L3J10 - Lecture 3 (10/01/11) Language One of the most...

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Lecture 3 (10/01/11) Language One of the most important avenues to understand how people think Lichtenstein – the limits of my language are the limits of my world… o Our world goes beyond language o He will argue language is important but it is not everything – if it were, it would be very difficult to understand how babies learn how to speak (if they can learn, they must be in some world that makes sense beyond words) He mentions this b/c – it is to be expected, that people have spent their time in education and go on to university… will give an absolute position to language b/c it’s how we live our lives But it’s important to realize there are many aspects beyond this – even in cases where language can be useful there are other avenues Ex. Language isn’t everything – carpenter taking his hand and moving it in the correct form to hammer a nail (rather than trying to explain it) Language itself is not the source of knowledge – what is central is the experience o So if you have a language where there are 6 or 7 words for snowing, the important point is not so much the words, but rather having the experience of snow – then the weather, you have expressions/words to talk about it, then you are able to talk about it Missing words to define something makes it much more difficult to make sense of what’s happening o Experience we get when learning another language o In this case – answer is found in getting the appropriate experience Language frames much of our thinking o There are some notions we can’t have without words o We can’t have the concept of an “uncle” without words b/c they aren’t objects like trees – it’s a kind of notion that exists only with language
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Have to place language in a broader framework of meanings – these are notions that he will use throughout the course that we need t obe able to use without any hesitations Chart Icon – refers to any thing that has the same structure as what it represents o Ex. Image is an icon, graph to show inflation is an icon (shape of graph and what is being represented), sounds can be iconic o Signifier = the image of a tree o Signified = a tree or trees Indices – also have a relationship but its intrinsic, not relational it is not a circumstance (spots on face are not to say “I have acne” it IS acne). So when you have an index you have part of a reality and you experience being able to make links which tells you something (tracks in a forest indicate a deer/wolf was here) o Signifier = smoke, spots on face o Signified = fire, acne Symbols – he means something that is taken to represent something else, but it doesn’t do it in a way that’s as systematic as language. It’s a carrier of meaning which is not an icon, index, or sign. o
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L3J10 - Lecture 3 (10/01/11) Language One of the most...

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