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

Is it possible to think without language? How does language facilitate, extend, direct or limit thinking?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Theory of Knowledge - 11th Grade 5 November 2011 Is it possible to think without language? How does language facilitate, extend, direct or limit thinking? To answer clearly these two questions we have to understand the meaning of all important words in this context. ?To think? means ?to have a particular opinion, belief, or idea about something or someone?; ?language? is ?the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way?. These two words are the main points of the first question which now becomes: ?Is it possible to have a particular opinion, belief or idea without the method of human communication consisting in the use of words?? I think the answer is yes; otherwise it would not be possible to think of a painting or of a piece of music. The second question is ?How does language facilitate, extend, direct or limit thinking?? To understand what it is asking we have again to analyze all of its important terms. I already stated what language's definition is. ? To facilitate? means ?to make easy or easier?; ?to extend? is defined by ?to make larger or longer in space or time?; ?to ...read more.

Middle

a particular language may lead us to favor some of these concepts over others, but the concepts already existed before we put them into words.? In this article not only is it stated that thought without language exists, but also that language will direct our thoughts to some things instead of some others, will facilitate our ability of thinking of certain ideas, but will limit our knowledge and thoughts on other subjects. Harvard University, one of the most important and high level universities in the world, published an article on its newspaper: the Harvard Gazette. This article written by William J. Cromie faces an interesting and important question: which comes first, language or thought? Again the author agrees with my point of view: thought without language can exist and language has different effects on thinking depending on the situation, it can facilitate and extend thoughts or it can limit and direct them. Aristophanes, an Athenian comic dramatist who lived around the 400 B.C., believed that language only facilitated and extended thinking. He once stated that ?high thoughts must have high language.? Such radical ideas though are very hard to find, this is why in all my research I did not find anyone thinking ...read more.

Conclusion

Children who still did not learn any language will notice both the position of spoon and the towel with respect to each other and if they are held tightly or loosely. After several studies researchers have found the language which can better extend the thinking process because of its broad vocabulary: it?s German. This again shows that language may affect thoughts in several ways. The two questions posed at the beginning of this study were if thought may exist without language and if language affects the thinking process. While proving my point of view throughout the essay, I showed that thinking without language is possible and that language has several different effects on thoughts. For example language will limit the possibility of describing A marvelous landscape, but it will give a greater sense of organization in thoughts facilitating the connection between them. May be in the future parents will treat their children differently knowing how their babies think while they still look like they do not understand. Fortunately researchers are still learning new things on how the thinking process works, with and without the use of language. ...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. TOK summer assignment - Art Questions. Experiencing art, artists reputations and "what is ...

    and is often created in reaction to "movements" or styles that came before it. How important is it to know these sorts of historical details to appreciate a work of art? It is very important to know historic details to appreciate any work of art.

  2. Imagine a world without colours

    He couldn't believe the images that he was seeing. He thought he was seeing an optical illusion created by a change in the light waves, but his family reminded him that this is the reality of Jubilee Kingdom. It is the realm of being that happens in Jubilee Kingdom once every hundred years.

  1. What is Gentleman? What are the characteristics of the Gentleman? Is it possible to ...

    This idea is same with Plato's idea about the knowledge. Plato said that every person had the special knowledge in mind which needs to develop. After developing this narrow knowledge, he pursue to be the educated (know the morality, kindness and norms of behavior)

  2. The Effect of Communication

    It is appalling to me that someone would be permitted to have an abortion, especially under these circumstances. It is beyond me how someone could disagree. John McCain's vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin argues that even if her own daughter were raped, "[she] would choose life".

  1. To what extent is it possible to have thought without language?

    It is arguable then that the words only exist as they are necessary for communication in a community where snow is an integral part of everyday life. However, the Inuit are an archaic community where there has not been much revolutionary change in culture and customs.

  2. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.(Christopher Hitchens) Do ...

    The idea that your ideas of art should be disregarded because there is no substantive evidence behind them is completely contradictory to the abstract nature of art. This is especially true of people like me who do not have a particular palate for art, and therefore may not be able

  1. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Christopher Hitchens). ...

    He believes in enterprise, entrepreneurship and freedom. But what happens when his system collapses under its own weight. Can he really justify it any more? If he?s passionate enough he goes on and finds reason to explain the collapse. The communist in the meanwhile justifies his stands towards the free market and advocates his philosophy.

  2. IB ToK - The Language of Chemistry - Does it direct or limit our ...

    Every time we measure the temperature of a hot beaker of water, we alter the real value, as the thermometer will cause the temperature to decrease slightly. This observer effect can cause significant problems in the realm of Chemistry, leading the physicist Werner Heisenberg to comment: ?What we observe is

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