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Way of Knowing TOK presentation

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Hi, I just started tok this semester and our group was the first to present on a way of knowing.Well, we didn't do so well that our teacher is making us sort of represent it because she thought our presentation idea was good but it was too implicit and that we should be more outforward about our issue and real life example. Help plz? :D ?

Our issue that we thought was "To what extent does language affect thought and knowledge?"

We decided to present two arguments (Sapir vs. Pinker) on it and then make our own view point on it with the evidence using deaf people who are incapable of attaing verbal language.

We presented that Sapir said that language determines our thought and therefore our knowledge is dependent on language. With it, we gave evidence of the hopi indians and color categorizations of different cultures.

Then we presented Pinker who said that thought and language are independent and that we can have thought without language and therefore knowledge is not defined by our language. With it, we gave evidence of babies developing language and other survival instincts and the development of vocal tracts.

Then from these two arguments we posed the question what happens then if language doesn't exist at all to a certain group in which we use the deaf community as our main argument. We talked about how the theory of the mind develops with language. From this we made our point that although we may acquire thought and knowledge without language, it is very limited (theory of mind doesn't develop in deaf children).

Our teacher told us that we had the right ideas but we were too shallow with our arguments...:D....help plz? What else do we need to talk about?

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From Sapir you can talk about how Inuits have tons of words referring to snow while Europeans simply call it 'snow', which shows that language is prominent in the thought and knowledge process. Also talk about how language negatively affect thought and knowledge through vagueness and lack of reliability.

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...language determines our thought and therefore our knowledge is dependent on language.

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...we can have thought without language and therefore knowledge is not defined by our language.

I think one of the problems here is the syllogism and the fact that you are confusing or mixing 'thought' and 'knowledge' together as being the same. What exactly is thinking and what exactly is knowledge? Thought doesn't necessarly mean knowledge, or does it? It sort of reminds me of one essay title which was 'can a machine know?' and in which an examiner had said that so many had done so poorly on it because they confused 'knowing' for 'thinking'.

Language is such a complicated aspect because there are so many different forms and systems. When you say deaf people being incapable of verbal language, do you only mean hearing it or do you also mean reading it?

I would continue but honestly, I am too tired right now :P

Edited by Afterglow

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Well we defined that through thought processes interpret the given information given to us and convert it to knowledge. So our point was that language affects thought and thought processes knowledge.

We used the deaf children as an example to show that when language development is delayed certain thought processes (theory of the mind) are delayed and therefore their knowledge is limited....

Im so new to this!!! I really am so confused on what im exactly doin....

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