phi210 week 8 discussion and response

“The Relationship Between Language and Thinking (20 points)”

Consider the following quote by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who believed that thought without language was impossible.

“The limits of my language are the limits of my life.”

For more information on Wittgenstein and his analysis on the importance of language, watch the video Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) The Limits of Language.

Next, examine whether it is possible to think without using language. If you believe it is possible, describe the primary ways in which a person might enact so-called “languageless” thinking. If you believe it is not possible, describe what you foresee as major problems with languageless thinking.



RE: Week 8 Discussion


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Good morning class and Dr. Wess,

Language is so embedded in everything that we do and how we interact amongst others in the world (1). This weeks topic is really cool in that it asks can is it possible to think without using language?

Although I am like many who think that language and how we communicate are the very keys to thinking, I do believe that we can think without language. Have you ever meditated or focused on only thought and thrown out language? I know that many say that these are merely feelings or sensations and without using concepts, thought needs language (1). According to this article that I read, many scientists and artists say they do not use words to solve problems, they use images instead (1). There is also a lot of research that shows people who are deaf and cut off from language, think in ways that many thought were impossible, before they were exposed to language (1). It is hard to imagine deep meaningful thought without concepts of language, but it is possible. Since people who use language do all the research, it is only the opinion of those that believe it is not possible. I think that thought was happening before there was any form of language and because of thought, language was found.


  1. Arika Okrent.. 2013. Is it possible To Think Without Language? Retrieved from…
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