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May 2024 TOK Essay Title 2: How can we reconcile the opposing demands for specialization and generalization in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge.
This is a tough one that requires some confidence to write about examples with confidence in mathematics. A good investigation would offer an exploration of ways that the demands are reconciled. Why do the demands oppose? Are they really opposing demands? Why do we need both specialization and generalization? If one way to reconcile these demands is to create systems and improve communication within and across knowledge communities, what does this actually look like in the real world? Are we (knowledge communities) actually able to reconcile these demands?
Link from our discussion:
Clay Mathematics Institute Millennium Prize Problems: https://www.claymath.org/millennium-problems/
Guest: Martin Brown
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