Theory of Knowledge12 Angry MenIf you are still not sure what TOK is about, it is all right because you are not alone. TOK is a branch of philosophy known as epistemology. It examines the “nature of knowledge”. It considers questions such as: How do you know what you know? What is the basis for your knowledge claims? Have you considered other possibilities? What are some of the open-ended knowledge questions that come up to your mind when you are viewing this film?CHARACTERSFOREMAN: A small, petty man who is impressed with the authority he has and handles himself quite formally. Not overly bright, but dogged.JUROR NO. 2: A meek, hesitant man who finds it difficult to maintain any opinions of his own. Easily swayed and usually adopts the opinion of the last person to whom he has spoken.JUROR NO. 3: A very strong, very forceful, extremely opinionated man within whom can be detected a streak of sadism. He is a humourless man who is intolerant of opinions other than his own and accustomed to forcing his wishes and views upon others.JUROR NO. 4: Seems to be a man of wealth and position. He is a practiced speaker who presents himself well at all times. He seems to feel a little bit above the rest of the jurors. His only concern is with the facts in this case, and he is appalled at the behaviour of the others.JUROR NO. 5: A naive, very frightened young man who takes his obligations in this case very seriously but, who finds it difficult to speak up when his elders have the floor.JUROR NO. 6: An honest but dull-witted man who comes upon his decisions slowly and carefully. A man who finds it difficult to create positive opinions, but who must listen to and digest and accept those opinions offered by others which appeal to him most.JUROR NO. 7: A loud, flashy-handed salesman type who has more important things to do than to sit on a jury. He is quick to show temper, quick to form opinions on things about which he knows nothing. Is a bully and, of course, a coward.JUROR NO. 8: A quiet, thoughtful, gentle man. A man who sees all sides of every question and constantly seeks the truth. A man of strength tempered with compassion. Above all, he is a man who wants justice to be done and will fight to see that it is.JUROR NO. 9: A mild gentle old man long since defeated by life and now merely waiting to die. A man who recognizes himself for what he is and mourns the days when it would have been possible to be courageous without shielding himself behind his many years.JUROR NO. 10: An angry, bitter man. He is man who antagonizes almost at sight. A bigot who places no values on any human life save his own, a man who has been nowhere and is going nowhere and knows it deep within him.JUROR NO. 11: A refugee from Europe who has come to this country in 1941. A man who speaks with an accent and who is ashamed humble, almost subservient to the people around him, but who will honestly seek justiceJUROR NO. 12: A wisecracking, indecisive advertising executive. He is the 8th to vote “not guilty”.Who is the defendant in the trial of “Twelve Angry Men”? What is the charge? 2The defendant is a nineteen-year old boy from the slums who has been accused of stabbing his father to death. Identify a juror and/or an example for each method of moral reasoning: 4A need to be responsibleThe need to be responsible is seen in a number of jurors who take their role in the justice system seriously and listen to all the evidence presented before making a decision, and are not swayed by their desires and prejudices. This is most clearly seen in Jurors 1 and 8, and to a certain extent, 4. Juror 1 states that “There were eleven votes for guilty. It’s not so easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first,” when asked why he voted “NOT GUILTY” in the initial ballot. His own reasonable doubt and responsibility to the justice system is what causes him to deliberate the facts of the case instead of simply sentencing the accused to his death. Juror 1, the Foreman, attempts to create a sense of civility and cooperation in the courtroom. Despite his initial vote of “GUILTY” and his enjoyment of his own authority, he acts as a mediator between those on opposite sides of the argument and intervenes when the atmosphere in the room becomes heated. Juror 4 is seemingly cold and concerned only with the facts of the case; however, he votes in accordance to his belief and unhesitatingly changes his vote to “NOT GUILTY” when convinced of the defendant’s innocence. This shows that he takes his responsibility seriously. Further, Juror 11 is also seen to share a similar belief as witnessed by his statement “We have a responsibility. This is a remarkable thing about democracy. … We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. This is one of the reasons why we are strong. We should not make it a personal thing.”Duty to the community While it could be argued that the presence of the jurors in itself is a testament to their duty to the community and justice system, it is very clearly seen that some jurors (most importantly juror 7) are preoccupied with their other desires and are more focused on reaching a quick conclusion instead of the right conclusion. On the other hand, jurors 8 and 11 depict a clear sense of duty to the community. Both of them possess reasonable doubt and vote in accordance as they believe sentencing a man to his death when they are not convinced of his guilt is unfair and harms society. It could also be stated that juror 4, despite the clear prejudice in his statement that “The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society,” is acting out of a sense of concern and duty to his community as he clearly does not feel comfortable releasing a murder suspect into society and putting others’ lives at risk. Faith in the system – Juror 11 Juror 11 has a special faith in the system and knows the value of justice, having seen the lack of it in his home country. He thus makes every attempt to be responsible, democratic and fair in his actions and fully believes that the justice system will make the right conclusion. This is when he says “that we are notified by mail to come down to this place and decide on the guilt or innocence of a man we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. This is one of the reasons why we are strong. We should not make it a personal thing.”Fairness – Jurors 8 & 9Jurors 8 and 9 most clearly believe in fairness and are unwilling to simply believe in the guilt of the accused. This is seen when Juror 8 quotes the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, reminding the other jurors that the burden of proof rests on the prosecution, or in other words, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Juror 8 considers and presents numerous pieces of evidence and it is largely through his efforts that a fair decision on the trial is made. It is also important to note Juror 9’s near immediate willingness to give the accused a chance once presented with the possibility of his innocence. He too wishes to exercise fairness in his vote. Who are the prejudiced jurors? Provide a quote and/or example of their prejudice? 4Jurors 3 and 10 depict clear prejudice. Juror 3 is dogmatic and unshakeable in his belief of the accused’s guilt; however, this is not due to damning evidence or argument and is instead rooted in the complicated relationship Juror 3 has with his son and his own sadistic tendencies, as evidenced in the following exchange.NO. 8: You’re a sadist.NO. 3: (louder). Shut up!NO. 8: (strong). You want to see this boy die because you personally want it—not because of the facts.NO. 3: (shouting). Shut up!He lunges at NO. 8, but is caught by two of the jurors and held. He struggles as NO. 8 watches calmly.NO. 3: (screaming). Let me go. I’ll kill him. I’ll kill him!NO. 8: (softly). You don’t really mean you’ll kill me, do you?Juror 10, on the other hand, is a racist man who believes that the accused’s guilt is due to his childhood which was spent in the slums. His bigotry is clearly seen in his description of people from the slums. “Human life don’t mean as much to them as it does to us. Hey, where are you going? Look, these people are drinking and fighting all the time, and if somebody gets killed, so somebody gets killed. They don’t care.”What argument does the “foreign” juror use to justify or defend the jury system? 3Juror 11 is an immigrant from a foreign country and is most vocal about his belief in the justice system. His statement “We have a responsibility. This is a remarkable thing about democracy. That we are…ummmm… what is the word…Ah, notified! That we are notified by mail to come down to this place and decide on the guilt or innocence of a man we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by ourverdict. This is one of the reasons why we are strong. We should not make it a personal thing,” reveals his thought process and serves as a reminder of the importance of the democratic process which is only truly valued by those who have lived in places without such democracy – i.e., Juror 11. His argument is that jury’s strength lies in its impersonal nature. Should all jurors make their decisions in a manner which is fair, unbiased and based on evidence, justice will prevail and the right decision will be made. He emphasis the importance of citizens who are strangers to each other and to the defendant making the decision, such that no personal beliefs come into play and the jurors cannot be swayed by frivolous beliefs and desires. TOK approach: 2+2+3 =7Pick up one Real Life Situation and discuss its significance.Twelve Angry Men’s focus is on a trial in which there exists reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused. This is a situation often mirrored in real life, wherein damning evidence or a confession is lacking in a case and the outcome of a trial rests on judicial processes. The OJ Simpson murder case comes to mind, as described below. Note that this case was highly televised and resulted in a media frenzy, and public opinion also had an impact on the case. OJ Simpson Murder Case – In 1994, former National Football League Player OJ Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown and waiter Ronald Goldman. While Simpson was finally declared not guilty eleven months later, the perpetrator is yet to be identified, tried and arrested. Several pieces of evidence against Simpson were presented to the jury, including DNA evidence, yet Simpson’s lawyers created reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors by drawing attention to the fact that a glove found at the crime scene did not belong to Simpson, and also by highlighting the racial bias against Simpson. The jury made several deliberations and many of them were dismissed before the final verdict, indicating the divisions between jurors’ beliefs. Despite the final verdict of not guilty, Goldman’s parents and Brown’s father pursued the case by filing civil lawsuits against Simpson for which they received monetary compensation in millions; thus, in a way Simpson was held responsible for the murders and kind of poetic justice was achieved. Identify one knowledge claim”You have sat here and voted guilty with everyone else because there are some theater tickets burning a hole in your pocket. Now you have changed your vote for the same reason. I do not think you have the right to play like this with a man’s life. This is an ugly and terrible thing to do,” is a statement made by Juror 11 accusing Juror 7 of making frivolous, hasty decisions based on his desire to be on time to the theatre. One open-ended knowledge question from this film and discuss.”To what extent does emotion guide our moral reasoning?”The premise of Twelve Angry Men is the jurors making a moral decision – whether or not the defendant will be sentenced to death. While some jurors take their responsibilities seriously and vote on the basis of fairness and evidence, other jurors – notably Jurors 3 and 10 – are influenced by factors other than cold, hard fact. While Juror 3 has a sadistic nature and his vote is borne out of the complicated relationship he has with his own son, Juror 10 believes in the guilt of the accused simply due to his own bigotry. While both jurors eventually vote “not guilty”, it is not because they have been convinced of the defendant’s innocence but because they were forced to (as in Juror 3’s case) or simply shamed into doing so (Juror 10). Clearly it stands to reason that emotion played a large role in their moral decision. Emotions can often be a deciding factor in our moral judgement as it is something borne out of our own experiences. Naturally there are two sides to this. Emotions can be a positive influence, allowing us to feel empathetic towards others and prevent cruel acts. For example, those who have experienced the death of a loved one may be less inclined to sentencing a young boy to death, especially if he has a family. Further, emotions can reveal our innermost thoughts and gut reactions to a situation. However, emotions can cause us to be prejudiced in our moral decisions. Clearly this is seen in the case of the jurors 3 and 10 in Twelve Angry Men. Underlying racism was also a factor which influenced the public’s opinion of OJ Simpson during his murder trial. While emotions can serve as a guideline towards making more empathetic moral decisions, it is important for our feelings not to turn into prejudices which distort our moral judgement.