Linguistic Relativity Versus Innate Ideas: The Origins of by Julia M. Penn

By Julia M. Penn

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It is possible that the triumph of 13 14 Loeke, Essay, I, 1, 3 . Isaiah Berlin, The Age of Enlightenment : The Eighteenth Century Philo­ sophers. �ew York : New American Library, 1 956), p. 39. 1 5 Robert T. Clark, Jr. , "Herder, Cesarotti, and Vieo", Studies in Philology 44 (1 947), pp. 645-67 1 , esp. p. 648 . 16 The significance of the Locke-Leibnitz controversy for the present study has already been mentioned, but its content has not been reviewed. For present purposes, it is relevant to show briefly how Leibnitz' position differed from Locke's.

214. Herder's Werke, V, p. 40. 35 And Besonnenheit, or Reflection, is the capacity man had to learn the words. This capacity is in no way related to instincts in animals, but is peculiarly human. With the postulation of Besonnenheit, Herder's circular reasoning meets itself. Language and thought are the same, but thought (Denken) did not create language. Rather Besonnenheit is the peculiarly human talent which allowed man to create language from magic­ ally given words. But is Besonnenheit as used by Herder not the same as thought ?

Cambridge and New York : MIT Press and John Wiley 1 956), p. 2 1 4. 40 Whorf, p. 2 1 2. 41 Whorf, p. 240. 42 Whorf, p: 252. ·30 THE HYPOTHESIS FROM HUMBOLDT TO TODAY It is clear, then, that Whorl asserts the extreme hypothesis of linguistic relativity which identifies thought with language. Indeed, it is only by considering language and thought to be identical that Whorl would have been capable of using examples of the way a given language "segments reality" as evidence to support his hypothesis.

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