17 June 2011

Pervasive Language

A defense for the love of language, with the second of my three brothers, on a given day...probably Sunday. Because that's when we always got into these kinds of discussions.
My brother (and him paraphrased): Science is awesome. It is absolutely the most compelling thing. It explains and contains everything.
I (and myself paraphrased): Well. Yeah. Science is a thing of beauty...don't get me wrong...but it does not contain everything. It is one way of explaining a thing.
My brother: It is the way of explaining any given thing.
I: Ah. No. You can say "Look! A beautiful, bright star!" or you can give its scientific explanation. But language and context is what tells you that I may have been talking about a movie star.
My brother: But even language can be explained with science: speech, sound waves, biology of the voice box and mouth.
I: But science is itself a language through which you communicate.
My brother: Science encompasses language
I: Backwards. You just used language to describe science. I win.

Why post this conversation, other than to show that in my family we often arbitrarily declare ourselves the winner for reasons such as "I'm older" and "I'm taller" and "We're at an impasse, but I've taken the last word"?

Because---Next Post---definitions of post-modernism and pluralism