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"Language fails not because thought fails, but because no verbal symbols can do justice to the fullness and richness of thought" by John Dewey

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Introduction

Ahana Nanavati Ms. Brys TOK 11c February 7, 2004 "Language fails not because thought fails, but because no verbal symbols can do justice to the fullness and richness of thought" by John Dewey Thought represents a three-dimensional phenomenon. It has the power to transport individuals; it allows people to dream, to envisage, to invent and to feel. On the other hand, language is a tool for communication and a medium of thought by the use of verbal symbols and sounds, a two-dimensional, concrete phenomenon. Language transforms our thoughts, helping us to describe, express our emotions and opinions, and communicate with others. Thought represents a very ethereal or intangible idea, which is intertwined with philosophical or intellectual ideas. Language is a very substantial or tangible idea, which is transported through writing, reading, talking and listening. ...read more.

Middle

These three are linked together, developing our thought. Emotion represents the sensitivity and feelings that are impulsive. Logic represents the structure and the ability for our thought to construct ideas and theories. Perception allows our thought to go beyond language, understanding terms and ideas in different ways. As our thoughts are constituted of three different ways of knowledge, and a wider dimension than language, language fails to express 'the fullness and richness of thought' in its verbal symbols. When we dream or experience love, the feelings, the perception, the emotion that builds up inside of us, are lost in the translation of our thoughts into language. The verbal symbols that have evolved or developed through generations of our ancestors cannot express the intense and overwhelming tingles that stream through the veins of your body. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the same way, when a person wants to describe the feeling of 'butterflies in your stomach', in English they may say love, but in Indian they may say pyaar. The thoughts and feelings of the two people correspond, but the language that they use does not. This again shows that language fails, not thought. Language, though beautiful and rich in its own way, fails to carry and spread the vividness and vibrancy of thought. The words we use as our verbal symbols cannot transport thoughts in their full form. They cannot let another person experience the same thought they wish to spread, but they create a series of new interpretations and ideas. This emphasizes that language fails, as it does not do justice to the fullness and richness of thought, just as John Dewey quoted. Word Count: 558 ...read more.

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