Eric Park

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Are some ways of knowing more likely than others to lead to truth?  

Truth exists when your mind is fully aware to a given circumstance. There are in total 8 different ways of knowing: Language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition and memory. Among those 8 determining factors, I personally think language is the most significant factor that successfully contributes to truth.

Language is a very intricate yet meticulous subject of communication. Yet, language can sometimes be served more than a tool of communication because it may also determine our perception of reality and impact our particular behavior. Thus, utilizing language helps to shape our true perception of the world– people receive different understandings and interpretations from what others say or write or even from the thoughts that come from themselves. For instance, language brings the transcultural aspects within “artifacts”. In one of the experiment carried out by Lera Borodistky, professor of cognitive science in USCD, German and Spanish speakers were asked to describe bridge with a single word. While German speakers viewed a bridge with a “feminine” adjectives such as ‘pretty’, ‘elegant’ and ‘peaceful’, Spanish speakers associated typical “masculine” adjectives to describe a bridge such as ‘powerful’, ‘strong’ and ‘sturdy’. Thus, based on what people see upon certain objects, the cultural linguistic relativism may result in a grammatically opposite gender but a “true” interpretation upon the thoughts that people simply pertain to.

However, linguistic establishment may also obscure the truth. For instance, when comparing Korean and Chinese language; In China, depending on the tones (Shengdiao), it may convey different meanings and written words. For instance, “la” is applied with 2 different tones. The first tone is written with lā(拉), meaning “to pull”. The second tone is written with là (辣), meaning “spicy”. Similarly in Korea, a single word can convey multiple sets of meaning. For instance, 눈 can be defined as “snow” or “eyes”. Thus, the words that convey multiple sets of meaning or pronunciations literally hinders the true meaning of words or language because it does not solely stand out alone as one distinct meaning, which reduces the level of “truth” to an extent.

To conclude, language pertains to truth when people framework the subjects within their sense of perception whereas language can also obscure the truth because  words may not contain “true” meaning by themselves.

TOK Pre-assessment

Brief Introduction:

Hi, my name is Eric Park and this is my second year in ISB. Before coming to Beijing, I’ve lived in Guangzhou for 7 years and in Tianjin for 3 years. I love playing soccer, travelling, singing, and listening to music.

What do you know for sure, and how do you know it? 

The question “what do you know for sure” made me to primarily think about “what” actually is an essence to prove that something is for sure. In my perspective, the only thing to claim something for sure is my personal identity. Yet, the process that drives behind the way for my self-acknowledging identity becomes a “what” for my sureness.

In some cases, flowers are more beautiful when they are half-bloomed than when fully bloomed. Likewise, what is more beautiful than the peak may be the process of hitting the peak. The peak that I’m referring to here is about the finest level of understanding my identity. While living, I tend to overlook so many potentials that sometimes, I have to take a time to rethink about the surrounding natures that I do personally possess. This may include the personalities apart from hereditary aspects; the physical capabilities that are achievable yet unnoticed ;  or the various  social roles that are available but not  fully familiarized to yourself.  It’s such that I close my eyes for a moment to detect those hidden beauty yet, I close my ears for a moment to sense the most valuable hearings that implicitly explains “Who I am” the most. Through this re-evaluation, it provides an impetus to make myself ‘sure’ about the things that I have never noticed before.

Truly, the process of understanding my self is diverse. Consider when travelling: having no signposts doesn’t mean that I fall into the abyss of misery because I have entered the wrong path; however, it is rather closer to the meaning of having infinite choices of routes – an opportunity –  as there is no option to the first place. Therefore, discovering the hidden identities that I possess is a part of long journey, or the process that eventually leads myself to know certain things for sure. As identity is never “final” and continuously develops through the  lifespan, we need to make sure that we are consistently in the process of climbing the peak – reflecting and externalizing our views of identity in full potential to surly understand who we are.

Welcome to Your New Blog!

When you blog you create posts and posts are categorised according to your subject. Some categories have already been set up for you. If you need more categories you can add them as needed. It’s important that your posts have the following:

  • An engaging title – this should not include the name of the subject since this is referenced in the category.
  • Body – this is where you share your learning. This can include text, images, embedded videos from Dragons’ Tube or elsewhere. You should always consider how your post looks to your audience. Is it engaging? Do they want to keep reading?
  • Category – select one that has been set for you or add a new category. Posts can have more than one category e.g. Humanities and Myself as a Learner

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