Over the past few centuries, arts is a collective term that has been used by scholars to encompass the creative productions of humans. This includes the literary, performing and visual arts. 

This area of knowledge has been essential in exploring the reality and experience of being human through the fundamental aspect of culture.

Based on this aspect, it is evident why the arts have been perceived as a bridge between personal and shared knowledge. Most of the knowledge produced within this field is collaborative.

In order to answer the prevalent knowledge questions posed by experts, one has to use ways of knowing such as emotion to generate significance from a personal level.

However, experts also rely on reason as a restrictive framework which provides artistic knowledge with its own inner logic.

During the determination of how to write a knowledge question, experts often regard arts as extra-artistic cognitive function that provides them with a message about the social and political implications of man’s place in this world.

This explains why the arts encourage self-analysis during the formulation of second order knowledge questions because they allow us to think introspectively about the information we produce.

It should also be pointed out that the audience plays a crucial role in the process of knowledge production.

There exists a fascinating dynamic between the audience who engages with the art, the art itself and the expert who produces or creates a work of art.

This dynamic is essential in the creation of knowledge because its interpretative aspects makes the resultant information very unique. This explains why in some cases; the artist develops their work of art with an intended purpose but the audience opts to interpret it differently.

Examples and Explanation 

Example #1

presecribed title
  • Claim - The evaluation of different sides of a disagreement has often been shown to spur the generation of alternative approaches and the production of new evidence that is used to dispel existing disputes
    Example – Analysis of research on book clubs.
  • Counterclaim - Differences in evaluative and epistemological standards present in the arts poses a fundamental challenge to the reviewing process
    Example – Consensus on the aesthetical beauty of Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’.

Researchers such as Howard S. Becker believe that the arts are a field that is based on classification systems that are used to evaluate knowledge. These systems allow experts within this area of knowledge to justify any evaluations they make.

Therefore, this factor explains why disagreements in the arts can easily be addressed.

The evaluation of different sides of a disagreement has often been shown to spur the generation of alternative approaches and the production of new evidence that is used to dispel existing disputes.

Data interpretation in this case is reliant on ways of knowing such as sense perception, whereby experts interact with the works of art using the perspectives of the conflicting sides.

For instance, research has shown that one of the best ways to write a TOK essay is to integrate aspects such as shared and personal knowledge. In this case, researchers studying book clubs have shown how disagreements can be beneficial to this area of knowledge.

By examining the shared knowledge present, the experts rely on the local evaluation standards adopted by members of this knowledge community to discuss contrasting perspectives in the arts.

The interpersonal influence of an expert’s personal knowledge can help reveal an angle that had not been considered before. This shows that experts in this area of knowledge prefer a state of consensus rather than disagreements.

On the other hand, an IB Diploma student can also argue differences in evaluative and epistemological standards present in the arts poses a fundamental challenge to the reviewing process.

Experts within this area of knowledge have developed defined criteria that are used to determine the assessment-making process. Therefore, the presence of disputes or disagreements challenges this specific aspect of quality adopted by the art community.

In order to structure a TOK presentations properly, one needs to examine examples that are related to the prescribed title.

In this case, Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ presents an apt setting through which we can show how disagreements should be rejected in the arts. 

Over time, many experts have perceived this painting as beautiful. Despite the number of people who have evaluated this painting, there is a consensus on the universal beauty of the artwork because the experts rely on a defined criterion during the evaluation process.

Therefore, it can be argued that the presence of disagreements is ideally challenging the pragmatic theory of truth.

Example #2

“Reliable knowledge can lack certainty.” Explore this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Different art forms rely on unique methodologies and various media during the production of knowledge.

This ultimately affects the nature of knowledge created as there exist various dynamics between the creator, the audience, and the resultant knowledge.

Based on this aspect, artistic knowledge cannot possess complete certainty due to the influence of aspects such as sense perception.

What the artists intend to convey is not necessarily what the audience will interpret. In arts tok essay writing, we will make the assumption that the resultant knowledge produced by artists can be deemed as valuable or reliable regardless of whether it aligns with the artist’s intentions.

There are multiple examples that highlight this lack of certainty present in knowledge regarded as valuable such as in literature where literary theories prescribe for a decontextualized approach.

In such cases, the reader forms an aesthetic judgment based on their emotions or cognitive response which ultimately might alter the ‘beautiful truth’ intended by the author. This lack of certainty does not affect knowledge’s reliability.

On the other hand, while aesthetic judgment is often perceived as subjective, it is not solely based on personal preference.

In order for an artwork to be considered beautiful, other experts within this area of knowledge have to agree with us. This is what is defined as aesthetic truth and it helps improve the certainty of artistic knowledge. Aesthetic truth, in this case, calls for general acceptance, and therefore, as long as uncertainty is present, no consensus can be formed and the knowledge becomes unreliable.

For example, David, the statue by Michelangelo is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture because it perfectly encapsulates the grandeur of the human body. This idea is collectively accepted and there is no uncertainty regarding its aesthetic beauty.