Words and thoughts

Do words create thoughts, or thoughts create words? Can we think without words? Are our thoughts constrained by the language we think in? Can we explore newer dimensions of our thought process, just by thinking in a different language? These are some really difficult questions!

If we compare this philosophical dilemma with the software domain, it is very obvious that every computer language has its own constraints and hence, there is no language which is ‘just perfect’. Theorists Nicholas Baumard, Nicholas Evans and Stephen Levinson have done considerable research on the topic but none of them could reach a conclusive stage. I believe the best answer to this dilemma was given by Rene Descartes.

Have you ever heeded to the fact that a novel tends to be better than a film? Is it not simply because the novel makes us create fictitious characters out of our imagination, whereas a film is always constrained by the ability of its cast and crew? While reading a novel, we tend to imagine the characters speaking in our language, living in our culture, infact we tend to associate ourselves with one of the main characters. That’s the power of imagination and thoughts, which can never be matched by words. Descartes rightly said- “I think, therefore I am.”


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