Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Language and Philosophy
Language and Philosophy
Language is one of the most important things. It allows us to communicate with one another, which is obviously necessary for us. More importantly we must understand the language that is trying to be communicated, so that we can have an efficient conversation. Before this class, I never really thought about how important language is. It’s one of those things that is so simple we kind of overlook it. How can we effectively communicate if our language was taken away? Would there be more misunderstandings?
Paul Grice, a twentieth century philosopher, wanted to know how we can understand what people are trying to stay and not just what is said. He came up with a theory known as conversational implicature. Basically, what is said is the words the speaker says, but the meaning behind that can be completely different. Grice also thought to have a conversation a few things were necessary. You need to be trying to communicate with someone and have a successful conversation. If something is being said you should listen to the context in which it is being said.
Grice also thought that understanding does not always fall on the person being spoken to. He laid out four rules or communicative principles to follow. The four rules are quality, quantity, relation, and manner. Quantity says that you should be informative, but you should not share more than what is necessary. Quality says that we should not make false statements or tell lies. Also, do not make claims if there is no evidence to back up those claims. Relation, the next rule, tells us to say things that are relevant to the conversation. Manner has four sub rules which are to avoid obscure phrases, keep the audience in mind when using certain slang, be brief, and be orderly. Grice points out that violation of these rules can hinder a successful communication.
Since we all want to be understood we typically unknowingly follow these rules daily. Before you have another conversation, I want you to think about the rules Grice set. Once you end the conversation I want you to reflect to see if any of the rules were broken. Did you over share? Did you make false statements or statements that had no evidence to prove them? These are all rules that are easy to break, so maybe being informed will help you. I want to finish by saying this class has being interesting to say the least. It has challenged me to think more critically about answers to questions or solutions to problems.
The Hyperlink below will lead to a YouTube video that can further explain Paul Grice’s rules for communication.
My First Installment