Sunday, May 22, 2011

How Language Shapes Thought

In the third paragraph of this important article How Language Shapes Thought cognitive psychologist/anthropologist Lera Boroditsky explains one of the reasons why so many cognitive scientists, linguistic scholars and others have ignored or dismissed Korzybski's work for so long (See for example his discussion of 'language' and 'thought' in last 1950 paper, The Role of Language in the Perceptual Processes*). Noam Chomsky's hegemonic reign over the field of linguistics and what became cognitive science, was just beginning and Korzybski's non-essentialist, non-elementalistic vision of language and human behavior which paralleled that of Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf was not going to find congenial audiences in those swayed by Chomsky's work. In 2011, that is clearly changing. 

* I would have linked to the article on the Institute of General Semantics website, but it appears no longer available there. 

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