Theory of Knowledge Essay on Vocabulary and Knowledge

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‘The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our knowledge; it shapes what we can know’. Evaluate this claim with reference to different areas of knowledge.'

Does our vocabulary truly affect or shape the way we think or know? We could interchange the use of the word vocabulary and language seeing as vocabulary is defined as ‘the words in a language’ by dictionary.com. The world contains a broad range of languages in which we use to communicate to each other, every one unique and beautiful in its own way. Yet does having different languages mean that we think differently, therefore shaping what we can in different ways? We could say yes, that it does shape what we know. On the other hand, a number of people would argue that thought or ideas are self-sufficient of language.

Vocabulary may truly shape what we can know, though only to a certain extent. Let us take the subject of English for example as an area of knowledge. Reading through Dante’s Inferno, one who might have been exposed to different reading materials, therefore an extensive array of words or vocabulary, will not find any complication in comprehending the epic poem compared to another person who might not have been exposed early on to reading. They would have entirely unlike thoughts on what happened and how it would have looked like, creating two wholly diverse ‘worlds’ of Dante’s Inferno. Most probably, the person who has limited vocabulary will therefore have limited understanding of the story though it does not mean that the lack of vocabulary means there is lack of knowledge. If there is limited vocabulary, one would not be able to explain or communicate thoroughly their ideas which in turn, would affect how the receiver of the information sees it. There would not be sufficient words to thoroughly explain what one thinks. One cannot claim to know certain things unless able to talk or explain it using words, symbols or gestures they have recognized. The claim that vocabulary or...
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