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

To what extent is it possible to overcome the ambiguity and vagueness in language? In what contexts might ambiguity either contribute to or impede knowledge or contribute to it? Does the balance between precision and ambiguity alter from one discipline to

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is it possible to overcome the ambiguity and vagueness in language? In what contexts might ambiguity either contribute to or impede knowledge or contribute to it? Does the balance between precision and ambiguity alter from one discipline to another? Well, firstly language goes beyond communication it is also a way of communication with other people, if other people understand what you are trying to say then the way you used to get your message across to the other person is a type of language. Which means body language is also a type of language. It creates meaning (defines and denotes) and it also provides images. The other key words in this question would be: ambiguity, which is about the words being unclear as some words sometimes have different meanings; vagueness, which means the words are not being expressed clearly; context, which means the parts of a statement that follows a certain word or a passage; contribute, which means to be a part of something by giving something, for example, money and knowledge; impede, which means hinder. ...read more.

Middle

lamp 'switch on the light' all these words with multiple meanings makes language unclear since its very important to know the meaning of a word as words provide understanding. We cannot overcome it as it is basically impossible to get rid of ambiguity because every person has a different way of expressing their feelings and experiences through different areas of knowledge. For example, if you try to describe what a computer looks like to a blind person if they have never seen one before they would probably have a completely different image of a computer in their mind which probably looks completely different to what it actually looks like. This is because people use words differently and everyone has a different way of describing things which can be quite unclear. However, ambiguity and vagueness is possible to overcome if the common sense view is used. As if someone says "switch on the light" it is quite obvious that they are talking about a light or a lamp but, it can be misunderstood once in a while. ...read more.

Conclusion

As conclusion, I think that it is not possible to overcome the ambiguity and vagueness in language as people won't be able to just stop using all those words with double meaning and being ironic. If it is possible to overcome ambiguity and vagueness then we all will be speaking our mind and being straight forward which cannot be done by all of us and I believe that ambiguity impedes knowledge as it makes language unclear which will confuse people and lastly, I also believe that the balance between precision and ambiguity does change from one discipline to another as sometime people do say things which means exactly as it sounds as it doesn't have any other double meaning to it and sometimes it doesn't as it does have other double meaning to it. However, language does have its own flaws but on the other hand, language is very powerful and it has no limits, as Ludwig Wittgenstein once said "the limits of my language are the limits of my world" Word count: 1004 words ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 | Page ...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. The extent and type of our language defines our knowledge of the world. Do ...

    Noam Chomsky's theory suggests that all languages have common properties and therefore language is universal. These common rules are hard-wired into the brain and they manifest without being taught. His argument also states that humans growing under normal conditions will always develop a language that distinguishes nouns from verbs and function words from lexical words.

  2. TOK notes. The problem of knowledge There are three ...

    Phenomenalism - We can only know what we perceive - ("to be is to be perceived" Most theories suggest the existence of an independently existing reality (Things happen also without people). Reason Using reason we gain knowledge that is beyond the immediate evidence of our senses.

  1. Should a knower's personal point of view be considered an asset in the pursuit ...

    After a while, you can see the entire ship. If the world was flat, the ship would appear in full form all at once. Also, in eclipses, the earth is reflected as a round shape on the moon. I know that a person from any different area of knowledge will look at every fact from a different perspective.

  2. In what contexts might ambiguity either contribute or impede knowledge? Does the balance between ...

    Is it the music note or a short letter). As mentioned before ambiguity means a word having double meaning so this means it does contribute to knowledge as double meanings makes language seem larger in quantity and there are more words are to be at times, so this will be an addition to knowledge as well.

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

    However, there are those who belief that language is not something as unique as is often perceived by most people. Perhaps the most relevant individual stemming from this school of thought is Noam Chomsky. His Universal Grammar theory, though ambiguous in regards to validity, attempts to consolidate the idea that every human language has a common structural basis4.

  2. TOK speech - Knowledge Issue: To what extent is the use of a dead ...

    and placed in the same tomb, along with many objects that person had used in his daily life, for the Egyptians believed that these objects would be needed in the next world. No- Catholics believe that God should have control over the body as it falls under his divine plan.

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