2. If pushed too far, can open-mindedness itself become restrictive? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.

The phrase “pushed too far” needs to be addressed in an essay on November 2022 prescribed title #2.  You may find specific examples that have a solid link to “open-mindedness” but don’t have an obvious connection to “pushed too far.”  Regardless, you must still identify in the specific example how open-mindedness has been pushed too far.  Here are some examples of “pushed too far”:

  • Conclusions about a research project that have been pushed farther than the evidence can support
  • A new trend in art that that has been pushed so far that it loses its connection to its cultural / social context
  • A country pushing too far to remove a set of environmental laws / regulations which means that officials are restricted in the ways they can protect the environment
  • A translator making considerable changes to ideas in the original text that some meanings have been pushed too far from the author’s original intent

“Open-mindedness” is obviously the heart of this prescribed title. This broad phrase (to be honest, every phrase in a prescribed title is broad) means different things in different situations.  Open-mindedness could mean making changes to a traditional kind of art in an attempt to modernize it and appeal to a new audience. One example of this is “Super Kabuki” which is modern form of the traditional Japanese drama. 

Open-mindedness could also include an academic incorporating ideas from another discipline.  Psychohistory is one example of a field that incorporate ideas from many disciplines, but some have labelled it a pseudoscience. 

“Restrictive” is the last key word in this prescribed title. Perhaps the most constructive way to interpret this key phrase is “having a negative effect on knowledge production / acquisition.” A TOK essay on November 2022 prescribed title #2 should examine ways in which open-mindedness has both positive and negative (i.e. “restrictive”) effects on knowledge.