The Invention of the Alphabet

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The Invention of the Alphabet Introduction The alphabet is one of the most fundamental aspects of communication in our modern world. It is so fundamental, in fact, that we take it for granted. Every child has to learn the ABCs, just as she must learn the 123s. Even literate cultures which have relied on the pictograph for years, such as the Chinese, have developed alphabetic scripts to deal with the demands of modern communication. Thesis: The invention of the alphabet has made it easier for humans to communicate with each other. However, it has ultimately made the content of those communications hollow and disconnected from reality. Background Abram's Argument Abrams believes that in modern Western Civilization, individuals, specifically their bodies, are profoundly distanced from their natural environment. He traces this alienation to the two great intellectual traditions of Western Civilization, the Judeo-Christian tradition and the Greco-Roman tradition. The first expressed a feeling of human superiority to the things of nature, while the latter expressed a rejection of the body in its elevation of reason over sensory experiences. (Abram, 94). The ideas of these two traditions, so far apart in many respects, converge on one key aspect for Abram, their common roots in alphabetic writing. Alphabet Abram believes that the development of the alphabet opened a new distance "…between human culture and the rest of nature." (Abram, 100). He theorizes that, in an

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