All of the other ways of knowing are controlled by language. ” What does this statement mean and do you think it is a fair representation of the relationship between perception, emotion, reason and language? The following text will inform you about what knowledge is, and whether all ways of knowing are controlled by language. Knowledge to me is when you have information that is ‘saved’ in your brain and that you can recall at any given time. There are people with a very broad knowledge and other people with a rather small knowledge. What is for sure is that belief is not knowing.
Belief might be experience but that does not mean that it is also knowing. To narrow down the area which we are talking about, I would like to list and explain the different types of knowledge that exist. There is explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is the part of what you know that can be said and that you are aware/conscious of. For example, if you have to study the process of meiosis in biology. You might get handouts that explain each phase and you can therefore use those words to remember what meiosis is or to be able to explain it to someone else. Or it might as well be the times table.
One times one is one, two times one is two, and so on. These things can be proven by anybody again. Implicit knowledge is therefore all of what is not included in explicit knowledge. When you have implicit knowledge you know how to do something without the ability to describe what you are doing. For example when you are thirsty: you know that you need to drink something to get rid of your thirst, but what you don’t know, is how your body jumps to the conclusion that it is thirsty. In these different types of knowledge, there are different ways of knowing, such as perception, emotion and reason.
To get back to the question of whether all ways of knowing are influenced by language, I would like to examine how these different types of knowledge are controlled by language, or whether they are controlled by language at all. Language to me, is just what you say, read and write. Language in this context does not include behaviour, or body language, how ever you might call it. Some say, that knowledge is always influenced by language. There are extremists who say, that the whole world consists of language, and they have their point. After all, we get to see every day, how illiteracy can have a great impact on your future life.
The ability to read and write opens a door, to way more than just information. It opens a door that bestows you the ability to think for yourself, to draw your own opinion and conclusions about various aspects of society, to choose what you want to believe in. It has a great impact on our emotions, because language can thrust a way larger whole into your heart than an actual knife can. At least, that is what I would say. If someone stabs a knife into your heart, you are very likely to die within a few minutes, meaning that the pain will not last very long, but emotional pain, can stay for a much longer period of time.
These wound that are created through fights for example, and cause emotional pain, also influence who we trust as life goes on. It is like a chain. Everything walks hand in hand, and you cannot have one without the other. Therefore, language makes up one of the biggest parts of who we are. A great example for that is “The Reader” by Bernhard Schlink. It tells you a story of a woman in her mid-thirties and a teenager that have a relationship. Throughout the story, the boy finds out that his affair is illiterate, and that she is embarrassed about that. He gets to see, how all her decisions are influenced by her illiteracy.