Discussion Board Question #8
In chapter 8 and the Lera Boroditsky movie, you learned about the possible relations between language and cognition (thought). Scientists have long been interested in the relation between language and thought. Different languages, used by different cultures, talk about the same basic ideas in very different ways. Do these linguistic differences reflect differences in perception or cognition? If they do, is it the case that the language we speak causes these differences in cognition? Two extreme positions have been posed: (1) Language and cognition are completely independent, as proposed by people like Jean Piaget and Jerry Fodor; and (2) Language determines thought (aka, linguistic determinism) or better known as the Whorfian Hypothesis. Still others propose that we should consider more moderate, modern linguistic positions in which language can act as a lens on the world – that our language helps us narrow down what to pay attention to in the world, but that we still have the ability to perceive and reason about things that we do not talk about in our language.
PROMPT: Of the various theories proposed above and/or in your textbook, which theory do you believe best explains the relation between language and thought? In your response, briefly describe the theory you have selected and then provide at least three (3) reasons why you believe your chosen theory best explains the relation between language and thought. Feel free to choose a particular aspect of thought/cognition/perception (e.g., perceiving and labeling different shades of blue, talking about and perceiving events in the world, etc.) if it helps you respond to the prompt.
REFERENCES: Your answer should appropriately use/cite research; you should have a reference for each reason/argument for a total of 3 references. For this assignment, only peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters or edited books are allowable references. You may not use your textbook or websites as a reference.