Category Archives: Ways of Knowing

Anh Tai Trang – The Arts

Art is a picture of color that is not tied to any one framework. Art is made of sounds, colors and feelings. We can see and feel art through many dimensions such as paintings, songs, etc. Because art is created through each person’s own rich imagination, there will be two streams of praise and criticism. There are many people who think the same way that a song or a picture is highly artistic, on the other hand, it is not an art.

Over time, the art becomes richer and the separate wings are created. When a large number of people listen to a song, they may “imitate” the lyricist because the melody is so ingrained in their minds. So can art be copied?

Good design is redesign.

No. Art is not copied because it has an individual’s personality and color. It can be “remixed” and carried a different color so that an idea can be enriched instead of being confined to one’s thinking.

Art has been redesigned to bring a different color fresh and positive. Therefore, the current images and colors all have a moment to honor the original. For example, the melody of a guitar can be used in addition to other instruments to “remix” and give a new color but still honor the guitar.

In short, art is a picture created in our imagination. It all has a unique color and meaning depending on each person’s thoughts. But, it’s called art.


When we were just born, we were not self-conscious, and we did not understand the pictures. We could only rely on the words of the family to make the initial judgment. The first is language ability. Like me, the first language I heard was Mandarin, which naturally speaks Mandarin when we grow up. We do n’t have much memory to learn the mother tongue, or even do n’t remember it, but we can know by the future days, In fact, it is parents who have tried their best to tell us how to speak, and we rely on our hearing ability to know how to speak. And from the kindergarten to the elementary school, it was still not literate, but it can rely on some charts to remember some words and express content. I believe that many people have many fairy tales and childhood, all of them are simple and easy to understand pictures. With some simple text, the text and the reading method are annotated, and the children can’t think they read it. Under the dual learning of vision and hearing, they can help the child’s growth. Of course, when it comes to junior high school and even college, it is more about understanding the book directly from the book composed of words. It is like reading a novel. We can always fill in the pictures in many novels, even if the Without a picture, you can come up with a rough look. In addition to stimulating your imagination, you can also improve your reading ability.

I ’m a person who ca n’t read. I ca n’t remember any subjects I ’m not good at, and I ca n’t learn anything. If I can rely on pictures to understand what is taught me, then the learning aspect More helpful. I have always felt that during the learning process, the pictures and the text cannot be separated, because it is necessary to understand the connection between the two works. If they are separated, even if you know what this word means, you still will not know what he is like. The concept, the picture is also, if you give a picture full of flowers and plants and grass, but do not say that this is a green grassland, you may unauthorizedly believe that this piece of flowers and plants is just a small flower bed.


I do think that storytelling should be considered a way of knowing. From reading the different articles I have learned that the stories that we tell and the stories that we are told are an important part of what we know.

“The stories we are told, the stories we believe, and the stories we tell—both to ourselves and to each other—shape our view of reality; our ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, normal and strange; our most basic beliefs about what is true, and what is false”

Storytelling is a way that we can pass down information and different life lessons between generations of people. Hearing these stories that have been passed down to us is one of the ways that we now know the things that we know.


At beginning, when I saw the topic “Should we consider storytelling as the most important way of knowing”, my first thought was no, I don’t even think storytelling is a way of knowing. But after I read the document “Storytelling: Our Most Important Way of Knowing”, I changed my idea. As the beginning of the article says, I thought stories were just things we use to pacify our children, way to kill time. After I read the next sentence, I found out I was totally wrong. According to the article:

The stories we are told, the stories we believe, and the stories we tell—both to ourselves and to each other—shape our view of reality; our ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, normal and strange; our most basic beliefs about what is true, and what is false.

This sentence inspired me, how can we tell a story if we don’t agree to it? When parents are telling bedtime stories to their children, of course they are not going to say the bad guy kills everyone and nobody can caught him. Why? Because they don’t agree to it! In their mind they think or they believe killing is wrong, they don’t want their kid become a murderer in the future. If they want him to be a pilot, they will say things about planes; if they want him to be an astronomer, they will tell him about stories about stars… Parents tell stories that they hope their child can become a men like the character in the story.

Another point that I think storytelling is the most important way of knowing is because people often tell the story that they think is write. In your daily lives, when you heard a story from your best friend, there’s a big chance you will agree to him/her, because you are friends, you have the similar way of knowing. But when you heard a story from a stranger or in the news, you might be thinking is that right? Should I believe him? You don’t know who is that guy and you don’t know what he have been through, the things they tell might be changed by their own. In the news, you don’t know who write the draft for announcer, you can’t tell if they are telling the truth or not. After that, when you are trying to tell a story that you learned from news to someone else, if you don’t like it, you may do some changes on it. This changes are affected by who you are, your culture, your believes, what you have been told when you are young, and even the people around you. There’s a big chance you will change the story to the way that you like.

In conclusion, people tell the story according to their own value, they won’t believe the good stories about the people or things that they hate. They are more likely to trust the good stories about the people or things they like. This is deeply affected by their ways of knowing and will deeply affect their ways of knowing.

Storytelling- Angelina

I fully agree that story telling is a way of knowing. For me, story telling was just Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs, or Cinderella but after reading the documents, it changed my mind. From “Our Most Important Way of Knowing” this part stuck out to me, ‘Storytelling is not simply a way to amuse children, or to liven up a dull party, or to kill time around an evening campfire. Storytelling is how we know most of what we know—or think we know”. That made me see that it is literally how it is said, the telling of a story. One story could be about the first person who landed on the moon. I think that storytelling makes things more bearable to hear about. Not everyone will find everything interesting but with storytelling you can add details to make it better.

Emotion – Anh Tai Trang

Emotions are expressed through thoughts (in each person) and actions (expressed). People have a lot of different emotions and 6 primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust. These 6 emotions are usually expressed outward but sometimes they may not be expressed. There are many theories that explain what emotions mean but put them all in the main sense that emotions can affect the actions and thoughts of every person. Sadness often leads to depression and this can be manifested in a dramatic way, such as falling face down. And these emotions can be considered as a knowledge and be divided into 3 parts: Perception, Reason, Language. Two of these three parts (Perception and Reason) are often hidden inside each person’s thoughts and Language is an outward representation. Language will help identify other people’s emotions in sound. If the voice becomes lower and lower, the person is probably sad. On the contrary, if the voice is softer then the person is probably happy.

“Since emotions are an integral part of our mental lives, they are likely to influence the way we see and think about the world.”

People often ask that listening to the heart or reason. It is often said that emotions will make people blind and reason will make people cool. Therefore, to be able to decide the most accurate way, first to balance both and this is not easy. People are often easily influenced by everything around them. So, for people to learn to balance needs a lot of time for them to go through and learn it.

“Our emotions can not only distort our beliefs, but also lead us to make poor decisions. Some emotions are urgent and short sighted and they can easily blind us to the longer-term consequences of our actions.

With intuition problem. Each person has their own intuition and this greatly affects the decisions and thoughts of each person. If your mind helps you make more informed decisions and your heart gives you insight, intuition is at the core of both. But intuition is not always true because you cannot rely on any argument. But intuition can also rely on some knowledge already available to be able to make decisions.

Universal Moral Values

There are no universal values, we appear in this world in different starting positions, some are better than others. Country, family, appearance, intelligence – some things from the top of my head, which is already a great influence on human’s life. Moreover, I could start talking about genes or permanent disabilities, what has even bigger effect. As we say that every one is different, there can’t be same expectations from everyone, so can’t be same rules. However, we are good at finding patterns, which lead to survival. One’s who are not, don’t survive. So as the time was going on, people, who were killing each other- happened to be dead. However, people, who decided not to kill each other, stayed alive. Alternatively, if somehow most aggressive people, were to survive, we would decide on the rule that murder is good. Even though, this rules  often work, they are not universal. In order to take the right decision, we should be considering only our decision, and do what ever we think is right.

I think that there are no thing such as moral fact. It is better to use something like “Most common thought”. However, we can’t say that some kind of action is right in any situation.

Good and Bad -Angelina Blacklaws

How do you know if something is good or bad? Well let’s begin with what your gut says. There are times when you are about to make a decision and you get this weird feeling in your stomach that makes you want to stop what you’re doing. That I call it, is the “gut feeling”. For me, that is how I decide if its a good, or a bad choice. Everyone is different though. For some people making bad decisions is important and makes them learn lessons, so is it even bad after all if you learn something out of it?

An example of when I had to make the choice of a good or bad event was deciding to go out with friends….instead of doing homework. There honestly was 2 ways to look at the situation. One being that I would go out with my friends, take a break and treat myself for working so hard lately. Option 2 was just stay at home, and get the homework over with. I can hang out with them another time right? I managed to compromise with myself and go out with my friends for a bit, and still come home in time to get my work done. Its all about listening to that gut feelings and following what you personally think is right.

How do you know that something is good or bad, right or wrong? -Andrea Ita

There are many ways to know if something is good or bad, right or wrong, these ways are based on each individual. However, i think that it depends on the concept and the exact definition of what is “good” and what is “bad”, these definitions may also change depending on each person, for example there are many topics that people either agree or disagree on, one example of this is abortion, i might think that abortion is Good, but there are people who think that abortion is bad and is wrong, and the answer to wheather this is righ or wrong depends on each person’s perspective. But who really defines what is Good or what is bad? where do we learn that we are supposed to do something or that if we do something we might have consecuences? i personally think that the concept of what is wrong or right is based on what society makes us believe and what the media tells us.

Logical fallacies

A logical fallacy that interests me and that I’m guilty of committing is “hasty generalization”, when you are quick to assume something and jump to a conclusion before you have seen or gathered any background evidence, for example if you were to have a first class in a certain subject and it didn’t go too well, you would assume that “this class will suck for the whole year” when you’ve only had one class. To make a fair evaluation the person must attend not one but several classes for it to be a reasonable conclusion. It also accommodates according to the person’s personal beliefs, so say in a class a particular student disliked, they would jump to the conclusion that the class would suck for the rest of the year, while other students who may enjoy it may not jump to the same conclusion.

TOK Plato’s ‘Meno’ Part 2 – Anh Tai Trang

After reading part 2, the topic for Meno and Socrates’s argument was changed and the questions were raised again between the characters and when Socrates posed too many questions for Meno but it did not satisfy what Meno is interested in. Later, another character appeared with the character name “Boy” and they continued the conversation. “Tell me, boy, do you know that a square figure is like this?” ( Plato’s ‘Meno’ pg.17 ) Socrates asked the “Boy” about geometry questions. He ( boy ) did not understand at first, but later he understood and it proves that you know more than you think.

TOK Plato’s ‘Meno’ Part 1 – Anh Tai Trang

From my personal point of view after reading Plato’s ‘Meno’ Part 1. Between Meno and Socrates there is a debate about the issue “Why do people do evil things”. In it, both give answers that respond to each other’s questions and then another question is posed right after the answer with most of them ending with “?” (question mark).

And after reading the first part, I did not understand the story at all.


From the IBO TOK Guide (first exams in 2015):

How does language shape knowledge? Does the importance of language in an area of knowledge ground it in a particular culture? How are metaphors used in the construction of knowledge?

Language can refer to the mental faculty which allows people to learn and use complex communication systems, or it can refer to those systems themselves. Language consists of a system of signs with agreed or conventional meanings combined according to a set of rules for the purposes of communication, formulation of ideas, storage of knowledge, or as a medium of thought. The term “signs” can be interpreted very broadly to include letters, symbols, sounds, gestures, images, and even objects. Language is a crucial part of our daily lives, but is also filled with potential problem areas, for example, ambiguity, sarcasm, irony, and translation issues.

Language plays an important role in communicating knowledge. However, some see language as having an even more central role, arguing that language doesn’t just describe our experiences of the world but in fact actually structures those experiences. In the section on the knowledge framework there is a discussion about whether certain types of knowledge are actually constituted by language—the idea that language is part and parcel of the knowledge claim itself and not merely a description of something that exists independently of language. The view that facts about the world might be determined by language is called linguistic determinism.

“Something stronger than reason”

Pierre smiled, Natasha began to laugh, but Nicholas knitted his brows still more and began proving to Pierre that there was no prospect of any great change and that all the danger he spoke of existed only in his imagination. Pierre maintained the contrary, and as his mental faculties were greater and more resourceful, Nicholas felt himself cornered. This made him still angrier, for he was fully convinced, not by reasoning but by something within him stronger than reason, of the justice of his opinion.

—from Leo Tolstoy, “War and Peace”