Last Updated 27 May 2020

Art and Language

Category Language 
Essay type Research
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The following paper will focus on cognitive science and its application to the modules of language structure with reference to functionalists theory.  The highlighting factors of the paper will delve into how language is processed through a frame of reference and developed in regards to cultural as well as empirical modes.  The way in which language is processed by the mind and how cognitive science extrapolates this complex function will be discussed as well as the applying the representational theory of mind.

Language structures community.  It is a response to the emotions, the events, and the culture surrounding individuals and is tied into the concepts of cognitive science because it is a process that has to be translated by the brain to be understood.  Language is an innate expression of emotion, a deep need to convey oneself, to be understood, to find a connection with someone or a group of people: through this desire of communication is found sensory signals.

A well-developed individual will use language not only for communication of simple tasks (directions, greetings, or general information), but more intrinsically, for the relaying of emotion and thus, the internal representations are used in order to perceive correctly what is trying to be communicated.  Through language there arises a sense of belonging through the brain’s ability to act and work like a computer the neural networks of the mind give off the impression of vocal integration of a species, and through this is found a preliminary common ground by which an individual may interpret signals and voice to demonstrate camaraderie.

There is a common relationship when two people speak the same language and are further bonded through the expression of their thoughts.  A person’s conversations, exterior portrayal of a relationship, and personal injuries lie in Sausseure’s bilateral definition of langue and not parole.

…Sausseure’s differentiation between langue and parole… Langue is the formal grammatical system of language…Parole is actual speech, the way that speakers use language to express themselves. (455, Ritzer)

It is correct to infer that when tourists are abroad, they have a grasp of langue but little idea of how to use parole effectively.  This differentiation between grammar and expression is the key component in the separation of tourist from native.  Sausseure’s system of language gives a view of exile, which, when deliberated with langue and parole, is defined as being in a state of homelessness purely by being without language.  Without the sense of intrinsic communication which bonds people, and which allows them to have a connection with the community around them, that innate expression or parole is lost and an exile is born.

Without a relationship to the language being spoken, there can be no meaning behind the words, no emotion.  In the Representational Theory of Mind, the tie that binds is considered to be that of language and how language is processed and considered.  Through mental states, thoughts, beliefs, and desires as much as impressions and images, language is the tool used to demonstrate the importance of each point.  Language and RTM has at their base intentionality.  Sensory experience is denoted through language and expressed with that language to another person.  The sensory experience can be related to another person only through dialogue.

Langue, then, can be viewed as a system of signs – a structure- and the meaning of each sign is produced by the relationship among signs within the system.  Especially important here are relations of difference, including binary oppositions…Meanings, the mind, and ultimately the social world are shaped by the structure of language.  Thus, instead of an existential world of people shaping their surroundings, we have here a world in which people as well as other aspects of the social world, are being shaped by the structure of language.

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In Freud’s New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis translated by W. J. H. Sprott, he states:

The danger of mental helplessness corresponds to the stage of early immaturity of the ego; the danger of loss of object or of love corresponds to the dependence of the early years of childhood; the danger of castration to the phallic phase; and finally, fear of the super-ego, which occupies a special position, to the period of latency.  As development proceeds the old conditions for anxiety should vanish, since the danger-situations, which correspond to them, have lost their force owing to the strengthening of the ego.  But this only happens to a very incomplete degree.

A great many people cannot overcome the fear of loss of love; they never become independent enough of the love of other people and continue their infantile behavior in this respect…There is no doubt that persons whom we call neurotic remain infantile in their attitude towards danger, and have not grown out of antiquated conditions of anxiety. (122,123)

And as Ritzer states,

A thinking, self-conscious individual is…logically impossible in Mead’s theory without a prior social group.  The social group comes first, and it leads to the development of self-conscious mental states. (207, Ritzer)

In such a society, language becomes not a way of telling, but a hindrance, a barrier of self and society.  With the reflection of society, an individual receives feedback of their character, or reflections of who they are.  In Marx’s essay The German Ideology in Kaplan and Anderson’s Criticism, he states,

Consciousness is, therefore, from the very beginning a social product, and remains so as long as men exist at all … man’s consciousness of the necessity of associating with the individuals around him is the beginning of the consciousness that he is living in society at all. (317-318)

Language then is an avenue by which RTM may be understood to be a symbolic representation of thought.  RTM then functions on a system of building blocks, because language is not implicit but empirical.

Work Cited

Hoffman, Eva. (1989).  The New Nomads.  In A. Aciman (Ed).  Letters of Transit (pp. 35-63).  New York:  The New Press.

Marx, Karl.  (1846).  The German Ideology.  In C. Kaplan and W.D. Anderson (Eds.). Criticism Major Statements (pp. 310-318).  Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Ritzer, George.  (2000).  Modern Sociological Theory.  Boston:  McGraw-Hill Co., Inc.

Sigmund, Freud. (1933).  New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (W.J.H. Sprott, Trans.).  New York: W.W

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