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Sample RLS/KQ Pairs

Compiled by Kevin Hoye up to 2014

Real life situation: ​BBC article: ​Why the brain sees maths as beauty
Knowledge question: ​What is the role of aesthetic pleasure in mathematical knowledge?

Real life situation: ​The assassination of John Kennedy 50 years ago


Knowledge question: ​How can we separate myth from reality in history?

Real life situation: ​Article in ​The Economist r​ egarding the success of modern science
Knowledge question: ​Does competitiveness in science augment the production of knowledge?

Real life situation: ​Map showing the top twenty world arms exporters
Knowledge question: ​Does the possession of knowledge carry an ethical responsibility?

Real life situation: ​2013 Nobel Prize in economics given to trio who disagree about market efficiency
Knowledge question: ​What is the role of disagreement in the production of knowledge?

Real life situation: ​Examples of geographical maps which distort the territory
Knowledge question: ​How can distorted representations give us knowledge?

Real life situation: ​The correlation between smoking and lung cancer
Knowledge question: ​How does emotion help or hinder our understanding of correlation?

Real life situation:​ UN warns of looming food crisis in 2013


Knowledge question:​ How do we know what is a fact?

Real life situation: ​The Ekeko amulet of the Andean Altiplano believed to bring wealth to its
worshipper.
Knowledge question: ​Why do people hold beliefs for which there is no evidence?

Real life situation:​ Wikileaks and the publication of secret information and news leaks.
Knowledge question:​ Should there be censorship of knowledge for the public good?

Real life situation:​ The works of Salvador Dali


Knowledge question:​ To what extent do we have to know about an artist to understand his or her
art?

Real life situation:​ Attempted assassination of Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai for promoting girls’
education.
Knowledge question:​ Why do we need a tragedy before we act on knowledge that we have?
Knowledge question: ​To what extent can we use reason to evaluate two competing ethical
systems?

Real life situation:​ Renaming of cities in India


Knowledge question:​ To what extent do labels affect our perception?

Real-life situation:​ Vesalius in 1543 disproving the Galen theory that men had a rib less than women
Knowledge question:​ What is the role of emotion in shaping our beliefs?
Real-life situation:​ Whistle-blower Edward Snowden and NSA’s obtaining of American telephone
records
Knowledge question:​ How do we know which perspective to believe?

Real-life situation:​ Airbrushed make-up advertisements banned because they mislead


Knowledge question:​ How do we know when we have a moral obligation to act?

Real-life situation:​ The painting “On Strike” by Hubert von Herkomer


Knowledge question:​ What role does language play in the accumulation of knowledge in the visual
arts?

Real-life situation: ​An article about robot warrior technology and the future of warfare
Knowledge question: ​How can we distinguish between innovation and progress?

Real life situation:​ Scientific study, which shows that 1970s predictions about the environment were
wrong
Knowledge question:​ Must all good explanations make successful predictions?
Knowledge question: ​How can we know when we have a good scientific explanation?
Knowledge question:​ To what extent is a scientific explanation more convincing than other types of
explanation?

Real life situation: ​Historian David Irving‟s views on the Holocaust


Knowledge question:​ How can we know which interpretation of an event in history to accept?
Knowledge question: ​How can we draw a clear line between fact and interpretation in history?
Knowledge question: ​What makes an event historically significant?

Real life situation:​ Scientists present new findings in their search for the Higgs boson.
Knowledge question:​ How much evidence do scientists need before they can accept a theory?
Knowledge question: ​How can we be sure that evidence gained through the use of technology is
genuine?
Knowledge question: ​What is the scope of the scientific method in attempting to establish truths?

Real life situation:​ The Anders Breivik mass murder case in Norway
Knowledge question:​ To what extent should emotion play a role in the evaluation of knowledge
claims?
Knowledge question:​ To what extent is emotion a better guide to what is ethical than reason?
Knowledge question: ​Are there any absolute moral truths?

Real life situation:​ Widespread use of publicity in English in my Spanish speaking country
Knowledge question:​ To what extent does use of a non-native language affect attitudes to
knowledge?
Knowledge question:​ To what extent does the language we use affect our perception of the world?

Real life situation:​ Marc Quinn‟s "Self", a frozen sculpture of the artist‟s head made from his own
blood.
Knowledge question:​ Are there limits to what is acceptable in art?

Real life situation: ​Messages taken to outer space in the form of diagrams
Knowledge question:​ To what extent are diagrams less culturally dependent than language?

Real life situation: ​A move to make history a compulsory school subject up to age 16
Knowledge question: ​To what extent should academic disciplines be ranked according to their
usefulness?

Real life situation: ​The use of a personality test to assess students in the class
Knowledge question:​ What are the strengths and limitations of quantification in the human
sciences?

Real life situation:​ The connection between being a smoker and one‘s parents being smokers
Knowledge question:​ How does a scientific explanation distinguish between correlation and
causation?

Real life situation:​ The cartoons of Prophet Muhammed published in Denmark in 2005
Knowledge question:​ How can we know if and when artistic freedom of expression should be
limited?

Real life situation:​ The end of the Cold War as depicted in the song 'Winds of Change.'
Knowledge question:​ In what ways do the arts influence people's perspectives of current events?

Real life situation:​ Collecting data in physics class but correcting it to match the 'proven' theory
Knowledge question:​ To what extent is faith a reliable way of knowing?

Real life situation:​ Forbes magazine article - how the human face might look in 100,000 years
Knowledge question:​ How do we know if a prediction is valid?

Real life situation:​ Deforestation in the Amazon


Knowledge question:​ On what basis can we decide if an issue is a moral one?

Real life situation:​ Case of Italian scientists in Aquila initially found guilty for not giving adequate
warning of 2009 earthquake
Knowledge question: ​To what extent do scientists have ethical responsibility regarding what they
communicate?

Real life situation:​ Memorials commemorating the centenary since the outbreak of WWI
Knowledge question​: What is the significance of collective memory?

Real life situation: ​Article in The Guardian about ISPs criticised over deal to filter extreme material
online
Knowledge question:​ How do we know when censorship is justified?

Real life situation:​ The surprising power of ‘Emoticons’


Knowledge question:​ What is the role of emotion on our sense perception?

Real life situaton:​ Cartoons of prophet Muhammad: Danish paper Jyllands-Posten published
cartoons of Muhammad in 2005 as part of a debate criticizing Islam’s censorship. Muslim groups
complained and there were protests and violent demonstrations in some Muslim countries.
Knowledge question:​ How could we know if and when artistic freedom of expression should be
limited?

Real life situation:​ The Scottish referendum: the referendum on Scottish independence took place
on 18 September 2014 and asked the question “should Scotland be an independent country?” The no
vote won. The campaign on both sides was lively and heated (“Yes Scotland” vs “Better Together”).
Knowledge question:​ What is the role of reason and emotion in making choices?

Real life situation:​ In physics practical lessons I often collect data that contradicts well-established
theories. I then look for errors in my experiment because I believe those theories have to be right.
Knowledge question:​ To what extent is faith a reliable way of knowing?

Real life situation:​ The end of the Cold War (1989-1990) as illustrated in the song written and
performed by Scorpions “Wind of Change”
Knowledge question​ – In what ways do the arts influence people’s perspectives of current events?

Real life situation: ​The Body Works exhibition: human bodies and body parts prepared using a
technique called ‘plastination’
Knowledge question: ​To what extent do models lead to knowledge certainty in the human sciences?

Real life situation: ​The authenticity of ISIS videos


Knowledge question: ​What is the role of intuition in our justifications?

Real life situation: ​HeForShe movement: a solidarity campaign for gender equality
Knowledge question: ​To what extent is the knowledge we employ to justify ethical decisions
influenced by culture and emotion?

Real life situation: ​Debate about whether to use human genetic modification in boosting fertility
rates.
Knowledge question:​ To what extent is the knowledge we employ to justify ethical decisions
influenced by culture and emotion?

Real life situation:​ A study of memory and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a group of Air
Transat passengers who experienced 30 minutes of terror over the Atlantic Ocean in 2001 which
provides insights about post-traumatic stress vulnerability
Knowledge question:

Real life situation: ​A WWI soldier who was awarded UK’s Victoria Cross for repeatedly entering no
man’s land to save comrades. He was later diagnosed as suffering delusional insanity which raised
questions about our psychological models
Knowledge question: ​To what extent do models lead to knowledge certainty in the human sciences?

Real life situation: ​The 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act allowing supplementary material to be
used in the science classroom criticising the theory of evolution and accepting creationism and
intelligent design to be offered as alternative ‘scientific theories’
Knowledge question: ​What role does authority play in the shaping of personal knowledge?

Real life situation: ​Referendum called in Ireland regarding the approval or not of same sex
marriages.
Knowledge question: ​Does society influence our ability to reason independently?

Real life situation: ​A 14-year old boy in USA took his homemade clock to school to show his teacher.
He was arrested on suspicion that it was an explosive device. When it was proven that it was indeed
just a clock he was released. The boy is Muslim and his name is Ahmed Mohamed.
Knowledge question: ​On the basis of what knowledge and evidence do we form our cultural beliefs?
Real life situation:​ When we learned about the theory of relativity and Einstein’s other ideas in Year
10 physics, we assumed that it was created by the scientific method, some observation or
sophisticated scientific instruments. We were surprised to learn that it was not the scientific method or
observation that created the theories –rather it was thought experiments and imaginary situations that
Einstein thought of in his free time. We were shocked that science could use this way of knowing to
make such an important discovery.
Knowledge question:​ To what extent is imagination necessary in the production of knowledge?

Real life situation:​ Our RLS is a computer software called ‘The New Rembrandt’ which analysed
original paintings by Dutch painter Rembrandt and created a new piece of art based on this artist’s
style. It recognises different patterns and trends in the artist’s paintings, such as different brushstrokes
and 3D features of the canvas.
Knowledge question:​ What knowledge determines when something is a work of art?

Real life situation:​ On 11 September 2001 four coordinated suicide attacks on the USA were carried
out by Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda when 19 terrorists hijacked four passenger airlines. This
resulted in the deaths of 2,996 civilians.
Knowledge question:​ To what extent does our cultural perspective determine our ethical judgments?