Gandhi Memorial International School
United Nations International School
These essays show a level of personal engagement and reflection that make them outstanding responses to prescribed titles from 2008 and 2009 examination sessions. All essays have been reproduced in their entirety; examiner comments and school or candidate identifiers have been removed where necessary but no errors have been corrected. Teachers are encouraged to use this publication to inspire their students as they research and write their own essays. The range of examples of excellent work demonstrated here should help students to develop their own individual responses to future prescribed titles.
Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu
The IB wishes to thank all the students and supervisors for their outstanding contribution to this publication. In some instances we could not reach the students to obtain permission to publish their names; in these cases the essays appear anonymously.
American International School, Vienna
Our senses tell us that a table, for example, is a solid object; science tells us that the table is mostly empty space. Thus two sources of knowledge generate conflicting results. Can we reconcile such conflicts?
When should we trust our senses to give us truth?
50 Excellent Theory of Knowledge Essays ideally complements recently published curriculum materials such as Theory of knowledge assessment exemplars (published in March 2009) and IB Prepared: Approach your assessment the IB wayTheory of knowledge (published in March 2010). The Theory of knowledge guide can be purchased from the IB store at
Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reason as a way of knowing.
Mathematicians have the concept of rigorous proof, which leads to knowing something with complete certainty. Consider the extent to which complete certainty might be achievable in mathematics and at least one other area of knowledge.
United World College of SE Asia
“Moral wisdom seems to be as little connected to knowledge of ethical theory as playing good tennis is to knowledge of physics” (Emrys Westacott). To what extent should our actions be guided by our theories in ethics and elsewhere?