Difference Between Universalist And Relativists
There has been an ongoing debate on whether thought or language comes first. Universalist believe that all thoughts are thinkable and that thought comes before language, while Relativists believe that some thoughts are unthinkable and that language comes before thought. While this debate has been going on for longer than most people can remember, this debate is important because it will potentially play a role in how thought and language is looked at in the future. Both universalists and relativists have elements that are correct in the thought and language debate because both sides have sound, persuasive arguments.
The language and thought debate started in the 19th century when Gladstone and Geiger said that ancient language did not have the same written names for colors as they did, but universally everyone knew what color it was. Then around the 20th century, the universalist idea began to switch to more of a relativist view when scientists began to believe that each language …show more content…
Babies are open to all sounds from every language until later on in life when they focus in on a certain language. This is proven when researchers conduct experiments that concluded languages reduce sensitivity to thoughts not recognized by a certain language. In the article “Which comes first, language or thought?”, Cromie offers a persuasive counterargument: “On the other hand, language learning might really be the act of learning to express ideas that already exist, as in the case of the situation studied by Hespos and Spelke.” Basically, she is expressing the idea that learning is based on unoriginal thought. Cromies counterargument expresses the ideas on learning very well. People use other people 's ideas as “sets of steps.” People take an idea and then they continuously build on it until it becomes their