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How do perception and language limit knowledge?

Investigating the interplay of perception and language as they create or reinforce knowledge and impact emotion & logic.
by

Rebecca Hamburger

on 30 April 2011

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Transcript of How do perception and language limit knowledge?

Real life situation:
Your mom asks you to buy hand soap. You head to the soap aisle at the store and are suddenly confronted with a seemingly infinite amount of choices.
How do you decide which to buy?
Do you smell the soap? Do you read the label?
Do you buy the soap your mom buys? Do you buy the soap on sale? Knowledge Issue How do perception and language limit knowledge? Sense Perception Benefits
Triggers other ways of knowing
Memory allows one to incorporate their prior knowledge, leading to logical interpretation of surroundings Using one's sight, smell, taste, touch, or hearing to gain knowledge. Limitations
Realism vs Idealism
Reasoning bias: everything that passes through our brain is impacted and altered by our memories Language
In this situation specifically, people look at a brand name with a bias.
Genericized trademark - "A trademark that has been colloquial despriction for a general class of product rather than an indicator of source or affiliation" (Meriam-Webster) Jello vs gelatin Chapstick vs lip balm Kleenex vs tissue Language Benefits
The formulaic nature of language allows for less variance in interpretation and meaning of words Limitations
The symbolic nature of language can be manipulated
i.e. TV dinner is not really a "TV" for dinner Emotion Utilizing one's intuition and memories to formulate knowledge i.e. many scented products incorpate common experiences in their customers to sell a product, like an apple pie scented candle or "fresh cotton" detergent Reason A logical and rational progression of thoughts to create knowledge Companies utilize facts, statistics, and science to convince consumers Knower Communities -Advertisers
-Consumer demographics
-Vendors
-Industry Advertisers
'Buyability comes from the use of sense perception and language' Sense perception: colors, elements and principals of art Language: name brands Consumer demographics 'Marketing technique depends on whom the product is targeted towards' i.e. Many shampoos tend to appeal to women rather than men through... Sense perception: colors, scent Language: "voluminous", "luxurious" Vendors 'Products that catch the consumers eye will sell Industry 'Good quality products will attract consumers' Language: vivid, descriptors Sense perception: bright colors and bold shapes Reason: statistics, 'scientifically proven', inexpensive Emotion: trusted brand names (language) Areas of Knowledge Natural Sciences
Language and perception influence further research
The ability to accept or reject is based on perception and language
-Feeling a diamond and cubic zirconium, the sensory perception implies similar chemical characteristics because they feel and look the same -Binomial nomenclature seperates scientific findings, limiting connections in science Human sciences
Language creates stereotypes and barriers between groups (i.e. racial slurs)
Mathematics
Equations and numbers are symbols that represent concepts
Perception is limited in math because one cannot taste, smell, or feel numbers
What is seen and heard is based on the language of math History
Loaded words are created with connotations that their initial definition begets
-i.e. Nazi
You can't see what you haven't seen. The Arts
Art has a symbolic nature that utilizes sense perception for understanding Ethics
Emotion and reason play a large part in determining right and wrong
Language can convey a more concise representation of ethical beliefs than varying emotions of knower communities
Emotion is evoked by memories of one's sensory perceptions
Implications The language of beauty brings different imagery to everyone based on their sense perceptions
Creating individual knower communities
Personal paradigms are created by language and perception Personal Biases Similar demographics
-Age, gender, education, location
Neither of us have sensory impairments
-Blindness, nerve damage, deafness, etc.
Both speak same language
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