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The careful searching for words we need stands in tension with the ignorance we hope it will remedy. The clarity we want seems to consist in the knowledge that we're thinking some specific thought.
Jean-Paul Sartre touched on this paradox when he stated: "This is indeed what linguists and psychologists have perceived … they believed that they discovered a circle in the formulation of speaking, for in order to speak it is necessary to know one's thought. But how can we know this thought as a reality made explicit and fixed in concepts except precisely by speaking it?"
MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE
We can learn more about a thought by drawing on a certain kind of knowledge of it. It is not explicit knowledge you can find in textbooks but a form of implicit knowledge.
Language functions as a medium for expressing thoughts and as a means for developing them.
Articulating a thought takes sensitivity, flexibility, attention and care. Once the process is started, we can become absorbed in it and allow it to be unimpeded by internal censorship or constraint.
The knowledge of our thoughts can be effortless and instantaneous. Other times, our thoughts are obscure and we must work hard to gain clarity.
To succeed in articulation, we need to chisel away at imprecise words, while guarding against words that would blur what we think.
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