6. “Avoiding bias seems a commendable goal, but this fails to recognise the positive role that bi...

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6. “Avoiding bias seems a commendable goal, but this fails to recognise the positive role that bias can play in the pursuit of knowledge.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge. by Mind Map: 6. “Avoiding bias seems a commendable goal, but this fails to recognise the positive role that bias can play in the pursuit of knowledge.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

1. Keywords

1.1. commendable

1.1.1. A goal which is worth pursuing as it increases the quality and usefulness of the knowledge

1.2. recognise

1.3. Avoiding

1.3.1. Not consciously or subconsciously using any bias whatsoever in the acquisition or creation of knowledge

1.4. Bias

1.4.1. The influence of the prior knowledge of the producers and acquirers of knowledge on the knowledge they produce or acquire.

1.5. Knowledge

2. Key Phrases

2.1. pursuit of knowledge

2.1.1. The production of knowledge

2.1.2. The acquiring of knowledge

2.2. positive role

2.2.1. Improving the ____ of knowledge

2.2.1.1. quality

2.2.1.2. usefulness

2.3. seems commendable

3. Rewrite

3.1. Avoiding the use of past knowledge and presuppositions in the production or acquisition of knowledge is often seen as increasing the quality of the knowledge produced or acquired, but this ignores the ways in which bias can (and is in fact needed to) produce valuable knowledge (as defined by its quality and usefulness)

4. Rewrite

4.1. History revolves around the selection and interpretation of sources, which requires some sort of theoretical approach, depending on the purpose of the knowledge produced. As such, bias is necessary in the production of all historical knowledge. However, a distinction needs to be made between 'good' bias, which is intentional and helps achieve the objective of the knowledge production or acquisition, and 'bad' bias, which brings the knowledge produced or acquired further away from the objective of the to-be knower.

4.2. In the natural sciences, empirical data allows for a more easily verifiable objective truth, at least within the confines of human thought. However, even in the natural sciences, bias is involved in the interpretation of experimental data, so as to form scientific theories. Bias, in the form of adherence to established knowledge in this interpretation, improves the usefulness of the knowledge produced by standing on the shoulders of previous knowledge - however, bias to established knowledge can also stem the production of new knowledge. In the natural sciences, excluding the role of bias in experimental design (because of peer-review etc.), there is no distinct 'good' or 'bad' bias like there is in history, because established scientific knowledge is (usually) produced through the use of the scientific method, which involves less subjectivity than the selection and interpretation of sources in the production of historical knowledge which is prone to things like ethnocentrism. Instead, it is the degree of bias towards established knowledge involved in the production of scientific knowledge which shapes whether the effect of bias is positive or negative.

4.3. Subject 3 Lens? [Optional]

5. Connections to Classes

5.1. History

5.1.1. History

5.1.2. Avoiding bias fails to recognise the positive role that bias can play in the production and acquisition of knowledge

5.1.2.1. The Subaltern school of Indian historiography tries to tease out the voice of the subaltern

5.1.2.1.1. Concepts

5.1.2.1.2. Framework Area

5.1.2.1.3. WOKS

5.1.3. Although bias plays a positive and necessary role in the production and acquisition of knowledge, avoiding certain biases can improve the quality of knowledge.

5.1.3.1. In Julia Lovell's book "The Opium War: Drugs, dreams and the making of China" she avoids bias by selecting both Chinese and Western sources, and forming an interpretation which does not fall into line with the Western-produced historical knowledge of China in the 20th Century (eg. J. K. Fairbank).

5.1.3.1.1. WOKS

5.1.3.1.2. Framework Area

5.1.3.1.3. Concepts

5.1.3.1.4. Ways of knowing

5.1.3.2. Alternatively I could cut the middle-woman and just use Fairbank's books

5.1.4. KQs

5.1.4.1. To what extent does bias reduce the value of the historical knowledge produced?

5.1.4.2. To what extent do historians actually neglect the use of bias?

5.2. Human sciences

5.2.1. Human sciences

5.2.2. All philosophical truths are axiomatic/relative, and as a result bias is required in the production of philosophical knowledge.

5.2.2.1. RLE/PK Connection

5.2.2.1.1. TOK Concept

5.2.2.1.2. Framework Area

5.2.3. Counterclaim

5.2.3.1. RLE/PK Connection

5.2.3.1.1. TOK Concept

5.2.3.1.2. Framework Area

5.2.4. KQs

5.2.4.1. Is there an absolute truth in philosophy?

5.3. Chemistry

5.3.1. Natural sciences

5.3.2. In the natural sciences, bias towards adhering to established knowledge leads to the creation of more valuable knowledge

5.3.2.1. Due to bias towards established laws (Einstein's laws), and experiments based on those laws which detected gravitational waves, scientists were able to deduce that much of heavy metals came from neutron star collisions

5.3.2.1.1. Reason

5.3.2.1.2. Historical development

5.3.2.1.3. Bias

5.3.2.2. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." - Isaac Newton

5.3.3. However, avoiding bias towards established knowledge can lead to the production of new, useful knowledge

5.3.3.1. The gold leaf experiment disproved the plum pudding model, and led to the discovery of the positive nucleas and to Rutherford's model

5.3.3.1.1. Imagination

5.3.3.1.2. Historical development

5.3.3.1.3. Bias

5.3.4. KQs

5.3.4.1. To what extent is bias involved in the production of knowledge in the natural sciences? Is bias as significant in the production of knowledge in the natural sciences as it is in history?

5.3.4.2. To what extent is established knowledge objective knowledge?

5.3.4.3. To what extent is it necessary to avoid bias towards established knowledge to produce new knowledge?