Thought and Language: A Mirror of One’s Rationality Essay Example
Thought and Language: A Mirror of One’s Rationality Essay Example

Thought and Language: A Mirror of One’s Rationality Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (939 words)
  • Published: August 11, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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Lev Vygotsky, a Soviet psychologist, developed the familial approach to the development of constructs in early childhood and adolescence. His focus was on the connection between thought and word meanings. Vygotsky's study traced human development through stages based on a child's social behavior. His interest in this topic was sparked during his student years at the University of Moscow where he studied linguistics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and the arts. He is famous for his work "Thought and Language," which formulated a theory that anticipated Piaget's genetic psychology. Vygotsky's theory explains how language and logical thinking develop in young children through interactions with adults and their environment. It also emphasizes the role of teachers in transmitting knowledge for conceptual development in older children. This concept is further explored in "Thought and Language". According to Vygotsky, speech and thought are interconnected and su


pport each other; they are not independent functions as previously believed.Vygotsky's analysis examined the relationship between thought and linguistic units, highlighting the significance of word meaning. Rather than referring to individual objects, words refer to groups or classes of objects. The meaning of words is inseparable from language and thought. Speech serves as a means of communication and expressing thoughts, interconnected with thought itself. Vygotsky argued that effective human communication necessitates a generalizing attitude. The concept of word significance plays a crucial role in analyzing ideas and linguistic communication within both generalizing and societal exchanges. It is also tied to the development of a child's social pattern. Vygotsky introduced the concept of causal-genetic, which studies the connection between a child's thinking ability and their social development, emphasizing the importance he placed on interactions with adults

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and the environment. Vygotsky compared traditional linguistics to modern linguistics by noting that traditional linguistics focused on individual sounds as analytical units without considering speech psychology. In contrast, modern linguistics focuses on phonemes –the smallest unit in speech affecting meaning– which are unique to human languageVygotsky's conclusion was that previous studies, which did not consider the integration of language and thought, lacked understanding on how social interaction aids children in acquiring word meanings. Furthermore, Vygotsky extensively examined Jean Piaget's work. Piaget is renowned for his clinical approach to studying children's thoughts, particularly their perception and logic. He approached this subject by investigating the objective interrelation of all observed characteristic traits in children's thinking. According to Piaget, egocentric thought lies between autistic and directed thinking on a spectrum. Autistic thinking is individualistic with its own specific laws, while directed thinking is more social and conscious of pursuing aims present in the mind, adapting intelligently to reality and seeking influence over it. For Piaget, egocentric thought combines elements from both forms. It serves personal needs but also includes mental adaptation. Thus, autism is perceived as the earliest form of thinking, while logic emerges at a relatively later stage. Egocentric thought acts as a bridge between these two forms according to Piaget's research findings demonstrate that egocentrism persists but gradually diminishes when a child reaches seven or eight years old.
The decline in thought and language development is attributed to the growing influence of socialized thinking. In studying the relationship between thought and language, Vygotsky builds upon Piaget's work and emphasizes the importance of causal-genetic concepts. Yerkes' studies on chimpanzees further support this investigation. Yerkes discovers that there are

distinct familial origins for thought and speech in species, with ape communication and intelligence developing separately without a correlation between them (Kozulin, 1986). The specific focus on chimpanzees is due to their similarities with humans, yet Yerkes observes a lack of close correspondence between thought and speech in these primates. This study reveals a clear distinction between a pre-linguistic stage and a pre-intellectual stage in thought and language development among chimpanzees. Similarly, Vygotsky concludes that human children go through a pre-intellectual phase in speech development while also experiencing a pre-linguistic phase in thought development. Eventually, thought and language diverge independently from each other but intersect as thought becomes verbalized and speech becomes rationalized. Building on existing research findings, Vygotsky notes that the meaning of words is an amalgamation of both thought and language; it is challenging to separate word meanings solely into aspects of speech or aspects of thoughts (Kozulin, 1986).According to Kozulin (1986), the interconnectedness of thought and language is evident in the development of children. As a child grows, their understanding of words evolves alongside their thought processes. Vygotsky also emphasizes that the relationship between thought and word is not static but rather an ongoing process of movement between the two. It is through words that thoughts come into existence and establish connections between different ideas and concepts. Social interaction, as demonstrated by Vygotsky's research, plays a crucial role in a child's acquisition of language and development of thought. Interacting with family, friends, relatives, and the environment helps children learn the meanings of words initially through observation or imitation before realizing specific meanings associated with certain words as they mature. Additionally, genetics contribute

to consciousness and awareness; interruptions or disturbances in automatic activities make individuals aware through the law of consciousness. For example, speech serves as an expression of self or response to received information.The communication difficulties faced by children with autism can be attributed to their limited awareness of their actions. This example demonstrates the influence of development on communication abilities. The impact of causal-genetic factors is evident. For more information, refer to Kozulin.Alex (Ed.).(1986).Thought and Language.Massachusetts: MIT Press. Additionally, you can consult the Encyclopedia of Marxists retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol:// on October 13, 2006.

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