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Thread: What is language's relationship to reality?

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  1. #1
    Friendly Neighborhood Mustelidae The Otter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    In the room next to the noisy ice machine, for all eternity.

    What is language's relationship to reality?

    I had the thought the other day that language, in a way, is similar to money.

    On one level, it's an incredibly powerful force that has shaped civilization as we know it, enables complex cooperation between individuals and groups, and is so much a part of our society that it's hard to even imagine life without it.

    On another level, it's an illusion that only means something because everyone has collectively decided to agree that it means something. A word or a unit of currency only has meaning within the context of the society or culture that created it. And the meaning is always changing.

    Language is probably a lot more primal and more woven into our day to day experience of life, but it still very much operates within the context of society and that society's norms.

    Given that, is it even possible to have language that objectively reflects reality? Or will it always in some way be a reflection of the particular time, place and culture it comes from?
    Last edited by The Otter; 12-21-2017 at 01:08 AM.
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