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Re: Thought and Language

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 16, 1998, 1:28
Josh Brandt-Young wrote:
> Does language form the boundary of human thought? (Sapir-Whorf) > Does language *create* thought? (Vygotsky, I believe) > etc.
My personal belief is that language does not *create* or *shape* thought, nor does it form the boundary of thought, but it does shape it. It is impossible to seperate a language from the culture that speaks it, for language and other cultural phenomena shape and influence each other. The culture (including language) helps to shape thought and personality, but does not determine it. Language, IMHO, has its most powerful influence on the individual in the form of interpersonal communication. That is, if one could not express the idea of freedom into words (as in 1984's Newspeak), then an individual may still be able to conceive of the concept, but could not explain it to others. To summarize, if a concept is easily expressible in a language, then it stands a better chance of being accepted by others than if it's not easily expressible. -- "Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia." -- Joseph Wood Krutch ICQ #: 18656696 AOL screen-name: NikTailor