Language is the tool without we won’t be able to communicate and interact, to have normal life. The term “language” has many sides and meanings. For a little abstract definition of the term one could be accepted the statement of the chemist Humphrey Davy “Language is the not only the vehicle of thought, it is a great and efficient instrument in thinking”2. But when we are looking for an easier explanation we can briefly say, that it is a system of signs, symbols (the letters), which are formed together in order for words to be created. That is done observing many rules (for example grammar, syntax, punctuation, semantics) and every different language has its different variety of rules.
When it comes to understanding a language it is important to point out not only how the language works but also to know the way how the human mind and brain processes the information. Language looks like a puzzle. We have the parts – these are the words and we want to have a nice picture – this is the text. Once again our task is to order things together but the most important thing is how that should be done. Like every single part of the puzzle is significant for the whole picture, every single word of a text has its own meaning. Each word has a structure – a denotation and connotation.
Sometimes we can use only the primary meaning of the words instead of their abstract or secondary meaning. When the words are carefully chosen, properly ordered, when their meanings are appropriate, then we have an ordinary sentence and maybe a text. And that is of great importance, because in our daily routine we use language mainly as a tool to express ourselves. China’s most famous philosopher and political theorist Confucius said “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”
That quote shows very clearly the connection between language and other life spheres such as logic, learning, teaching, education etc. Moreover the significance of binding the words together in proper way becomes very apparent. The ordinary people have the ability to speak, but there are some individuals who manage to have a grip of other people’s hearts and minds only through the means of words. The speeches of different orators had many times overfilled the souls of their listeners, even the fates of nations have been decided only with the strength of the well-said words.
Anyway, all these words that we say everyday wouldn’t be so affective if we don’t use our logical thinking to connect them in a good way. When we look upon language as an element of science and communication, and I believe we can do that, then the thought of Henri Poincar “Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks: but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks in a house” again is once again relevant enough. The thing that relates the pile of bricks to the house, the accumulation of facts to science and to words and the meaningful text, and that is exactly the logic. At the end of my essay I would like to mention that logic is the heart of every scientific knowledge – natural and human. It helps us to know where and which formula to use to solve the problem, to understand the relation between different phenomena, to interpret properly the primary or abstract meaning of the facts, words, symbols, signs, etc.
Actually, it is important to know what exactly “Science” is. According to some dictionaries “Science” is “knowledge attained through study or practice” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, especially as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”4 I observe science as a puzzle, which has to be solved. Science is based on facts, events, experiments, tests which are connected the same way as a house is built on a pile of bricks. The way of binding the pieces of the puzzle and becoming knowledge is only trough logical thinking and understanding. Again we are faced to the question how we understand the things around us. Every person has a different concept of the surrounding world and that gives us the power to create colored diversity in life.
Lagemaat, Richard van de; Theory of knowledge for the IB Diploma; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005