May 9, 2015
Assignment Due 5/9: Choose a passage from "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," write out the passage, explain what it means and why you chose it.
Language is the embodiment of experience and tradition; as long as the ability to think rests on language, neither ‘reason’ nor ‘philosophy’ can be pure of the empirical, of experience, and of the experience of the others to whom we relate. It itself is a ‘union of opposites,’ of the aesthetic and the logical, the bodily and the intellectual; it unites the division Kant’s Critique creates (Dickson ibid).
In his writing Hamann, speaks about language and the role it plays on human society. He argues that before we understand the concept of language we need to understand the difference between the intellectual part of it and the linguistic part of it. Even though people might perceive it as being the same, he argues that it requires a higher level of thinking in order to understand and being able to separate the both. He also mentioned that many times language is used to express intelligence and wisdom, but it does not come from tradition nor philosophy, instead it comes from the experiences of that individual. He also mentions that both the linguistic and intellectual aspect of it are connected but are undeniably opposites.
I personally believe that he was trying to imply that many individuals perceive language as just being a tool that humans use to communicate. He argues that it is much more than that, he clearly explains that language shows one's intellectual capacity and the level of sophistication that they posses.
I chose this passage because I agree with Hannan and his perspective about language. Everyone knows that language is mostly used to express the tongues that they know and express many of their traditions. I also believe that language can be totally free of meaning, it can sometimes be abstract and utilized to imply other things such as a feelings or rational thought. Language is not only spoken words, it can also come in other forms such as writing and expressions. I believe that language has had a tremendous impact on humanity because it has changed many aspects of human life. Language has allowed humanity to evolve and dominate in everything we do, from recordings in history to the way that the present is shaped. Another reason why I choose this passage is because language is in many places that we take for granted, for example, it is the key that allows technology to function the way it does. This is why I agree with Hamann when he implied that language is much more than linguistics that expresses things we want to imply.