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

To what extent does a language enhance our ways of knowing or limit them?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Does Your Language Shape How You Think ? Knowledge Issues 1. To what extent does a language enhance our ways of knowing? Limit? From reading the Article, I realize that our language has a great impact on our ways of knowing and interpreting our surroundings. In both ways, language enhances our knowledge as well as limits it depending on what aspects you view. I want to focus on the influence of language on our mind by how we describe the orientation of the world around us. In North America we use a system called the egocentric coordinates, which depend on one?s body to determine left-right plus front-back axis positioning from it. For example, while giving direction we would say, ?Go straight then take the first right?. ...read more.


Again, proving the point that people understand the world differently based on their native language. Many people don?t use the geographic direction method of language is because one would have to know the cardinal direction at every moment in their life which is difficult to many. The way we are taught to speak from birth significantly impact on our ways of knowing and understanding our surroundings. Children in societies such as Yimithirr?s, ?start using geographic directions as early as age 2 and fully master by 7 or 8.? (Guy 6) These kids are hard wired from birth and the habit becomes so natural, effortless and unconscious to deter cardinal direction. We can see the strength of this ability when a speaker of Tzeltal from mexico was able to point out the geographic direction even after being blindfolded and spun in a dark house. ...read more.


As Americans we ignore the directional rotations but speakers of geographic languages are trained not to do so. Therefore, I would understand that they are identical rooms, but the other guy would see, ?everything is reversed north-side-south.? (Guy 7) To me, this proves how our languages significantly impact our ways of knowing. This reminds me of my Matrix essay and whether we are just not able to see our true existence and being able to differentiate between illusions and reality. Overall, I have learned and can say that language (our speech) actually has a great deal of impact on our minds and how we view the world. It is not the fact that we don?t understand more or less based on the language we speak but that we understand differently based on the language we speak. ...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?

    This proves that to different people and ages, language can limit their thought to a certain extent. It has been proven that language might limit thought to different people at different ages, but will this apply to deaf and mute people?

  2. Does language determine or limit thought?

    For example when a person reads the word "boat", the word causes the person to visualize it in his/her mind. One person's image of the word "boat" might be different than the image that another person has in his or her mind this is due to the fact that there are many types of boats.

  1. What power does language have

    The idea that the source of all human creation is one living entity is written in the Quran yet men have more rights than women in Islam, is contradictory to the biblical understanding that men were created first and that women were created for men, yet in the western world they are equals.

  2. ToK Language Essay. The extent and type of our language defines ...

    This would effectively disprove what has been said so far, since language would become a by-product of culture instead of an aspect that contributes to its formation, having no effect whatsoever in our ability to acquire knowledge. For instance, an example of one of the rules that form part of

  1. "All other Ways of Knowing are controlled by language."

    Or, to phrase it another way, without language we could not perceive something, have emotions or reason from premises to conclusions. Such an assertion raises several knowledge issues. The first knowledge issue raised by language's role in perception involves people who lack language but who clearly have perceptions.

  2. Is it possible to think without language? How does language facilitate, extend, direct or ...

    that ideas without language cannot exist and only this one quotation that thought that language only had one kind of effect on the thinking process. This topic I am writing about may be approached from several ways of knowing. Think of Helen Keller.

  1. TOK Essay on "The Matrix".

    As the reality became more and more apparent, I decided it was time to accept the truth mainly because I knew it existed. Although it may have existed, I wasn?t willing to acknowledge or understand it earlier. As a result, if I were Neo, and in the same situation where

  2. Is it possible to justify the different ways of knowing?

    long before humans realize what?s going on.? Consequently, the phenomena that we humans perceive through our senses may actually be ?a limited, illusory perception?. (fthink.org) Leonardo Da Vinci?s window also illustrates the misleading factor of sense perception. He uses a ?technique for perspective drawing in which [he] views a scene though a glass from a fixed vantage point.

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