as been determined to be the most “useful” is that given to us through the sciences. Views of which subjects are chosen by students and their parents illustrate this. This may be contrasted with the quality and value of knowledge which may be gotten through the Arts. Our acceptance of the value of the knowledge to be gained in the sciences is seen in our societies’ rewarding of positions of money and power to those who have knowledge in these areas.Knowledge that arises from the sciences and the mastering of this knowledge is what is held as “valuable” today and has been held as valuable for the past two hundred years or so. This “usefulness” is due to the fact that this “knowledge” “empowers” us in meeting our ends which, at the bottom, are the controlling and commandeering of beings/things towards what is determined to be “useful” for us.
Whether this be in the health sciences or the social sciences, this “empowerment” to achieve “useful ends” in the aim of the hard work that is required to master these areas of knowledge. Our “production of knowledge” is the desire to control “chance” and necessity and the power that arises through this control and mastery. The world and its resources vowed as “disposable” to our ends is our “empowerment”, and the value of this “empowerment” is recognised by our communities through our “shared knowledge” in the construction of what our curriculums will be in our education and in the awarding of the variety of positions of power within our communities for those who have mastered those curriculums or those who have gained the theoretical and practical knowledge that is to be found through those curriculums or our “shared knowledge”.In order for something to be considered “knowledge”, an account must be rendered of what that “something” is. In TOK, we call this account our WOKs or our ways of knowing.
Our ways of knowing are our renderings of the accounts of things: the ‘what’, the ‘why’,and the ‘how’ of some thing. That which we call “personal knowledge”, knowledge which may, perhaps, be most important to us as individuals, is quite “useless” without its being rendered or given over to others. We render this knowledge in our accounts of things through language, reason, emotion, etc.