Reality as a Shared hallucination

After watching the TED talk by Dr. Anil Seth below:

Meditate on the following questions in TOK JOURNAL form:

  1. What are implications of “reality as a shared hallucination”?
    1. For knowledge acquisition?
    2. For Truth?
    3. For Shared Knowledge?
    4. For Perception?

As an aside, my favorite quote from the talk, “When we agree about hallucinations, we call that reality.” 

Is tolerance the root of democracy’s Demise?


Karl Popper, a famous Austrian philosopher of science from the 20th century put forth the thesis that too much tolerance is a bad thing. 

Is it? 

Watch the Vice Media coverage of the Charlottesville Neo-Nazi gathering/protest below and assess your position on tolerance and censorship:

Questions to Consider: 

  1. What arguments exist that the group should the group NOT be tolerated? I.e not allowed to protest and spread their ideas?
  2. What arguments can you come up with that the group should be tolerated and allowed to protest and spread their ideas?
  3. What dangers exist in letting the group speak? What dangers exist in preventing them from speaking?
  4. How would this issue be viewed from a utilitarian perspective? How would the issue be viewed from a Kantian perspective? 

Popper’s argument against too much tolerance is summarized below, what logical fallacy could you argue is present in his argument? 


And lastly, let’s return to our title question: is tolerance the root of democracy’s demise? 

Heidegger And the Question Concerning Technology

Awakened Learning

After you’ve read Hiedegger’s Question Concerning Technology,

Heidegger believes we must understand the essence of technology in order to head down the right path of progress

think carefully and react to the questions/quotes below:

1. Why talk about the silver chalice?  What does that have to do with technology?

2.  Heidegger states, “what has the essence of technology to do with revealing? The answer–Everything.” What does he mean by this?

3.  Heidegger writes, “we are questioning concerning technology in order to bring to light our relationship to its essence.”  What is our current relationship to the essence of technology? What is YOUR current relationship to the essence of technology? 

4.  Heidegger writes, “What is dangerous is not technology…but rather there is the mystery of its essence. The essence of technology, as a destining of revealing, is the danger.”  This is a KEY sentence to understanding his whole…

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Heidegger and Quantum Mechanics


Most people likely don’t connect Heideggarian philosophy with quantum physics…but you’re going to! 

Watch the trailer for the film, “The Quantum Activist” below. In it, physicist Amit Goswami is discussing implications of quantum scientific concepts.

Your task is to write your Second Journal entry on the following prompt: 

How are Heidegger and Goswami’s ideas related? Discuss the connection between Heideggarian philosophy and quantum physics.

To help you better understand Heidegger, read the NY times column below:


What’s up with that? A PBL investigation in social psychology


When students reflect on psychology, many of them consider behavioral analysis as the primary outcome. We’ve learned that “behavior” in a psychology context can also include thoughts, emotions and other cognition.

However, in Social Psychology, our focus is indeed on observable behavior.

There are so many interesting questions and quirks of humanity that can be investigated from a social psych perspective!

Task: Your task is to brainstorm interesting/shocking/confusing/amazing aspects of behavior and then formulate a driving question to guide your  research! You should engage in this process similar to the process you engage in to create your TOK presentation; beginning from a Real Life Situation.

Finally, you and your partner will then create a video that you’ll post to youtube or youku that answers your question!

The Assignment, with assessment rubrics, is linked here: social-psychology-pbl



Whitehead on Math


Alfred North Whitehead is a Brit who famously practiced philosophy at Harvard. However prior to becoming a “full time” philosopher, he was an oxford educated mathematician!

Consequently, the AOK of Math had a massive influence on his thinking and philosophy. Whitehead went on to formalize some of his musings on Math as an AOK and below are linked some excerpts from his famous work, An Introduction to Mathematics published in 1911.