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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thoughts and language

There are many things/factors/ideas that impact, initiate, influence, impel and/or condition our thinking process.

Whether we like it or not language [ which is supposed  to be a tool to communicate our thoughts] also incidentally supplies, supports and shapes our thoughts.

These have been very excellently explained  by Steven Arthur Pinker in his popular books.

Through excellent examples and in depth analysis he has argued that the human faculty for language is an "instinct", an innate behavior shaped by natural selection and adapted to our communication needs. He is the author of six books for a general audience. Five of these, namely The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate(2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007) describe aspects of the field of psycholinguistics, and include, among much else, accessible accounts of his own research. The sixth book, The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), makes the case that violence in human societies has in general steadily declined with time, and identifies six major causes of this decline.

[Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-born U.S. experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist,linguist, and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind].

Of these books The stuff of thought and How the mind works are really gems that everyone must read. .

Also read Harold Waldwin Percival [a Theosophist and writer] his magnum opus Thinking and Destiny a very detailed book on thinking running to some 1000 pages.

You can also spice up these with Le Comte de Nuoy's 'Human Destiny' another great book.

This preamble is for all of us to get rid of our illusions thinking that our thoughts  are the result or the cause of our intelligence/intellect/knowledge etc and also the dispel the presumption that some superior wisdom exclusively privileges and directs our thoughts.

It is bad indeed  to give great importance to the thoughts of merely academically qualified people without any wisdom, worse still to those who have merely held positions doled out to them by virtue of their political sycophancy and worst of all if it emanates from a opinion platform of a newspaper like The Hindu [ where opinions are filtered through the highly hypocritical sick Indian brand of left over leftist ideology  whose proponents owe their livelihood and suck  for their survival  the very institutions and ideas that they virulently and vociferously criticize].

These opinions/thoughts expressed by these worthies  cannot do anything else but support the wrong causes.

Their only qualification is that they can sandwich their stupidity in pleasant language and through a putrefying platform like The Hindu.

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