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

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Melissa Yoshimoto 12-08-07 Period 4 Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge? Language as a way of knowing, not a spoken language, can be determined if we can differentiate between the various areas of knowledge and the ways of knowing. An area of knowledge is the general subject or category that we classify or subdivide information we take in everyday. This includes Mathematics, Social or Human Science, Natural Science, History, Ethics, and Art. A way of knowing is the method where we are able to know and understand a piece of information. It helps us classify our information into one of the six areas of knowledge. There are 13 ways of knowing which include authority, logic, senses, memory, faith, moral belief, introspection, empathy, conscience, practice, acquaintance, instinct, and consensus. The three functions of language are to be directive, expressive, and informative. Language, to some extent, play roles of equal importance to different areas of knowledge and to some extent does not. When we think of language the first thing that comes to mind is the words that flow from our mouths to iterate the thoughts in our heads. However, in mathematics, that is hardly language; it can be said simply that mathematics is the language of symbols. ...read more.


The language of Ethics deals with the perspective of "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you." Sounds easy doesn't it? Yet why would there be a separate branch of knowledge for something that sounds so self-evident and explanatory? There must be some dispute or difference in perspective and understandably so simply because there are no guidelines or definitions like how there are in math. The same goes for Social Science and History. There is no index or glossary that ably gives you the "right" interpretation of the information. For example, when discussing the various cultures around the world, no historian, no expert, no college professor may determine which culture is better or worse than the other. That would be cultural chauvinism. Passing judgment already eliminates the impartiality of the matter and makes the language and knowledge flawed. The only thing we can do is analyze and compare the cultures to each other and embrace the similarities and differences within them. Language is equally important in all of these areas of knowledge simply because without it, there would be no progression in ideas or thought processes. Everyone would be narrow-minded and have one train of thought without being exposed to other perspectives and interpretation on the same issue. ...read more.


Despite it's ability to play an equally important role in all areas of knowledge, language has many limitations and problems that applies to all areas. Firstly, two word codes sound the same like flower and flour. This can be very misleading. Tone can change the meaning of what you are trying to say especially when using sarcasm. The same word can have different meanings like the word "good". This can be morally "good" or skillfully "good". Using slang is very small group specific. With different words there are different cultural perceptions like fanny, chips, lolly, etc... With that comes different interpretations of words within a culture. Metaphors require a shared experience like the term "slam-dunk". Someone who doesn't play basketball would not know what that means. Idioms are a big miscommunication if you haven't seen the idiom before. For example, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do." As you can see, there are many factors that affect language and the way it is directed, expressed, and informed. All in all, language plays many roles in all areas of knowledge. It is equally important in all aspect to not only progress the pursuit of knowledge but to direct, express, and inform other individuals as well. Although there are many limitations in language, it can be said that without language, there would hardly be any progress in ways of thinking and the knowledge acquired if it were not for the expression in language. ...read more.

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