TOK: reading the eyes

 

Take this quiz first to score yourself on “reading” other people’s emotions.  And then ask yourself, “To what extent do I trust this quiz to give a reliable conclusion, and why (or not)?”  Your evaluation of this method of testing is bound to raise the broader knowledge question, “How do I know what emotion someone else is feeling?”  or, even more broadly, “How can we know, or understand, emotion?”

Much of your own life depends on understanding how people respond to each other in social life and work life, and on understanding when and how to trust your own feelings.   “How do I know?” can be an urgent question when you are figuring out whether to trust people or why you are reacting to them as you do.   It’s the other ways of knowing – most obviously sense perception (in observation), a blend of intuition (pre-conscious thinking) and reasoning, and memory of past experience – that give us our understanding.  It’s through language that we name and share our understanding, often with considerable ambiguity.  (You might check chapter 9 on emotion in the TOK course companion)

You have to come to grips with what we mean by “emotion” before you can consider emotion itself as a way of knowing anything else.

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