Once you get the set of prescribed titles for your cohort, the first step is going through each one and analyzing the key terms.
2. For artists and natural scientists, which is more important: what can be explained or what cannot be explained? Discuss with reference to the arts and the natural sciences.
“Artists and natural scientist” – Note that the AOKs mentions “artists and natural scientists” and not “the arts and the natural sciences.” This is a small but important distinction. Make sure your essay specifically discusses people – i.e. actual artists and scientists.
“which is more important” – Make sure that your essay clearly answers this question. Your investigation of different AOKs and different specific examples throughout your answer may lead to multiple answers to the question which is perfectly fine. Your essay does not have to have one definitive answer to this question – in fact an essay that has one definitive answer to this question is likely flawed.
“what can be explained” – Consider the ways knowledge is explained in different AOKs. In the study of history, for example, arguments must be supported by evidence similar to other AOKs. However, history does not have formulas or experiments like in mathematics or the sciences that can be re-tested by others. Also, point of view plays a much larger role in determining what can be explained in some AOKs than others.
“what cannot be explained” – There are things that at a certain point of time cannot be explained and this uncertainty drives research. From another point of view, things cannot be explained fully in the arts such as a personal interpretation of a piece of literature or a sculptor’s intentions. These things that cannot be (fully) explained often drive discussion and analysis in the arts and lead to the development of artistic knowledge.
May 2023 TOK essay #2 should only discuss the AOK(s) mentioned in the prescribed title.