Some thoughts of Benjamin Lee Whorf*

There is no one metaphysical pool of universal human thought.


Speakers of different languages see the Cosmos differently; evaluate it differently, sometimes not by much, sometimes widely.


Thinking is relative to the language learned.


There are no primitive languages.


Research is needed to discover the world view of many unexplored languages, some now in danger of extinction.


Somewhere along the line it may be possible to develop a real international language.


Someday all peoples will use language at capacity, and so think much straighter than we now do.


So far as we can envision the future, we must envision it in terms of mental growth.



* Carroll, J. (ed.) Language, Thought and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1956.


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