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does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge?

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Hana Fahim TOK essay Q.4 Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge? Different dictionaries interpret language in different ways. But primarily language is "a method of human communication, either spoken or written"1 but it does not need to be a vocal form of communication. It is "the system of communication used by a particular community or country"2. And it is also "the manner or style of a piece of writing or speech"3. It also needs to apply to everyday life. This means that any language needs to have "a vocabulary of symbols or words, a grammar consisting of rules of how these symbols may be used, a community of people who use and understand these symbols and a range of meanings that can be communicated with these symbols "4. To most people, language represents what we speak and what we write. But there are other ways of communicating that can be considered a language that people do not fully acknowledge. In this essay, I will explore the importance of language in different areas of knowledge, specifically mathematics, the arts and natural science. In his book 'Mathematics and Creativity' Alfred Adler said "Mathematics is pure language - the language of science. ...read more.


In conclusion, I believe that math is truly a language of its own, but it cannot function alone, it needs the support of words and spoken language. Another area of knowledge is the arts. There are different forms of art, there is music, drama, painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. When it comes to painting and drawing, language is of no significance at all. Paintings and statues, etc. do not depend on language but they rely on perception and emotion. The main aim of art, in all its forms, is to convey a specific emotion, whether it be happiness or sadness, calmness or anger, etc. The beauty in art is that it does not need words to express those feelings and thoughts. And so language is of no importance to the artist or the observer. A painter or sculptor does not need to speak the same language as the observer since emotions are universal and they are understood in the same way all over the world, and so the artist can appeal to a larger audience. As for drama, language is of great importance because if the audience what the actors or characters are saying, they will not understand what the playwright or director is trying to say, whether it was a certain message, or a moral from the story or just conveying emotions. ...read more.


Another problem is with the language itself, natural languages have defects such as ambiguity, paradoxes and ill defining of some words. This also acts as a barrier of communication hampering the development of science. Because of all that, the different sciences have all found ways to overcome these issues. In chemistry, all elements have symbols which are the same all over the world. For example, calcium is Ca. In physics, physicists have chosen the language of mathematics to represent their theories and laws. Physics uses mathematical equations and formulas to explain certain laws. In biology, biologists have chosen Latin as the universal language for naming all species, they use a specific system, known as the binomial system. All species have two names, the gender and the species and these names are used everywhere in the world. In conclusion, I believe that mathematics is indeed a language but it cannot be explained without the use of natural language and so language is in fact important in mathematics. As for the arts, language has no importance when it comes to music and painting, sculpting, etc. But it is essential in drama since it is based on the words and actions said and done by the characters. And as for natural science, language definitely plays a very important role in the development of the sciences. ...read more.

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