Under The Sun

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

NDPR: Language vs. Reality

"Nothing meaningful [...] can be said about language as such, both because language "as such" is not available for direct observation and because the features, aspects, characteristics, and qualities that can be attributed to language approach the infinite".--Geoffery Harpham, Language Alone: The Critical Fetish of Modernity

This is profound, not to mention true: it becomes obvious as soon as one understands it. I would phrase it this way: language can't be a reflection of reality, because reality is simple and language is complex. Thus any attempt to view the world through the lens of language can't see anything clearly.

As soon as this becomes generally understood, we can close the book on 20th-century philosophy and move on to the next problem. It's about time.

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