more from Johann Gottfried Herder

Single Idea 20947

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Linguistic Analysis]

Full Idea

If it is true that we cannot think without thoughts, and that we learn to think through words: then language gives the whole of human knowledge its limits and outline.

Gist of Idea

Thoughts are learnt through words, so language shows the limits and shape of our knowledge


Johann Gottfried Herder (On Recent German Literature. Fragments [1767], p.373), quoted by Andrew Bowie - Introduction to German Philosophy

Book Reference

Bowie,Andrew: 'Introduction to German Philosophy' [Polity 2003], p.51

A Reaction

Deomonstrating that Frege's famous 1884 'linguistic turn', immortalised by Dummett, was actually the continuation of a long focus on language in German philosophy. Non-verbal animals very obviously think.