All posts by Jiajun

TOK art

After reading the two handouts, I understand what good design is, and why people like certain artwork or design.

It is true that people hold different opinions toward a piece of artwork or design, but a good artwork and design have a certain inner logic that everyone can appreciate.

good design is simple.

I strongly agree with that; good designs are usually simple. Because simple design keeps only essential things, cut off the frills. Apple is the most successful company in the world, and many people buy their products due to its good design. When you take a closer look at Apple’s products or the website, you can find their design is very simple. The website basically just composes the color of black, white, and gray with a little bit of description about the product; so do Apple’s products like MacBook, and iPhone that are very simple, but very effective.

For solving math problems, mathematicians are trendy to find the simplest solution, and the simplest solution is what mathematicians call the most beautiful solution. In math class, our math teacher always poses a difficult question but has multiple solutions as homework, and if someone uses the simplest and ingenious way to solve the question, he will receive common words like “wow! that beautiful” from other students.


History is not study of past. History is a study of recorded passed. It is not possible to know every event which have happened before now to everyone, everywhere, at any time. What we could know is based on survived evidence such as pass newspapers, documents, articles, videos, etc.


History is not like other social sciences which can do the experiment directly and make conclusion. For example, economist can collect the data like GDP, and to predict future economy. History study is only based on the evidence that left behind from the past because historian cannot take time-travel to see what was happened, and those evidence are very limited.


Furthermore, those evidence which consider to be useful was usually created by authorized man, and because of the censorship. Those survived evidences usually were not complete story, even more, untrue. It only tell us what the “authorized man” thought what was happened or what he want others to think what happened. Therefore, it is hard to tell that what we learn from the history is the facts about the past or the story that the people in the past want to tell us.


I think storytelling is very important Ways of Knowing.

Storytelling is very effective way to tell somebody about something. Telling a story by using narrative language is easier for people to remember, rather than using expository language. According to the study made by Arya and Maul about how the narrative language help the 7th and 8th grade student remember storied. Their experiment was telling two same stories by using a both expository and narrative language to the 2 groups of students respectively and test how well they remember it after a week. The result shows the students who listened story in narrative version is significantly remembered the story better than who were told in expository.

Storytelling is used in many areas of our society especially in politics and advertising and plays huge role. Politician use storytelling in their speech say something like “something has been the threat of our country, and I can do something to deal with it, if you vote for me.”

, and advertising use storytelling to sell their products. For example, a lot of advertisements show use the story that people’s life become easier, happier because of their products, and use it to persuade people to buy their product. The politicians and advertisements use a lot of storytelling is because storytelling makes their language more comprehensible, impressive, and pull a lot of attention.

Personally, I experienced a lot of storytelling. One the reason of why I came to this school is because I was impressive by the advertisement of the school, and imagine the life in a Canadian school, although the imagination is a little different from the reality. When I am walking on the street in China, I can see a lot of propaganda telling about the achievement that our country has made in order to evoke people’s patriotism. Back to my childhood, I read a lot of story that make me become a good person, such as the story of Cry Wolf that tells me lying is bad thing.

Storytelling is a very important Way of Knowledge, but it can be used to make damage to people- create a lot of misleading. Storytelling makes people think emotionally and subjectively rather than rationally or objectively, and it makes people believe it so easily, because they usually like to put themselves into the character of the stories. This can make the audience forget to find out the evidence that prove the story is true. Once they believe the stories, it will create stereotype, because the stories are usually untrue or incomplete. During the coronavirus time, I saw a lot of news medias, especially the western new media, writing about conspiracy theories which are no evidence based which make people criticizing China. More astonishingly, someone write a post about 5G tower spread the coronavirus which is no scientific supported, and a lot of people believe it and burned the tower.

Universal moral value

I think that there is no universal moral value, but moral value exists in the world. The moral value is developed by a human being, people use it to judge what is right or wrong. But people in different life experience, stratum, culture, believes have different views in right and wrong. For example, in the part of India, eating or slaughter of cows is seriously prohibited because of Hinduism. However, in other parts of the world, eating cows’ meet is normal. In some Africa clans, eating human‘s died body is a normal thing to do, but it is totally unacceptable in our society. Therefore, moral value exists, but the moral value is not the same for every people.

What is “right” or “wrong”

Personally, I define the thing that creates the maximum benefit for the greatest people is the right thing, and it has a fancy name call utilitarianism. The reason that I think utilitarianism is right because it helps me to decide one thing that worth to do or not. And the world decision-maker are using utilitarianism to make a decision, because they are trying to make the most benefit for the nation.

Logic posts

In the three articles we have read in the class from the past two classes, I like “Stephen’s Guide to the Logical Fallacies” the most. It introduces various inductive fallacies with clear definition and explanation, and give several examples for each fallacies, makes me understand each fallacy easily. After I read through the text, I found that those fallacies are always be used while people are trying to argue with somebody or to proof something.  Especially “Anonymous Authorities”(p.6), rumors are usually created based on this logic fallacy for example, “A government official said today that the new gun law will be proposed tomorrow. “. It is sound so persuasive because it is said by “Authorities”, but the point is the “Authorities” is anonymous, people can not confirm that the authority is an expert.

Meno part 5

At the beginning of Meno part 5, Meno and Socrates still discuss about is virtue teachable or not, and they concluded that virtue is not teachable. The people who consider themselves as the teacher of virtue, but just like Meno, they may don’t know anything about virtue, therefore there is no real teacher of virtue, no teacher means no people study virtue, it is unteachable.


At the end of part 5, they came to a conclusion that virtue is neither inherent nor acquired, it came from some sort of divine power.



Then the result of our reasoning, Meno, is found to be that virtue comes to us by a divine dispensation, when it does come. But the certainty of this we shall only know when, before asking in what way virtue comes to mankind, we set about inquiring what virtue is, in and by itself. It is time now for me to go my way, but do you persuade our friend Anytus of that whereof you are now yourself persuaded, so as to put him in a gentler mood; for if you can persuade him, you will do a good turn to the people of Athens also.(47)


But at the end of the Meno, they still did figure out what is virtue.


Meno part 3

In part 3, Socrates and Meno discuss whether can virtue be taught, and they made a hypophysis that if a virtue is a knowledge, it can be taught, otherwise it can’t.



Consider now, what is the guiding condition in each case that makes them at one time profitable, and at another harmful. Are they not profitable when the use of them is right, and harmful when it is not?


I strongly agree with Socrates’ idea, something profits people may harm people. For example, the desire of getting money, if a person has that desire could encourage him to study harder and work harder for being more successful and make more money, but it also could lead people to criminal, getting money in illegal or inappropriate way.

Meno part2

In “Meno” part 2, Meno asked Socrates about t how can a man know a thing that they don’t know it. Socrates’ answer is that a man can not inquire a thing whether he knows it doesn’t know it, because if he knows it, he has nothing to inquire about, but if he doesn’t, he doesn’t know what he inquires about. And Socrates proclaimed his idea according to a story that soul is immoral, and soul already learned everything, learning is recollecting and remembering. To prove his idea, Socrates demonstrated in front of Meno to make a boy which ignorant with any geometric knowledge to solve a geometric question.


From the demonstrates of Socrates which is teach a boy to solve a math problem, I found that the boy is same with Meno. Because at first, the boy was very confident with his answer that double the length of the side while Socrates asked about how to double the size of a square with 2 feet of the side. After the boy was told that the solution is wrong, he got confused and trying to find another answer with enlightenment from Socrates but no telling the answer directly, the boy finally figured out the answer. It is a similar case with the Meno. At first, Meno though he knows about the virtue, whereas he realized that he knows nothing about virtue after discussing with Scratches, and he got confused. In the dialogue, Scratches was guiding and questioning Meno in order to find out the definition of virtue instead of telling what virtue is.


The theory of Socrates about the soul within every creature carries all the knowledge explained Meno’s paradox that how we learn a thing which we don’t know, it also shows what do we need to do to learn things.

And at this moment those opinions have just been stirred up in him, like a dream; but if he were repeatedly asked these same questions in a variety of forms, you know he will have in the end as exact an understanding of them as anyone.(26)

In the demonstration of teaching the boy to solve a math problem, Socrates did not actually tall the answer but provide some hint to him to get the answer. The reason why he did that because he thinks that is how people learn things. It reflects the real-life situation, in primary school teacher teach us how to do calculation instead of just telling the answer. Because if we know how to solve the question we know how to do it next time, but if we only know the answer, we will forget about it. As the text above mentioned, to understand better, teacher will ask you to the same question in different ways to help you to understand.



And so it does to me, Meno. Most of the points I have made in support of my argument are not such as I can confidently assert; but that the belief in the duty of inquiring after what we do not know will make us better and braver and less helpless than the notion that there is not even a possibility of discovering what we do not know, nor any duty of inquiring after it—this is a point for which I am determined to do battle, so far as I am able,both in word and deed.(28)

According to the theory of Socrates , the soul knows every knowledge, learning is actually recollecting the knowledge, therefore there is nothing we can’t know as long as people are willing to put enough effort to find out the answer. From the paragraph,  Socrates shows his attitude to his life which is to learn and discover what we do not know until reaching death for being more braver and less helpless. I think we should learn from him.


In the first part of “Meno”. Meno asked a question about “is virtue acquired by learning or practice or it just comes naturally” to Socrates,  but Socrates proclaimed that he doesn’t know about that because he doesn’t know what is a virtue and he believed that he never know a person understand about virtue and give a question about what is virtue to Meno in response.

In the next, they had a lot of conversation about the definition of virtue.

By the way, I found it is very interesting by reading through the script because it makes me think a lot, although it is very hard for me to understand the language and makes me confuse a lot of times.

In page 5 and 6, this section makes me confuse


And no wonder; but I will make an effort, so far as I can, to help us onward. Youunderstand, of course, that this principle of mine applies to everything: if someone askedyou the question I put to you just now: What is figure, Meno? and you replied: Roundness;and then he said, as I did: Is roundness figure or a figure? I suppose you would answer: A
And for this reason—that there are other figures as well?

And if he went on to ask you of what sort they were, you would tell him?
I would.
And if he asked likewise what color is, and on your answering “white” your questioner then
rejoined: Is “white” color or a color? your reply would be: A color; because there are other
colors besides.
It would.
And if he bade you mention other colors, you would tell him of others that are colors just as
much as white?
Now suppose that, like me, he pursued the argument and said: We are always arriving at a
variety of things, but let me have no more of that: since you call these many things by one
single name, and say they are figures, every one of them, even when they are opposed to
one another, tell me what is that which comprises round and straight alike, and which you
call figure—including straight equally with round under that term. For that is your
statement, is it not?