Talk:Linguistic determinism

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This article seems absurd. We are told this is an idea of 'analytic philosophy' (although it is obviously an historicist idea, and thus a species of existentialism, the diametric opposite of the analytic idea which is epitomized by the revised and truncated modernized positivism of the logical positivists) and then given examples of continental philosophers, Derrida and Foucault, under the unfitting rubric of literary theory and rhetoric. If literary theory has to do with the analysis of literature (decoding and neo-philology) what is that to do with a 'subject' who is not in a world (as Heidegger puts it; another so-called 'continental' and not at all an 'analytic' or Anglo-american philosopher) but who is the limit of a world?

These are obviously ideas about what humans are, not about literature (cf. Aristotle).

The mental disorder of the article so confused and distorting, will cause anyone who reads it, except if they are already steeped in the material, to go away full of aberrant ideas. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:19, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


'If one breaks apart the hidden hierarchies in language terms, one can open up a "lacuna" in understanding, an "aporia," and free the mind of the reader/critic'

-- are these jargon words (lacuna and aporia) necessary, or can they be replaced with more mainstream English? At the very least they should be explained. --Khendon 15:52, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. You know, I thought they were explained. Specifically, I was trying to explain deconstruction (i.e. the jargon) to a general reader who by that point had grasped the basics of linguistic determinism. The terms are jargon, but they're widely used jargon by the post-structuralists and deconstructivists, and so I thought it was signal service to help readers understand what they meant. Geogre 21:55, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

References needed?[edit]

I would maintain that it sort of isn't appropriate to put a ref tag on this article. Other than the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which had no article when this was written, the other bits of the article refer to other Wikipedia articles. Ok, if I'm explaining that "semiotics argues that a deep grammar determines all human sign systems," I like to semiotics. In that article, you can find out about Claude Levi-Strauss and get a list of writings. If I'm talking about deconstruction and I say that it seeks a lacuna in order to free the speaking subject from linguistic determinism, I really shouldn't be linking to Grammatology in a reference, as that's far too precise and restricted a reference. Instead, I refer to deconstruction or to Jacques Derrida and let those specific articles give references. All of which is not to say that the article wouldn't benefit from many, many more references (esp. as this is just about a stub of an article, given the importance of the subject), but I don't think there was any shady OR stuff going on. Geogre 12:21, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

New Scientist article[edit]

August 04, requires Athens or similar to view full story. Mentions linguistic determination by name, with some discussion on evidence for it. Couldn't really see any inline references that would be appropriate, but perhaps it's suitable for a general reference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueNovember (talkcontribs) 10:29, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


Steven Pinker takes issue with the Peter Gordon findings in his book "Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature". According to an article in the New Yorker, Dan Everett, a linguist who has lived with the Piraha for more than 20 years disputes his findings, saying that the restriction is cultural and/or cognitive rather than being linguistic in nature (he also disputes Chompsky's Universal Grammer, which is interesting, but irrelevant here). Unfortunately, the paper is only available to those subscribed to the journal "Current Anthropology". I haven't been able to read it yet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Ambiguous definition[edit]

Linguistic determinism is a pretty broad term. As the article details, there are some who argue it only in a fairly structuralist manner (semiotics, for example), and there are others who argue it in a hardened epistemology (Wittgenstein and analytical philosophers). I think we need to keep the lead sentence definition a bit wiggly so that it can contain the breadth of all the implementations and reflect the bare assertion that qualifies. Anything more specific than "language determines thought or knowledge" is going to prefer one interpretation over another and exclude several practitioners from the position. Geogre (talk) 17:09, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The problem was that the definition "language shapes thougt" is weak enough to include weak versions of linguistic relativity which are not normally believed to be linguistic determinism.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Ok, how about "language and its structures limit and determine knowledge and/or thought?" I want it to be open, but I want to keep the verbs weak enough to allow the range of opinion. Geogre (talk) 17:28, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I could agree with that formulation.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:37, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

reason for reverting revision 397353654 by[edit]

The word “ostensibly” suggests that the original statement about “Zen” is not true and only a wrong impression. This would appear according to the “reveals” from the statement itself. However, how this would appear is not made clear.

For the validity of the original statement see Zen#Koan_practice

Hpvpp (talk) 22:34, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Article worth incorporating here[edit] -- Wesha (talk) 06:16, 31 October 2014 (UTC)