• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is it possible to think without language? How does language extend, direct, or even limit thinking?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Min Hwang November 1, 2003 Mr. Cannon Is it possible to think without language? How does language extend, direct, or even limit thinking? Language is a communicative tool, in the form of a structured set of oral, written, or gesticulated symbols, inherent and exclusive to our species, and in many ways can be considered an epitome of intellectual manifestation. This Way of Knowing has been around for millennia, and has been used for communication and expression from one individual to another. It is of very little dispute of the highly ubiquitous nature of language in relation to thought, but many questions still rage on about the effect language has on our thinking. Language is necessary for most types of advanced thinking; although there are certain cases where language is of no fundamental necessity. As to its influence to the way we think, language may be used to extend, direct, and at times even limit thinking - but only does so when used by people with that purpose. Language is a very powerful tool, but it is precisely that - a tool, and our ability to think is this tool's owner and user. As we think throughout the day, we utilize language as a tool to aid us. ...read more.

Middle

The government present within the plot of the book eliminates certain meanings of words in order to stop the people from thinking about them. For instance, the concept of individual freedom is nonexistent in 'Newspeak', as the government has eliminated all aspects of being 'free' (politically and religiously), except the physical connotation of the word. By eliminating certain meanings of words and some words entirely, the government is using language as a tool to impose a different type of thinking on the people. If people are prohibited to use words except the given limited set, their thinking will duly be affected. The way language limits thought in this example is not due to its inherent nature, but it was the government itself; the language merely acted as an effective tool. Even though we work with a finite set of words, when we are not prohibited to use other words, we modify or create words to suit our needs, showing that language does not limit our thinking due to its intrinsic nature. Often in scientific discoveries, the discovered particle or concept do not have names, but because we are not confined to use only a limited set of words, we can come up with new words to describe the discovery. ...read more.

Conclusion

In such propaganda he not only employed written language by describing them as "parasites" and "bacillus", but he also portrayed illustrated body language to establish a bias towards them. The propaganda of course greatly aided his anti-Semitist policies, by inculcating and setting root in the German people a spiteful view towards the Jewish race. Language as shown is a powerful tool to direct people's thinking, but as stated repeatedly, it has no inherent nature that directs or otherwise affects an individual's thoughts. Language is the symbol of the intellectual achievement exclusive to mankind, and is also an extremely powerful tool not as a means of communication, but also as a device to influence others. As is evident, language plays an important part of our thinking process, although not all processes (such as logic or abstract reasoning) require a fundamental integration of language beyond the translation of language into knowledge. The effects of languages on a person's way of thinking are not - as shown through the various examples - products of a fundamental property of language, but are a result of a society, a government, or just a group of people using language as a tool to influence others. Language is the most brilliant achievement of our specie's intellect, and as such, the latter is the master of the former. Hwang 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    And the use of the second person pro-noun "you" in her speech makes the conversation sound confrontational as it begins. Although the "The Doctor" in Tom Brown's School Days is respected, he also is feared, and so it was assumed that he would dominate the conversation; which is evident to some extent in the data presented in Figure 3.

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    Appendix 13 Derek Williams Im here dont pass me by 65-year-old man Worcester Park, Surrey, United Kingdom seeking women 56-67 within 50 miles of Worcester Park, Surrey, United Kingdom Relationships: Widowed Have kids: Yes, and they live away from home (2)

  1. With the use of specific examples, discuss the ways and means in which writers ...

    But are such writers under the guise of 'creativity' and 'originality' justified? Canon which is the identification of a body of indispensable and authoritative writings has been a central part of cultural and intellectual life in the English speaking world.

  2. Language investigation into the language used by George Bush on the day of and ...

    The tone of the piece is solemn and serious 'attack, deadly, terrorist.' Looking at the time period contextually, the text comes soon after the attacks there were a large degree of conspiracy theories and rumours and so the text has a direct purpose of informing and reassuring the American public.

  1. Language and thought; to what extent is it possible to have thought without language

    It can be said that language act like a conduit transferring thoughts from one person to another. In everyday life people insert their thoughts and feelings in words when writing and speaking and people extract thoughts and feelings through reading and listening.

  2. The topic of religious language has many facets for exploration. The area of research ...

    In many places they indicate a change of topic, tack or a break as for a paragraph in writing. This feature can be used as an important tool in conveying meaning and emphasis beyond the words or prosodics. It could be said that these complex characteristics represent the characteristics of the speaker himself.

  1. Тhe Welsh language

    Cognate Celtic words WELSH BRETON IRISH GAELIC ty (house) ti teach tight ci (dog) ki cu cu du (black) du dubh dubh cadair (chair) kador kathaoir cathair gwin (wine) gwin fion fion You see that almost all words are similar to each other, that's why they were united in one brunch.

  2. Is it possible to think without language? To what extent does language extend or ...

    Even though and object such as calculator is called different in Portuguese or French, it is still the same object in French, Portuguese and English. The process by which language labels these objects is the universal concept. Language also can alter the meaning of many things.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work