more from David E. Cooper

Single Idea 4575

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 5. Language Relativism]

Full Idea

It would be absurd to say the Hopi lack the concept of time because they lack tensed verbs, ..but how do we find out what a man's concepts are except in terms of his language?

Gist of Idea

A person's language doesn't prove their concepts, but how are concepts deduced apart from language?


David E. Cooper (Philosophy and the Nature of Language [1973], 5.2)

Book Reference

Cooper,David E.: 'Philosophy and the Nature of Language' [Longman 1979], p.115

A Reaction

Presumably we should look at animals, where concepts must be inferred in order to explain behaviour. I don't see why introspection (scientifically wicked) should not also be employed to detect our own non-verbal concepts. How are new words invented?