Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge?

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                Eduardo C. Branco 10M TOK

Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge?

        “Language is considered to be a system of communicating with other people using sounds, symbols and words in expressing a meaning, idea or thought.” 1

Throughout all areas of knowledge, natural language is used to express and communicate thoughts and feelings. Language can be complex because it varies between areas of knowledge and does not always include the use of written or spoken word. For history, the most important mode of language is the use of written word; used to record and analyze events and ideas of the past. In the area of mathematics, the most important language is a system of numbers, symbols and formulae. For the arts, language is the expression through painting, drawing and many other mediums used to convey ideas or emotions. History, math and art cannot be expressed or communicated without the use of language. Without language, we would not be able to communicate with each other and to share knowledge. Therefore, it can be said that the use of language in history, math and art are of great importance and that they are equally important within the area of knowledge itself.

In an area such as history for instance, language is found to be crucial. The purpose of history is to record and analyze past events, by the means of mostly written and spoken word (sources). Sources are the reporting of facts occurred in the past by an author, through his/her point of view. These facts subject us to our own interpretation and often the way in which the source is written and the usage of words can lead us to certain thoughts and conclusions when understanding it. Consequently it is important to take in consideration, the author’s background, views and other factors which may have influenced in the writing of the source in a form of bias. Also, the presence of the author in the event he is describing should be taken in consideration, making him a direct 1st hand source which makes it more accurate such as:

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“Schach reported to me on questions regarding the gau of Berlin. We must deal again with the Jewish problem. There are still 40,000 Jews in Berlin and despite the heavy blows dealt them they are still insolent and aggressive. It is exceedingly difficult to shove them off to the East because a large part of them are at work in the munitions industry and because the Jews are to be evacuated only by families.”2

Language is important in history because without language there can be no history. We are aware of past events because they were told to us through ...

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