PHL311 The Empiricists
October 10, 2012
Communication and Language
Scholar: Why does Locke turn to language?
A: Not Locke’s plan, his intention was to classify our knowledge and ideas
Locke: We cannot account for knowledge without understanding the nature of language.
_ Locke concludes that language takes a central role in human intuition.
What is the purpose of language?
o Thoughts are conveyed from one person to another.
o Reflecting on the way human beings share their perceptions about reality.
o It’s what brings societies together, human beings are meant to be social.
** 3 main elements of language
3. Object (the world)
How is language connected to our ideas? (the relation between thought and language)
Lock emphasizes 2 categories between language and thought.
1 is separated.
Thoughts are internal and known through experience
o Language without thought and thought w/o language
o Language is made of words, and thoughts are made out of ideas.
2 is parallel
Language is made by the whole to represent thoughts of individuals
Role of communication is to overcome the disagreement between these two entities. Example of problem: “The words escaped my mouth…”
It separates the idea that there is a thought, which cannot be expressed by language.
How do we deliver our thoughts?
* 5 Stages