Summary of Chapter Three: Gwen The narrator tells about the first day at her new school where she is embarrassed because all the other twelve-year-old girls know each other, and she is a stranger. The teachers are all English.
Friday, January 04, "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book 3" John Locke John Locke was the first philosopher in English to really think about the nature of language, its relationship to the mind, and the relationship between language and reality.
In The Essay Concerning Human Understanding, written in at the behest of friends, Locke set out to describe mental processes, especially to refute the Cartesian notion of innate ideas. As he got deeper and deeper into his examination of mind, however, he realised that an examination of the interaction between mind and language and the world would be necessary.
I must confess then that when I first began this discourse of the understanding, and a good while after, I had not the least thought that any consideration of words was at all necessary to it. But when, having passed over the original and composition of our ideas, I began to examine the extent and certainty of our knowledge, I found it had so near a connection with words, that, unless their force and manner of signification were first well observed, there could be very little said clearly and pertinently concerning knowledge.
His ideas anticipate the structuralism of Saussure, and the whole field of semiotics; he anticipates the ideas on the relationship between mind, culture and syntax posited by Sapir and Lakoff; and also the style guides of Strunk and White, as well as the political stylistics of Orwell.
Put simply, for Locke, words are arbitrary symbols of ideas in the mind, not of things in the world. This is an absolutely crucial distinction that he warns about again and again. The act of naming is tied up with the act of categorising ideas. When we name, we are not naming objects in the world, but first sorting our mental ideas of those objects into categories, and then naming those categories.
Of the imperfections of words Words are used for two purposes, to record and communicate our thoughts. For the first, a private use of language taking place perhaps only in the theatre of the mind, any words will do.
For the second, words must have clear agreed-upon meaning. Words are imperfect because when they refer to ideas of abstract concepts mixed modes is Locke's term these abstract concepts may in themselves be ill understood. Abstract concepts have no counterpart in nature by which we can judge their accuracy, they exist only in the mind.
Words are imperfect because when they refer to ideas of things in the world, the real nature of things in the world cannot be known by the mind, so we are in fact only referring to their nominal essence, not their real essence, which exists outside the mind.
The mind can only perceive its own ideas; it cannot directly perceive the things of the world.
These two imperfections are inherent in the nature of language and mind, and must be borne in mind in disputes and discussions.
Locke warns that many of the controversies and misunderstandings between societies arise through a misunderstanding of the real nature of language.
People mistakenly assume that words reflect things, rather than ideas of things. Were the imperfections of language as the instrument of knowledge, more thoroughly weighed, a great many of the controversies that make such a noise in the world, would of themselves cease; and the way to knowledge, and perhaps peace too, lie a great deal opener than it does.
Of the abuse of words Locke identified seven different abuses of words, and they are as pertinent today in this age of instantaneous computer mediated debate as they ever were. The first abuse of words is using them without a clear understanding of their meaning, either because they had no clear meaning annexed to them to begin with, or because their clear meaning has become obscured by current false usage.
Second, is the unsteady application of them, by which Locke means using a word to mean one thing in one context, and then another thing in another context.
Third, is the affected obscurity by professional classes. Now, to anyone who has had to wade through swathes of the academic abuse of language by post-Derridean scribblers, this will strike a chord. Locke points his finger at academics and lawyers in particular, as masquerading a false subtlety.
In fact, at this point in the book, Locke's human frustrations break through the coolheaded procession of taxonomies he is laying out, and he indulges himself in a marvellous rant against the artificial ignorance and learned gibberish 3.("John Adams") John Adams was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts, on October 30, , and he is the first of three show more content (Shaw 25) It was a marriage of the mind and of the heart, which left a remarkable and shining example for the following.
John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty, which contains a rational justification of the liberty of the individual in opposition to the claims of the state to impose unrestricted control. Other articles deaing with liberty, freedom and democracy, with special attention to the situation in the U.S.A.
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These are hubris, nemesis, anagnorisis, peripeteia, hamartia, and catharsis. PREPARING EFFECTIVE ESSAY QUESTIONS A Self-directed Workbook for Educators by Christian M. Reiner a definition given a long time ago by John M.
Stalnaker (, p) Example A does not meet the criteria for effective essay questions for the following reasons: 1.