Friday, October 17

on language

I've been re-reading Derrida's Monolingualism of the Other or the Prothesis of Origin, and thinking a lot about the nature of self-identity and how we use language to craft it. Derrida's discussion centers on his Algerian Jewish background and how it manifests itself or is completely hidden in his use and understanding of French. I've come to the belief that language is a difficult tool to use to express abstracts such as cultural identity (Derrida example being that accents are absent in the written word) and am fascinated by this tension to fumble around to relate these concepts anyhow. So, from the science angle, I saw this today from the TED conference: linguist Steven Pinker questions the very nature of our thoughts -- the way we use words, how we learn, and how we relate to others.

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