Essay: THE WRITING EFFECT

      Karol Bojnowski
Essay: THE WRITING EFFECT

If you were a fish would you know you lived in water? When it comes to cognitive science the average person shrugs and rolls their eyeballs. It’s hard to care about something that seems so esoteric, but what if I told you your mind was shaped by something so sublime that you’d be hard pressed to grasp the full implications. WARNING, the medium your thoughts swim through IS NOT your own!Thanks to scientists like Dr. John Searle, Mills Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Language at University of California- Berkeley, some key points about us Homo sapiens have been established. These points are rather remarkable. It turns out that the big step between civilization and more primitive forms of human society is written language. He says writing constitutes civilization. It is the infrastructure of civilization itself. Writing is a virtual reality environment for the human mind. The key word is virtual. It has affected who we are, how we think, how we remember, how we organize. We aren’t born with it. Homo sapiens must learn how to live as civilized human beings. Advanced forms of civilization, such as killing others because we disagree with them, marriage, or becoming a newspaper editor, are only possible because of written language. Written language shapes our cognition. What does this mean?
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