To What Extent Is It Possible to Have Thought Without Language?

Topics: Thought, Mind, Idea Pages: 4 (1155 words) Published: February 9, 2007
To what extent is it possible to have thought without language? The answer to whether thought can be achieved without language is evidently an uncertain one. The words "thought" and "language", themselves contradict each other. Therefore it is clear from the start that there will be no clear answer to the question. Before I can go onto answer the question, a definition of both words is necessary.

Language can initially be defined as a form of communication. It is the ability to interact with others using vocals, sign, hand gestures, and many other forms. Furthermore language can be conveyed as a signal, for example a wave goodbye. This also provokes a question within in this; can a signal be classified as language? For example a traffic light gives a signal that is understood worldwide by man. Whether to drive or to stop, this signal is understood by all so therefore it is classed as a form of communication, it cannot however be expressed as language, it receives no response and no feelings or thoughts are conveyed. Although this is true, we cannot dismiss a signal as being a language. Chinese writing for example expresses language through the use of signals.

Language cannot be defined simply as communication. For example, ice communicates cold, and yet we do not count this as language. For language to be considered a form of communication in society, it has to follow certain rules. Language can only be conveyed as communication when words like adjectives are used within various different literary techniques to create a string of words into a sentence. However, language does not have to be words of those spoken or seen. Those with disabilities, for example those who are blind, use the Braille language to communicate, and develop an understanding of language. In comparison to this, the deaf use sign language, a method of communication where hand signals are exchanged, to express feelings and emotion to one another. Moreover, thought is quite often linked...
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