Can language describe reality? with Nick Enfield
This episode is with Nick Enfield. He is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. Nick's research on language, culture, cognition and social life is based on long term field work in mainland Southeast Asia, especially Laos. His books include Natural Causes of Language, Distributed Agency, and How We Talk. His latest book is 'Language vs Reality: Why language is good for lawyers and bad for scientists'
In this conversation we talk about evolution of language and How well it can describe reality?, Can language nudge our thoughts?, Maths as a language, evolution of human reason and rationality.
Follow Reason with Science:
00:01:07 What is language?
00:04:01 When does a communication system becomes a language?
00:08:02 How language got started?
00:13:31 Do sapiens have an advantage which helped us to start a language?
00:17:30 Language is too blunt for scientists and good for lawyers
00:23:40 We simplify the complexity of the world
00:28:23 Why language was evolved?
00:30:52 On Donald Hoffman's work
00:35:36 Brute reality and social reality
00:36:59 Yuval Harrari's imagined reality
00:40:38 Power of all the languages
00:44:29 Language in an AI society
00:47:25 Complexity of a language
00:56:18 Can complexity of a language affect psychology?
01:00:08 Sapira-Whorf hypothesis
01:04:07 Co-evolution and evolution of languages
01:08:05 Desmond Morris' work on neoteny
01:10:54 Purpose of a language
01:16:04 Rationality, reasoning and language
01:22:35 Truth and rationality
01:27:45 Fighting misinformation
01:30:19 Confirmation bias
01:31:55 Should we care if a language is dying?
01:38:06 Is mathematics a language?
01:44:26 Thank you!
#reasonwithscience #languages #evolution