1. How do “believing in” and “believing that” differ?

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TOK: Essay 1/Unit 1

Respond to one of the questions below in a thoughtful, well organized essay. While this is not an English class, be mindful of good essay writing habits: thorough analysis and explanation, developed argument, logical organization, applicable examples, correct grammar and mechanics, and (of course!) proofreading. Be sure to address other knowledge issues that may be contained in these questions. (500-800 words.)

Please attach this sheet to your essay as a cover page.

Due: Monday, 2.4.2103


1. How do “believing in” and “believing that” differ?
2. When should we discard explanations that are intuitively appealing?
3. How much of one’s knowledge depends on interaction with other knowers?
4. Are there responsibilities that necessarily come with knowing something or knowing how to do something? To whom might these responsibilities be owed?
5. “It is more important to discover new ways of thinking about what is already known than to discover new data or facts.” To what extent do you agree with this claim?
6. What is the difference between “I am certain” and ‘it is certain”? Is conviction sufficient for a knowledge claim to be validated? What are the implications of accepting passionate, personal belief as knowledge?
7. Does knowledge depend on context? How so?
8. How do the four different types of propositions contribute to knowledge?
9. “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” (Christopher Hitchens). To what extent to you agree or disagree with this claim?

Level 5



Level 4

Very good


Level 3



Level 2



Level 1





There is focus on the question and the knowledge issues contained within the question. Thoughts are developed with contemplation of different perspectives. Arguments are clear supported by effective real life examples and evaluated effectively. counterclaims are explored; implications are drawn.

There is a focus on the question and the knowledge issues contained within the question, developed with acknowledgement of different perspectives. Arguments are clear, supported by real life examples and are evaluated somewhat. Counterclaims are explored.

There is a focus on some questions and the knowledge issues contained within the question, developed with little recognition of other perspectives. Some arguments are clear and supported by examples. Counter claims may be identified.

Some knowledge issues that are connected to the question are considered, but the essay is largely descriptive, with only superficial or limited exploration. Other perspectives are ignored, arguments are unclear and/or not supported by clear examples.

The essay is almost wholly irrelevant to the question. Any relevant points are descriptive or a reiteration of the question at hand. Essay might be redundant or repetitive.

The essay does not qualify as a response to one of the questions.

Cogent, accomplished, discerning, individual, lucid, insightful, compelling.

Pertinent, Relevant, thoughtful, analytical, organized, credible, coherent.

Typical, acceptable, mainstream, adequate, competent, predictable, ordinary

Underdeveloped, vague, simple, disjointed, confusing, derivative, rudimentary

Formless, incoherent, trivial, redundant, paltry.

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