Monday, November 4, 2013

Language, a/the Bridge to Understanding

What do you think of this assertion: "El lenguaje constituye el único puente (aunque también un obstáculo) entre el hombre y el conocimiento" (Language constitutes the only bridge (although an obstacle as well) between man and understanding).

That comes from an article by Jimena Ugaz on a novel by Ricardo Piglia. I would certainly be inclined to agree with the staement, although the possibility of mentalese would make me back off a bit from the assertion (unless mentalese is understood as language in its own right). What really interests me in the statement, due to some of my recent work on postmodernism and poststructuralism (whatever you may take those terms to mean), is that language is also an obstacle to our understanding at times due to ubiquitous ambiguity. That truth is one of the greatest reminders given to philosophy and literary theory in the 20th century.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not well-read enough in this area (or in general) to speak with any authority, but I'd probably default to your own suggestions. The only thing I might add is that language does not appear to have begun with the creation of Adam but appears to be a function of inter-Trinitarian life. So man, made in God's image, might be expected to bear language as one of the distinguishing marks of that special status. That is, perhaps, support for your idea that mentalese is a language.