What Comes First Language or Thought?

887 WordsSep 22, 20114 Pages
TOK ESSAY: WHAT COMES FIRST LANGUAGE OR THOUGHT? The first thing that I was reminded of by this topic is the man and the woman question. We have always been wondering who came first in the world: man or woman? Scientifically it has not been proved yet that who came first. We cannot just come to a conclusion regarding who came first. The same is valid to knowledge and thought. Knowledge and thought are both inter-linked. I will be dealing each concept separately so that we can come to know the relationship between language and thought. Language is the major tool of acquiring knowledge. It is the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. Thoughts, on…show more content…
The best example for this is that of a baby. Newborns have no capability of the use of language. But they still know how to ‘think’ as they know what is happiness or what is pain. Nature has made them born with a language-independent system for thinking about objects. Another example that is applicable here is that people, sometimes, think visually and do not need language to give them information about the visual world. They can look at a person’s face and make a hypothesis of the emotion that they see. People can think without language because thinking is not just conducted by language. There are limits in language, but thoughts are limitless. Language can be described as medium of which thoughts are directed but to a particular extent, which is decided by the person and not by the language. When man evolved , he had no language by means of which, he could communicate to the other people. However, he still used to think, didn’t he? This is clearly evident from the ancient paintings that early man has drawn in caves and on walls of houses from ancient civilizations. They expressed their thoughts through symbols and signs and not by language. Communication is basically, a medium of exchange of thoughts and ideas. In the earlier days, when no particular language was developed, people still used to express their views. Thoughts can be expressed through symbols, signs and paintings. When we go to

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