The idea that language molds our thinking has met with varying degrees of favor in the history of philosophy and linguistics. A rather puzzling aspect of this debate is the lack of rigorous demonstration or rebuttal of the language-thought connection. We believe that one obstacle is the intrinsic difficulty in treating “thought” as a measurable dependent variable in empirical, replicable, experiments. We plead the case for a more humble, but more verifiable, aspect of linguistic relativity: by looking at cases where language shapes our perception, instead of “thought” generally. We target the domain of color terms, a field where the effects of language in shaping perception have been more striking, even if the details are highly debated, and also discuss a different kind of perception, one related to emotion terms. We argue that in this case, there is also a continuum in the proprioceptive determinants of emotions, which is structured into discrete categories by language.

When language shapes perception

DE LA CRUZ, VIVIAN MILAGROS
2015

Abstract

The idea that language molds our thinking has met with varying degrees of favor in the history of philosophy and linguistics. A rather puzzling aspect of this debate is the lack of rigorous demonstration or rebuttal of the language-thought connection. We believe that one obstacle is the intrinsic difficulty in treating “thought” as a measurable dependent variable in empirical, replicable, experiments. We plead the case for a more humble, but more verifiable, aspect of linguistic relativity: by looking at cases where language shapes our perception, instead of “thought” generally. We target the domain of color terms, a field where the effects of language in shaping perception have been more striking, even if the details are highly debated, and also discuss a different kind of perception, one related to emotion terms. We argue that in this case, there is also a continuum in the proprioceptive determinants of emotions, which is structured into discrete categories by language.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/243967
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