“To be rational, in this instance, doesn’t mean to be devoid of feeling, it simply means to respond the right way, mentally or emotionally, to the corresponding situation.”
Senior Class of 2020
"To achieve anything of note, one needs to employ some level of logical decision-making. Operating by the reasoning of the previous claim, all things, including one's emotional state, would be beholden to that same logic. Though many could classify the pursuit of certain emotions as irrational, I would disagree. From my point of view, the worlds of rational thought and emotion are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, the two rely on each other to maintain the well-being and decisions that people make. So with these ideas on the table, the issue would not be if humans are capable of using logic in emotional matters but understanding how much of one's [logic] is affected by emotions."
Senior, class of 2020
"The ultimate emotional experience is the highest degree of self-enlightenment or self-actualization a person can reach. Buddha believed a person can reach enlightenment if they followed the Middle Way. The Middle Way is the path in between self-gratification and self-mortification meaning not picking between two extremes, but instead trying to find a balance between them. For example, you shouldn't starve yourself, but you also shouldn't become gluttonous."
Senior, Class of 2020
If trust were not a factor in creating music, it would not be able to exist or to be established as shared knowledge. We both build and appreciate music as a society and if we were not able to do so, we would not agree upon what is and is not music.
Senior c/o 2020
True knowledge is defined as justified, true, belief. True means that regardless of time, place, or person, it remains the same. If this so-called knowledge in the form of a law is only considered knowledge because of when it was shared, where it was shared, and by whom it was shared, there is no real Truth. Therefore, it is not real or true knowledge.
-- S. Khan
Senior c/o 2020
"It is pragmatic to say that in order to believe something is true, you also have trust that it is true. A common example of this is in religion. Many people believe in God (or some other higher power) and therefore trust that they exist. Belief and trust go hand in hand. Trust and knowledge, however, is something separate. It would be improper to use the word "never" but it is highly unlikely that everyone on Earth would agree on something. Even something like "killing people is wrong" could be met with a rebuttal of "under what circumstances"? I make this example to say that not everyone will trust the same things, so therefore, creating shared knowledge is difficult."
-Samantha H., Class of 2020
"On the other hand, the question of authority limits the permission given. Who has the authority to decide what should or should not be done? Why should we assume that their conclusion is more valid than our own?"
an excerpt from a 2018 ToK essay
"First and foremost, considering that I am nearly eighteen years old and assuming I will live more than 36 years, my future from today onward will make up a larger portion of my life. By having security of my future, I will be less stressed about being able to reasonably survive, allowing me to focus my attention further or elsewhere altogether. Using evidence that the average life span is greater than 36 years for American males, we can prove using simple arithmetic that my life in fact consists of more than my past. My claim is further justified when we consider that we could use our abilities to go farther than a secure future, since we would not have to worry about reaching that security."
an excerpt from a 2018 ToK Senior Essay