Title 5 – May 2017 TOK Essay KQ 2 To what extent are the disagreements valuable and contribute in Knowing?


The world around us consists of multidimensional , complex , dynamic and interconnected systems that necessitates knowing and understanding built through multiple claims and counterclaims/conflicting claims.

There lies an inherent value in getting to know the ‘other side’ of the argument. Not only the disagreements steer towards scrutiny and exploration, the resulting outcome also rests on a well balanced and robust foundation.

This examination through disagreements entails deeper recognition and judgment instead of mere accommodation. Taking for instance, Theory building or Theory change in Natural and Human sciences involve a community process of sharing experiments, observations, feedback and interpreting the data in distinct ways and in varied settings. The process entails prolonged deliberation that often sparks scientific controversy as witnessed in case of any ground breaking theoretical idea.

The scientific controversies involve strong disagreements either over the interpretation of the data, availability of conclusive evidence to support the idea or future investigation and yet the discussion and debate to overcome opposition is what persuades the entire scientific community for the theory or the idea to be ‘convincing’ if not ‘infallible’. Many a times, disagreements settle when further experiments are conducted and fresh data is generated.

Science works because scientists disagree – they challenge each other’s ideas, find better ways to interpret and analyse and and eventually come to conclusions that bring us closer to truth.