Language – New Physics and The Problem of Inexplicability

Author: Meera Chakravorty (Research Faculty, Jain University, India)
Speaker: Meera Chakravorty
Topic: Language Ideologie
COMELA 2020 General Session


With much passion, the language philosophers allowed themselves to believe that in all respects, language describes corresponding behaviour or ‘reality’. While this probably helped language to secure a kind of characteristic status, much of the argument in favor of it may appear as exaggeration in the modern context. With the advent of New Physics, the understanding of the objects and the world is no more as simple as it makes them appear. Language till recently appeared to justify a given state of behaviour. However it is now becoming difficult to alter the tone of the argument, as to what language expresses is substantially correct. Language so far has been a fundamental and determinant component of the knowledge system. The central criterion for using language has been to understand both behaviour and perception. With prodigious success it could be invoked to justify a given behaviour or perception. This justification has acted as a powerful influence to conceptualise certain behaviours and metamorphose them into principles. Besides a language system concerned with various problems and their understanding, has acted as a response to a crisis and therefore it allowed for its interpretations. Sometimes with respect to these problems it also acted as an efficient tool to overcome the crisis. It therefore appeared to have been coherent with it’s historical challenge .Early models of Linguistic theories especially of the Vienna School of Linguistic Analysis, assumed that if science leaves questions unanswered, it is upto philosophy to answer them, – a straightforward process of elimination must lead to their discovery. Criticizing the metaphysical theory that philosophy affords us, knowledge of a reality transcending the world of science and common sense, they said that many metaphysical occurrences are due to the commission of logical errors, rather than go beyond the limits of experience. This approach of the Linguist Analysts attacked the metaphysician, who claimed to have knowledge with respect to – the relation between what is perceived and what transcends the perceptible world.

Keywords: Language, new physics, metaphysics, knowledge, logic