Thinking without language?

Rick Wojcik rwojcik at gte.net
Mon Jan 17 21:46:43 EST 2000


Ryan Jonathon Weber wrote:
> 
> Rick Wojcik wrote:
> 
> > rachel cohen wrote in message <386bd4de.27362639 at news.zahav.net.il>...
> > >On 25 Dec 1999 17:11:26 EST, "mb"
> > ><mmbDELETEeer at concenDELETEtric.net> wrote:
> > >
> > >>.... that
> > >>some people do think in words only, while others don't.
> > >
> > > How do deaf people think ? Those who learn sign language, those
> > >who learn lip reading, those whom nobody teaches ? Can they
> > >invent metods for thinking, and explain them? After all, children
> > >think much before they learn to read.
> >
> > Indeed, it is clear that animals think and reason, too.  So why do people
> > think that they need words to think?
> 
> but i think it is worth mentioning that we are constricted by the language
> we choose to express ourselves. This has a great effect on our entire mental
> development. It is harder to quantify feelings or ideas which no word exists
> for, or adequately describe all types of love with the word. This applies to
> animals too, except their language communication is not an oral language.

Now you have changed the question.  The original question was
whether one could think without language.  Of course they can. 
Not just animals, but people who have suffered catastrophic loss
of language from brain damage.  I agree with you that language
affects our mental development, but that isn't the same as saying
that it is necessary for thinking--even logical thinking--to take
place.  Animals clearly make deductions.  Just not as well as
humans.




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