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Language helps us to acquire knowledge

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IB Theory of Knowledge 2005 Max Smith - Does Language help or hinder the way we acquire knowledge? Language is something that humans have used almost since their beginning. It is formation that is used to communicate between people - an institution of a community. It is something that is incredibly meaningful to us. Our language allows us to do many things. We use it to express our thoughts, connect with others and also for our knowledge. In these ways, language is crucial in facilitating our thoughts and helping to develop them as well. In fact, it can be argued that thinking requires having a natural mental language, such as English. We think in this language, and without such a language, much of our thought would make no sense. ...read more.


There are a number of obvious ways in which language helps us to acquire knowledge. For most people, knowledge is widely based upon the things we learn from our education. Education is a system established to develop our own knowledge. It largely facilitates the sharing and teaching of knowledge though communication with others. Teachers are an example that knowledge can be passed on. They have learnt from others. Every year students in their classes gain knowledge from their teachers. The knowledge we acquire from our education is mainly what we learn from communicating with our teachers. The process of communicating the information to us clearly requires language. Language too, is what enables us to comprehend the new thoughts and perspectives that we acquire through such communication. ...read more.


Too, thinking about ideas and thoughts; thinking about thinking; is an essential part of being a reflective, rational person. Another advantage of language to knowledge acquisition here is that information that is difficult to communicate or remember can be 'off-loaded' and written down; in turn making such information easier to comprehend and to share. This demonstrates how key language is in acquiring knowledge and indeed how helpful it can be. It is evidently clear that language is the basis for many of the ways we acquire knowledge. I may be inferred that without language, human knowledge would be immensely restricted, as language is was even structures many of our basic thoughts. Hence language is very helpful in our knowledge acquisition. Though language may have some limitations in the way we perceive our world, without it there is an ability to assume that our thoughts would have little meaning. ...read more.

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