Tok Essay: Critical and Creative Thinking

1590 Words Dec 25th, 2012 7 Pages
Theory of Knowledge
3 May 2012
TOK Essay Response: Critical and Creative Thinking Since the dawn of humanity, man has sought to gain further insight on life through attaining knowledge. Knowledge can be defined as any information gained through personal experience. The means of obtaining knowledge include four main branches: reason, perception, language, and emotion. Despite the means, all knowledge is formulated through the process of thinking. Thinking refers to the use of the mind to gain understanding of the world. In the modern educational system, students are trained to think critically and apply gathered information to generate knowledge. However, schools also stress the idea of being original, using one’s own creative
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In areas such as literature and art, the focus is on creative thinking. Both ways of thinking are present; however, one is of more importance than the other. This interplay between creativity and criticality is evident in the area of knowledge of natural sciences. The area of knowledge of natural science involves any science which utilizes the scientific method to explicate the laws governing the natural world. Over the centuries, scientific thinking has evolved into a field of accepted facts and indisputable laws. Especially in the western civilization, a growing misconception states that science only involves critical thinking. As a knowledge issue, if science has accepted the methods of verification and justification as sufficient in gaining new knowledge, then is creativity needed? It is true that scientific law has helped to explain phenomena that were once foreign to human understanding. For example, gravity is now defined by Newton’s law of gravitation. Photosynthesis is the means by which all producers obtain sustenance. All matter consists of atoms. These claims are supported by evidence obtained through experimentation and observation. However, creativity has also played a role in the discovery of scientific knowledge. Creative thinking is apparent in the design of experiments. Although scientists use critical thinking to analyze data and evaluate conclusions, they use creative thinking in approach to designing experiments. When given a problem, there are

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