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Short essay on the origin of species
Every human being is, on the one hand, in the power of the language he speaks; he and his whole thinking are a product of it. He cannot, with complete certainty, think anything that lies outside the limits of language. The form of his concepts, the way and means of connecting them, is outlined for him through the language in which he is born and educated; intellect and imagination are bound by it. On the other hand, however, every freethinking and intellectually spontaneous human being also forms the language himself. For how else, but through these influences, would it have come to be and to grow from its first raw state to its more perfect formation in scholarship and art?
The new nomenclature developed by Lavoisier was immediately recognized as “a striking illustration of the effect of appropriated and well-defined expressions, in aiding the intellectual powers” by the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753-1828), who in his treatise on cognitive psychology (, 1792) emphasized the power of language “as an instrument of thought.”
condillac essay on the origin of human knowledge summary
Towards the end of the eighteenth century the French scientist Antoine Lavoisier, who is called the father of modern chemistry, took up this subject in the Preface to his (1789). There he explains that his first intention when he began writing this book was to explain his views “on the necessity of reforming and completing the Nomenclature of Chemistry,” having seen the bad effects of so many misleading terms which had accumulated in the field of chemistry. “While engaged in the composition of my Elements of Chemistry, I perceived, better than I had ever done before, the truth of an observation of Condillac, that we think only through the medium of words, and that languages are true analytic methods. Algebra, which, of all our modes of expression, is the most simple, the most exact, and the best adapted to its purpose, is, at the same time, a language and an analytic method. The art of reasoning is nothing more than a language well arranged.”
Poets and other literary men have always known what power there is in language. Early in the nineteenth century, the English poet William Wordsworth declared that even in matters of style the form of expression used by a writer is “a constituent part and power or function in the thought,” and he warned that the florid and trifling poetic style which was then popular was destructive of any authentic feelings of solemnity and pensiveness among the English people. In his (1810) he maintained that stylistic qualities of language hold such “dominion over thoughts” that the mentality of a people may be either enobled or debased by them.
An essay on the original genius and writings of homer : Cust
“I do not in the least doubt that I shall be contradicted in what I have advanced concerning the character of articulate sounds. I have frequently met with persons who look upon all languages as equally adapted for all kinds of writing, and who pretend that a man with the same organization as Corneille, in whatever age he lived, and in whatever tongue he wrote, would have given the same proofs of his superiority of genius. Signs are arbitrary the first time they are employed, which is the reason perhaps that some imagine they can have no character. But I would fain know whether it be not natural for every nation to combine their ideas according to their own peculiar genius; and to connect a certain fund of principal ideas with different adventitious notions, according as they are differently affected. Now these combinations authorized by time and custom, are properly what constitutes the character of a language. It may be more or less diffused; for this depends on the number and variety of the expressions received, and on its analogy, which affords the means of inventing new phrases when wanted. But it is not in the power of man entirely to change this character. As soon as he departs from it, he speaks a foreign tongue, and ceases to be understood. It is the work of time to produce such considerable changes, by reducing a whole nation to such circumstances as shall engage them to consider things in quite a different light.” (§160, pp. 297-8)
One of the major clues that elephants have something we would recognize as inner lives is their extraordinary memories. This is attested to by outward indicators ranging from the practical — a matriarch’s recollection of a locale, critical to leading her family to food and water — to the passionate — grudges that are held against specific people or types of people for decades or even generations, or fierce affection for a long-lost friend.
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RecBox – Therapeutic Activities in a Box
The blab of the pave, tires of carts, sluff of boot-soles, talk of
The heavy omnibus, the driver with his interrogating thumb, the
clank of the shod horses on the granite floor,
The snow-sleighs, clinking, shouted jokes, pelts of snow-balls,
The hurrahs for popular favorites, the fury of rous'd mobs,
The flap of the curtain'd litter, a sick man inside borne to the hospital,
The meeting of enemies, the sudden oath, the blows and fall,
The excited crowd, the policeman with his star quickly working his
passage to the centre of the crowd,
The impassive stones that receive and return so many echoes,
What groans of over-fed or half-starv'd who fall sunstruck or in fits,
What exclamations of women taken suddenly who hurry home and
give birth to babes,
What living and buried speech is always vibrating here, what howls
restrain'd by decorum,
Arrests of criminals, slights, adulterous offers made, acceptances,
rejections with convex lips,
I mind them or the show or resonance of them--I come and I depart.
Kant and Hegel: Organicism and Language Theory - …
At about the same time, another German philologist named Wilhelm Von Humboldt was writing a treatise on this subject. For years he had devoted himself to the study of various non-European languages, including those of the American Indians, having obtained grammars and dictionaries of them written by Christian missionaries. He studied tribal languages of the Pacific islands and East Indies as well. In 1836 he published a book titled (1836) with a general introduction on . This introduction was in itself a lengthy treatise, and it has been called “the first great book on general linguistics.” As the title suggests, the diversity () of human languages and cultures, and the connections between language and thought, were major themes of Humboldt’s research. His primary interest was not in the discourse of philosophers (Locke), nor in the artistic language of poets (Herder), but in the ordinary languages of various peoples around the world. Although Humboldt was well aware of the similarities among the languages he studied, he was much impressed with the differences he found, and he believed that these linguistic differences played a part in the maintenance of corresponding differences in culture and mentality between peoples. The following sentence from his treatise summarizes his view of the connection of language to thought.
The Effect of Language upon Thinking - bible …
It is a truth as simple as it is fruitful, that language is no arbitrary, artificial, and gradual invention of the reflective understanding, but a necessary and organic product of human nature, appearing contemporaneously with the activity of thought. Speech is the correlate of thought; both require and condition each other like body and soul, and are developed at the same time and in the same degree, both in the case of the individual and the nation. Words are the coinage of conceptions freeing themselves from the dark chaos of intimations and feelings, and gaining shape and clearness. In so far as a man uses and is master of language, has he also attained clearness of thought; the developed and spoken language of a people is its expressed intelligence.
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