‘The Bewitchment Of Our Intelligence’

 

In the beginning was the Word’. The World begins in Vac [Sanskrit]; Vox [Latin; Voice].

As Ludwig Wittgenstein summarily put it: ‘Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.‘ The limits of my Language are the limits of my World.

‘Philosophy’ he declared ‘is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by language.’

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It can take a lifetime of observation to appreciate how much of our World is based on Language. It fits us like a snug set of contact lenses. We view the World through them.

And we don’t remember that we have them on until something hits us in the eye.

The World is divided into Subject and Object, Noun and Verb, Gender and Tense. Words like ‘of’ and ‘for’, ‘to’ and ‘from’, ‘and’ and ‘or’, create a sanctioned and structured web of associations and divisions.

And we are to be forgiven if we take this synthetic structure as intrinsic to the way the World is, the way the World works.