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"Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think". Evaluate the extent to which the characteristics Sartre claims for words affect - negatively or positively - the different areas of knowing

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Introduction

Viktor Olmin TOK Essay Question 5 "Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think". Evaluate the extent to which the characteristics Sartre claims for words affect - negatively or positively - the different areas of knowing "Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think". Just reading the question makes me wonder whether this essay will in fact ever have any potential since it may have multiple meanings that I have failed to take into account. How will I ever know that what I write has any meaning? Jean-Paul Sartre, the great French existentialist philosopher, was revolutionary in his views on life and the meaning of life. Existentialism is a term that is defined through philosophy, literature and emphasises individual existence, freedom and choice. Existentialists believe that human existence is completely oblivious to the world around us; that we are solitary creatures created for no specific purpose. They insist that individuals must live their lives without the aid of the standards of society, as these will not lead you to the truth. ...read more.

Middle

As the existentialists claimed, to find the real truth one must be a first person observer, or else the real truth will get lost in the restatements of the historians. One of the major themes within existentialism is the freedom of choice. Unlike other living creatures on our planet, human beings do not have a fixed nature; rather we create our own nature through our own choices. Thus our nature is what we say it is, which can be extremely ambiguous. This makes the whole concept of ethics rather sketchy, since ethics is a set or principles or conduct set by society. If we choose to make these rules, then we should also be allowed to choose to break them, and so there is a serious clash of believes between existentialism and traditional philosophy. Ethics is our reasoning, our choices, what we perceive to be good or bad, wrong or right. Since language is what humans use to reason within our heads, one may ask what good is, or what is right? ...read more.

Conclusion

Hence, when someone asks "Vad har du f�r bevis?", how do you interpret it? Is the person asking for evidence or for proof? This problem is applicable to all languages and translating between them, and poses a large problem to language aspect of the TOK wheel. Since literature is written in every language in the world, there is a large demand for translation between languages so that everyone can read it. For someone translating works to another language they will always find words that are specific in one language, but don't have a perfect match in the other, and so he has to choose between synonyms of the word. The translated work will to some degree loose its original meaning since the author choose his words carefully to mean one specific thing (or, to choose a word that is ambiguous). In the translation the meaning may not be as specific or ambiguous any more. As a result we loose meaning, we loose truth, since we are not given the exact words of the first hand observer, the author of the work. 1 http://www.connect.net/ron/exist.html ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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