Getting it wrong, getting it right, and generating knowledge questions: “The Forgotten History of Autism”.

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Rarely does a 14-minute talk hit so many ideas we explore in Theory of Knowledge or treat them so engagingly. In his 2015 TED talk “The forgotten history of autism”, Steve Silberman hands us a splendid case study of failures and successes in the pursuit of knowledge, and the features that distinguished them. He treats central concepts such as classification (of conditions, […]

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“Who’s an Indian now?”: concept, definition, and significant ruling

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A unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada on April 14 gives us a dramatic example to take to a Theory of Knowledge class: Métis and non-status aboriginal people in Canada are now defined as “Indians” by the federal government. The people who now fit into this category are celebrating. The implications are significant for the rights they can now claim, the programs and […]

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Big lies, clever cons, and TOK ways of knowing, Part 2: What does storytelling do to knowledge?

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Stories have power. In the scams of con artists, they have the power to “get you emotionally transported enough that you stop asking questions, or at least the questions that matter.” So warns Maria Konnikova, whose recently published book The Confidence Game prompted my post last week, and this week. At the same time, however, […]

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“Really? You don’t know what MATTER is?”: Nobel Laureate in physics uses doughnuts to explain.

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In just a minute and a half on a comedy show, Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald explains the discovery in physics that made him a co-winner of a Nobel Prize this month. Well, actually…..no, he doesn’t. But he does provoke a laugh, perhaps especially for Canadians who recognize the popular chocolate Timbits (doughnuts) he resorts to […]

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