5. “If all knowledge is provisional, when can we have confidence in what we claim to know?” Answer with reference to two areas of knowledge.
“all knowledge is provisional” – In many areas it does seem clear that knowledge changes over time. Find examples of how knowledge has changed over time in AOKs and real life examples. Look carefully at the reasons for the changes, the methodology, the effects, etc. Also consider though, that there are areas, such as in religious knowledge systems, where not all knowledge is viewed as provisional.
“confidence” – There are many different reasons to have confidence in a particular piece of knowledge. There are also different ways in which that confidence is generated. Consider the kinds of people / groups have confidence in the knowledge in a particular AOK or real-life example and also look at the underlying reasons for that confidence. Make sure to link “confidence” directly to “provisional.”
“claim to know” – The “claim” part of this phrase clearly adds a bit of doubt / ambiguity in someone’s beliefs. Compare these two sentences:
A: They know something.
B: They claim to know something
The knowledge in sentence B seems much more open to doubt than in sentence A.