• 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 facilitate, extend, direct or limit thinking?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Theory of Knowledge - 11th Grade 5 November 2011 Is it possible to think without language? How does language facilitate, extend, direct or limit thinking? To answer clearly these two questions we have to understand the meaning of all important words in this context. ?To think? means ?to have a particular opinion, belief, or idea about something or someone?; ?language? is ?the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way?. These two words are the main points of the first question which now becomes: ?Is it possible to have a particular opinion, belief or idea without the method of human communication consisting in the use of words?? I think the answer is yes; otherwise it would not be possible to think of a painting or of a piece of music. The second question is ?How does language facilitate, extend, direct or limit thinking?? To understand what it is asking we have again to analyze all of its important terms. I already stated what language's definition is. ? To facilitate? means ?to make easy or easier?; ?to extend? is defined by ?to make larger or longer in space or time?; ?to ...read more.

Middle

a particular language may lead us to favor some of these concepts over others, but the concepts already existed before we put them into words.? In this article not only is it stated that thought without language exists, but also that language will direct our thoughts to some things instead of some others, will facilitate our ability of thinking of certain ideas, but will limit our knowledge and thoughts on other subjects. Harvard University, one of the most important and high level universities in the world, published an article on its newspaper: the Harvard Gazette. This article written by William J. Cromie faces an interesting and important question: which comes first, language or thought? Again the author agrees with my point of view: thought without language can exist and language has different effects on thinking depending on the situation, it can facilitate and extend thoughts or it can limit and direct them. Aristophanes, an Athenian comic dramatist who lived around the 400 B.C., believed that language only facilitated and extended thinking. He once stated that ?high thoughts must have high language.? Such radical ideas though are very hard to find, this is why in all my research I did not find anyone thinking ...read more.

Conclusion

Children who still did not learn any language will notice both the position of spoon and the towel with respect to each other and if they are held tightly or loosely. After several studies researchers have found the language which can better extend the thinking process because of its broad vocabulary: it?s German. This again shows that language may affect thoughts in several ways. The two questions posed at the beginning of this study were if thought may exist without language and if language affects the thinking process. While proving my point of view throughout the essay, I showed that thinking without language is possible and that language has several different effects on thoughts. For example language will limit the possibility of describing A marvelous landscape, but it will give a greater sense of organization in thoughts facilitating the connection between them. May be in the future parents will treat their children differently knowing how their babies think while they still look like they do not understand. Fortunately researchers are still learning new things on how the thinking process works, with and without the use of language. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge 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 International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Does Language Determine or Limit Thought?

    towards someone.5 Another example showing sarcasm would be if my father told me that I was a thoughtful son. I might think that I am thoughtful or that I am not. However, do these techniques apply to all people equally?

  2. TOK summer assignment - Art Questions. Experiencing art, artists reputations and "what is ...

    Why are some artists more famous than others? Some artists become more famous than others mainly if they have created a group of or one really well known piece. This causes the public to recognize the artist just with the extraordinary pieces they have created.

  1. Imagine a world without colours

    He couldn't believe the images that he was seeing. He thought he was seeing an optical illusion created by a change in the light waves, but his family reminded him that this is the reality of Jubilee Kingdom. It is the realm of being that happens in Jubilee Kingdom once every hundred years.

  2. WHAT DOES CALLING MATHEMATICS LANGUAGE MEANS? DOES MATHEMATICS FUNCTION IN THE SAME WAY AS ...

    This is a clear example of the abstract state involved in maths. In 1914 R. J. Backlund introduced a better method of checking all the zeros up to that point are on the line, by studying the argument S (T)

  1. IB ToK - The Language of Chemistry - Does it direct or limit our ...

    Every time we measure the temperature of a hot beaker of water, we alter the real value, as the thermometer will cause the temperature to decrease slightly. This observer effect can cause significant problems in the realm of Chemistry, leading the physicist Werner Heisenberg to comment: ?What we observe is

  2. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Christopher Hitchens). ...

    Mostly we accept what we can assert with evidence but often we try to create evidence for assertions we accept innately. When my mother lists all the plus points of a fruit-veggie diet, my younger brother justifies his chocolate consumption with the fact as a teen he needs stress-busting foods like chocolate and cheese.

  1. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Christopher Hitchens). ...

    Since science is based on inductive reasoning, particular examples act as evidence. Hence the deflection during the solar eclipse was evidence for the validity for Einstein?s theory. Many other supporting evidences were found later, from the use of atomic clocks and other sophisticated technology, and this theory became widely accepted.

  2. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.(Christopher Hitchens) Do ...

    Thus, the dismissal of assertions that lack evidence clearly requires more than simply another assertion. In his life time, Christopher Hitchens was a rabid critic of organized religion. In fact, the phrase ?That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence? is a quote from his book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

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