TOK EssayQ. “Robust knowledge requires both consensus and
TOK EssayQ. “Robust knowledge requires both consensus and disagreement.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.Robust refers to the knowledge which is strong, sturdy and resilient to change. Arguing whether knowledge can be accepted or claimed as knowledge, requires a common agreement by authorities. Nonetheless, aspects that a specific theory does not address are highlighted by criticism and disagreement. Moreover, robust knowledge can be produced by reasoning as a predominant way of knowing in the natural sciences along with deductive reasoning of hypotheses as a method. Other ways of knowing such as faith plays an important role as the knowledge produced by certain authority may be more credible than the other irrespective of the reasoning. This can in turn reduce the accuracy of the knowledge produced. However, the credibility of the authority increases the reliability. This arises questions such as whether robust knowledge is more accurate or more reliable. Does the Area of knowledge affect the robustness of knowledge? Or whether different ways of knowing in an area of knowledge affect the accuracy in return affecting the robustness.In natural sciences, hypothesis evokes disagreement but does the disagreement in NS always produce a knowledge that is robust in nature? Disagreement is directly linked to lack of reasoning and unintuitive knowledge produced. Ideally, a hypothesis undergoes deductive reasoning after which it is replicated and verified. However, this cannot be replicated in each and every case which increases the scope of criticism. On top of this, counter intuitive hypotheses are less credited as well. In 1781, William Herschel, a British astronomer hypothesized that the sun was inhabited based on the fact that he had observed rings around the sun. Not only was he unable to prove it, but his claim was rather far too counterintuitive and hence was refuted. Since sense perception played a major role in the thought process of Herschel, it was rather unreliable due to the inability to reason it. Hence his sense perception steered his mind to hypothesize his claim, disregarding other factors such as the mere possibility of such an event occurring or his sense perception being deceptive. This directly relates to how lack of consensus whereas extensive disagreement does not lead to robust knowledge.On the contrary, if a certain claim made by an authority is unintuitive but justified with reasoning, it can aid in knowledge production. In string theory, quantum physics, a law is used stating that the sum of all natural numbers is shockingly . This result is used in areas of string theory and other areas of quantum mechanics. Even though intuitively the answer to this sequence should be infinity, this has been proved by the Riemann Zeta Function. Hence it is not necessary that a counterintuitive yet reasoned claim has to be criticised but can be widely accepted instead. However, there must be justification without which the hypothesis does not satisfy the results obtained. To sum up, The AOK of natural science revolves around justification of a claim irrespective of the nature of the claim i.e. whether it is intuitive or not, with relevant justification it can be accepted and disagreement can be avoided. This shows that even though the theory received a lot of criticism it is still widely acceptable showing its sturdiness.The knowledge framework in the AOK of history revolves around justifying the evidences found and formulating plausible explanations. However, Can there be robustness even without consensus or disagreement? Since History is based on the past and archaeologists base their theories on the excavations and evidences found. The knowledge produced is based on the matter of acceptability and interpretations. The lack of acceptability will cause disagreement amongst authorities. In the natural sciences where the process of reasoning and justification doesn’t start from scratch since past experimentations help steer the knowledge production in the right way. Unlike the natural sciences, knowledge production in History is started over from the beginning. The several theories about the end of the Indus valley civilisation prove the ambiguity in the AOK of history. It took several years to find possible reasons due to the level of disagreement that was underlying the progression of knowledge production. On the other hand, Even though disagreement decelerates the knowledge production, it still aids in finding accurate knowledge. The Taj Mahal, also known as Queen Mumtaz’s tomb, was originally believed to be an ancient temple palace of Lord Shiva. This was disproved by analysing the quality of the marble and its origin upon which this theory was corrected. Hence even though the disagreement may slow down the process, it certainly drives the knowledge production to produce robust knowledge. Even though history revolves around interpretations, there is a great level of analysis and documentation that governs this AOK. Hence, disagreement may not be as prevalent in knowledge production in History as an AOK.Consensus plays an important role in acceptance of knowledge but to what extent does the utility, acceptability and application of knowledge make it robust? The newton’s theory of gravity was held strong for decades till Einstein’s theory overpowered. However, it was the lack of consensus which resisted the approval of Einstein’s theory. This denial led to slowing down the progression of the theory of gravity. However Arthur Eddington convinced the authorities by reasoning, experimentation and justification that Einstein’s theory was more accurate than that of Newton. Both, consensus between Arthur Eddington and the relevant authorities as well as initial disagreement in Einstein’s theory led to the vigorous testing and experimentation. This helped strengthen the idea of gravity making it far more robust. However, consensus may not require disagreement in production of knowledge. Wilson Greatbatch was working on an oscillator to record the heart sounds in the late 1950s and accidentally put a wrong resistor. This made the device give rhythmic electrical pulses which could be used to regulate a heartbeat making a pacemaker. Hence it is not necessary for disagreement to coexist with consensus to produce robust knowledge. Moreover, several scientific research like this were conducted based on imagination and sudden thoughts that evoked the will to conduct experiments. To conclude, criticising theories in natural science isn’t always needed to produce accurate knowledge.On the other hand History as an area of knowledge, depending on interpretations can include other factors for knowledge production. Does the method of the knowledge s produced affect the robustness? WOKs such as sense perception, intuition, faith and to an extent act as a major factor based on which knowledge is produced. For example, historians identified that whales have evolved from a land mammal…..??? This was deduced based on intuition since both are mammals, reasoning based on the evidence found etc. However, without consensus, the claim would’ve not been justified and widely accepted as it is today. On the opposite side, WOKs may not need consensus…..??? If a theory is held to be very rigid and strong having very less scope for interpretation, it can lead to robust knowledge as well since this reduces the ambiguity that could underlie within the knowledge formed in this AOK. This can be linked back to the knowledge question by proving that consensus in history relies on acceptability of authorities in the presence of sufficient data used for reasoning and justification. Hence, consensus is heavily affected by the WOKs that govern this AOK since the only scope of analysis is by various interpretations which are derived from the sense perception followed by justification of the evidence.To conclude robust knowledge does require both, consensus as well as disagreement in a specific ratio such that they both are proportional and required to take into account every aspect of the research before the data has been exponent. However, consensus may not always play a role hand in hand with disagreement since there are several cases where the way in which knowledge is produced is not taken much into account the anomalous cases In the Natural sciences. Moreover, producing robust knowledge can be equally affected by the WOKs in both the areas of knowledge, Natural sciences and History. However, without the relevant reasoning, knowledge produced with the help of various ways of knowing is not advantageous. Moreover, the knowledge produced highly depends on the acceptability and verifiability of knowledge since the knowledge produced must be applicable and be used in various scenarios and not be limited to one real-life example.