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Role of Language in Critical Thinking

By:   •  Research Paper  •  616 Words  •  March 13, 2010  •  565 Views

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Role of Language in Critical Thinking

Role of Language in Critical Thinking

The role of language in critical thinking is a delicate and multipart instrument used to communicate different things in to two basic categories: information and emotion. As affirmed by Kirby and Goodpaster, (1999) "We think with words. As we read this, we are using language to think. We have defined thinking broadly as the activity of the brain that can potentially be communicated. Although we may think in other ways besides language, such as with images or feelings, language plays a central role in our thinking." (p76, para2) Language is very important to how well we accomplish critical thinking. Language is how we convey our opinions, expressions and how we make our ideas known to others. Being understandable in our use of language is essential for us. It is important to be concise in our meaning and realize that the wrong word in the wrong context can be detrimental to the case. Frequently words have diverse meanings based on the different contexts in which they are used. It is important to recognize the context in which the word is used to insure clear critical thinking. As we have learned in this week's class, words change in meaning over time. It is important to keep up with the latest use and its meaning so we can be successful in our conveyance of meaning during transference of ideas. If the thoughts we are trying to communicate are clear and factual we are more likely to sway opinions and get a positive response to our point of view.

How does Language Empower or Limit Expression

Language gives us the tools to communicate ideas and thoughts to each other, which allows us to pass on knowledge and advance our civilization. However, language has limits as well as empowering connotation. Languages empowers through the use of words by permitting us to express emotions and meaning by means of verbal or written communication. Conversely, language can limit our expressions if we do not learn the proper use of its structure. Connotations can be troublesome if we do not stay abreast of the current use of words. As stated by Kirby and Goodpaster (1999), "Connotations change. To keep our thinking sharp we have to stay abreast of these changes. Clearly we do not wish to refer to our car as a carriage, our word processor as a typewriter, a happy man as gay, or the fragrance of a rose as an odor."(p89, para1) The context in which we use a word can also be either a help or a hindrance. Without

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