Role of Language and Reasoning in History

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Theory of Knowledge
Name: Rigved Sawant
Topic: ‘Role of language and reasoning in History.’

What is history? History, as anyone would know is the study of the human past. It can also mean the period of time after which writing was found. It is a field of research which uses a chronological pattern to examine and analyze the sequence of events and it also very minutely determines the cause and effect of such events. Those who study or researches in history are called historians. For them to have clear knowledge of language to be used history is very important. What I mean to say is that language has an exceptional place in history. Language was and still is a vital tool for better communication. It not only conveys thoughts, ideas, but forges friendship, cultural ties, etc. Throughout history many have reflected on the importance of language in history. For example, the scholar Benjamin Whorf has noted that language shapes thoughts and emotions, determining one’s perception of reality. Without proper use of language we cannot convey our thoughts effectively. Language is very relevant to understand history. History is subjective based on who is telling it and language is the ‘teller’. For example, the history of slavery; from the slave master’s point of view slavery for him will be according to the language he uses to describe it. He would use a language which will describe chattel, property, free labor, political advantage. But for a slave, it would be the other way round. The language he would use would be of degradation, sorrow, pain humiliation, torture. Two different perspectives of the same event. Look at the Holocaust, the language used by a Jew to describe the events during the world war 2 will be different from a language a German soldier of the third Reich would use. As time progressed some of the important languages in which also many of the ancient artifacts were written have diminished. People don’t understand the importance of such languages....
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