This is a question from C-Eval used to evaluate Chinese generative AI, in the category "ideological and moral cultivation" (the AI is supposed to choose B (in bold) when given this question; I added Baidu links below, where possible):


Sage translated 人生观 to "life philosophy" in English, although maybe there's no direct English equivalent (and it needs differentiating with 世界观 = "worldview"), and 人生目的 to "meaning of life".

I asked Sage and ChatGLM and they both answered 人生态度 (which is incorrect in C-Eval); it directly translates to "life attitude", and Baidu indicates it's ones attitude towards society.

Sage translated 人生信仰 to "personal belief system", and struggled to translate 人生价值, but it seems "personal values" is close-ish.

I vaguely feel the C-Eval answer makes sense, but...

Question: How can we conclude that 人生观的核心 is 人生目的?

I'm guessing this question comes from a standardized high school social science textbook in China, or something similar.

  • Bad question. I think it wanted to say "人生观是奠定人生目的核心".
    – r13
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 14:40

2 Answers 2


I'm guessing this question comes from a standardized high school social science textbook in China, or something similar.

Your shot hit. The question, or rather the confusingly rigid prescription, comes from the colossal collection of grandiloquence of the party that is "ideological and political education" (思想政治; referred to as "I&PE" hereafter). It goes by several different names in different times and educational stages, including 道德与法治, 品德与生活, and 思想品德, which is apparently the one from which the developers of this evaluation sheet draw the name "ideological and moral cultivation". This alias is used through middle school, before high school kick starts and the official name 思想政治 assumes control.

As for the specific statement in question, it is one of the many dogmas taught in "Foundations of Ethics and the Rule of Law" (思想道德修养与法治基础), a mandatory course for college freshmen as regulated by the ministry of education. The course is part of the "I&PE" curriculum.

To give a more concrete impression of what it is all about, and to provide context about the "answer", I am going to include below a gist of "knowledge points" to be found near the statement in the textbook. But, dear readers, do not bother to scrutinize the text; in fact no one in the world should read anything like that at all.

Life purpose determines one's life path. Having the correct life purpose enables a person to make the right choices and always move forward towards the correct developmental path in life. Life purpose determines one's attitude towards life. Having the correct life purpose allows a person to face the challenges of life with a positive and optimistic attitude. Life purpose determines one's values and choices. Having the correct life purpose enables a person to understand that the value of life lies in dedication, and thus to work diligently and responsibly. Only with a life purpose can one have a clear direction in life and a correct attitude towards the various problems in life. Life purpose refers to the fundamental direction and pursuit of one's own actions in life, as experienced by individuals living under certain historical conditions. Life purpose is the understanding and answer to the fundamental question of "why we exist" and is the core of one's life philosophy. Life purpose plays an important role in one's life practice. (Source in Chinese; translated by Sage from poe.com)

Students are obliged to remember pompous nonsense like this if they want to pass, or excel in, Gaokao (for those who opt for "I&PE" in it) and other exams. Note that "Foundations of Ethics and the Rule of Law" is the least party-filled one among all the courses stipulated in the "I&PE" program that chases after each and every student in the country.

Now it is clear why that question, along with its answer, sounds so awkwardly official.

P.S. Although I understand that "practicable Chinese standardized tests" are synonymous with those affirmed by the government, I feel sad for the Chinese language if they are going to evaluate LLMs' Chinese competence with questions like that. "I&PE" evaluates nothing.


You can't conclude that!

人生观: one's outlook on life
核心:core, heart, kernel, nucleus
人生观的核心: The principle axioms of one's outlook on life

人生: one's life
目的: purpose, aim, goal, objective, target
人生目的: One's purpose in life

An axiom is something we believe to be true but which cannot be shown to be true.

A purpose is a reason for doing something.

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