Knowledge framework for the human sciences

Knowledge framework for the human sciences

The ‘knowledge framework’ is designed to help students explore, discuss, and form an understanding of each of the eight areas of knowledge. The knowledge framework isn’t a formal element of the TOK essay or presentation (ie, it isn’t directly assessed); instead, it is designed to present various consideration points that that can then be used to compare and contrast the different areas of knowledge, as well as tying them to the ways of knowing.

1. Scope and applications

What is the social function of the human sciences? How many different forms does it encompass (eg sociology, anthropology, economics, politics, etc.)? What are their separate aims? To what extent are human sciences influenced by the society and culture in which they are pursued? How important are the human sciences?

2. Concepts and language

How do we use language to express the knowledge found within human sciences? To what extent does this differ according to different forms of human sciences? Are there any central concepts for which we need specific language before approaching human sciences?

3. Methodology

Which ways of knowing do we use in order to connect with, and understand, human sciences? Which ways of knowing do the human scientists themselves use in order to study human sciences and communicate their understanding of it?

4. Historical development

How has our understanding and perception of human sciences changed over time? How has the role of human sciences within society developed? To what extent has the nature of human sciences (for example, the different forms of human sciences) changed? What relationship do today’s human sciences have with those of the past? (to paraphrase Newton, do they ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’?)

5. Links to personal knowledge

To what extent are you involved with human sciences? How is your perception of the world, and your position it in, affected by human sciences?

Cite this page as: Dunn, Michael. Knowledge framework for the human sciences (12th September 2013). Last accessed: 19th March 2018


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