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"Can language be said to hinder knowledge?"

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Theory of Knowledge Essay "Can language be said to hinder knowledge?" Christopher ANG Mr. Cujes Can language be said to hinder knowledge? Word count 1489 If you have not realised, language is the most important tool in today's society and certainly in yesterday's aswell. It is an integral part of our existence and survival We use it everyday, on the playground, in the office, everywhere. In this age of mobile phones, Internet and fax machines, we use language more than ever in so many forms and ways. Speaking of language not necessarily being the spoken words, which we use to express our thoughts, but arbitrary signs such as body language, facial expressions and the written form to communicate to one another. But could it be said that language can hinder knowledge? Can the lack of somebody's understanding and language influence or get in the way of somebody's knowledge? I personally believe that it can and will unfold the ways language does hinder knowledge. To understand this question thoroughly, we must know the definitions of key terms. The key terms being language, hinder and knowledge. Basically language is a form of communication between one another. ...read more.


To hinder also means to delay the process of, so by all means language may only delay people's knowledge. It's only a matter of time until people discover what certain words mean, which they then add to their knowledge. Another example is that of between two people who speak different languages. Either has any idea what another is talking about because they do no understand each other's languages. However it doesn't mean that they will never understand what each other is saying, it will be a delayed process. Eventually the other will interpret the message, but how accurate is this interpretation? There is always something lost in translation, which in turn affects ones knowledge. Differing languages can not only alter knowledge, but it can affect our values. A test on this theory was done a few years ago on Japanese/American women who became fully bilingual after meeting Americans in and after World War II. A person would interview the bilingual women in two sessions, asking questions relating to their values of family, friends and their lifestyle in both Japanese and English. Care was taken not to make the asking of the same questions in different languages obvious to any extent in order to prevent any inaccurate answers. ...read more.


But these days people are reasonably knowledgable and know what an Emperor is and vice-versa. Languages are instruments, which we use to describe our world and to interact with each other. To be successful, our language must be adapted to the world in which we live, and to the society in which it is used. That's why inhabitants of the brazilin rain forest need many names for the flora and fauna of their region, and lack the terms necessary for the practice of computer technology; while the computer technicians of silicon valley possess that vocabulary but lack words to deal with the flora and fauna of the brazilin rainforest. Our world is not constrained by our language; our language has to be conformed to our world. So with all things considered, language can be said to hinder knowledge. Ones lack of langauage directly affects his knowledge. Cultural differences in language can also affect ones knowledge of things. And most importantly it is our way of life and what we do which determines our langauage. "Human kind's quest for knowledge is only limited by our language and its ability to control what we can and cannot know". We need language to think and interpret everything we experience and to put it into perspective, everything including this essay. -"The enterprise of knowledge" 1999 -John L. Tomkinson -Several Internet sources ...read more.

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