Do the languages we speak shape the way we think? For example, how do we think about time? The word “time” is the most frequent noun in the English language. Time is ubiquitous yet ephemeral. It forms the very fabric of our experience, and yet it is unperceivable: we cannot see, touch, or smell time. How do our minds create this fundamental aspect of experience? Do patterns in language and culture influence how we think about time?
Do languages merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages (without our knowledge or consent) shape the very thoughts we wish to express? Can learning new ways to talk change how you think? Is there intrinsic value in human linguistic diversity? Join us as Stanford cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky re-invigorates this long standing debate with data from experiments done around the world, from China, to Indonesia, Israel, and Aboriginal Australia.
“How Language Shapes Thought” was given on October 26, 02010 as part of Long Now’s Seminar series. The series was started in 02003 to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking from some of the world’s leading thinkers. The Seminars take place in San Francisco and are curated and hosted by Stewart Brand. To follow the talks, you can:
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