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Philosophy

A Brief Philosophy of Language

I wonder a lot about words, thoughts and those repetitive phrases both good and bad that we all build our inner (as much as our outer) worlds upon. Do you think we shape language or that language shapes us? Or is it both? Experience certainly shapes us and we are each relatively free to shape our experience from the menu of choices available to us but language – any language – somehow seems so much more intimate and personal. Perhaps it is because we order our thoughts, conscious or otherwise, as a linguistic or narrative and essentially temporal sequence of events that the stepping, staccato and rhythmic eloquence of language quite naturally draws us along in its wake, like vapour trails in the sky or ripples behind a boat. If experience is to be rendered intelligible, it is ordered through words as rational cognition but is that all our experience is? What happens to personal subjectivity without language? Is this a kind of freedom? If not, what is psychological freedom?

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