Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Language as a Way of Knowing
How does language shape knowledge?
Does the importance of language in an area of knowledge ground it in a particular culture?
How are metaphors used in the construction of knowledge?
These example stimulus questions (provided in the IB Theory of knowledge guide) could be in your mind as you look at the resource suggestions listed below.
The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality by
Call Number: 006 HEI
Publication Date: 1994
Computers have dramatically altered life in the late twentieth century. Today we can draw on worldwide computer links, speeding up communications by radio, newspapers, and television. Ideas fly back and forth and circle the globe at the speed of electricity. And just around the corner lurks full-blown virtual reality, in which we will be able to immerse ourselves in a computer simulation not only of the actual physical world, but of any imagined world. As we begin to move in and out of acomputer-generated world, Michael Heim asks, how will the way we perceive our world change? In The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality, Heim considers this and other philosophical issues of the Information Age. With an eye for the dark as well as the bright side of computer technology, he explores the logical and historical origins of our computer-generated world and speculates about the future direction of our computerized lives. He discusses such topics as the effect of word-processing onthe English language (while word-processors have led to increased productivity, they have also led to physical hazards such as repetitive motion syndrome, which causes inflamed hand and arm tendons). Heim looks into the new kind of literacy promised by Hypertext (technology which allows the user to link audio and video elements, the disadvantages including disorientation and cognitive overload). And he also probes the notion of virtual reality, "cyberspace" - the computer-simulated environments that have captured the popular imagination and may ultimately change the way we define reality itself. Just as the definition of interface itself has evolved from the actual adapter plug used to connect electronic circuits into human entry into a self-contained cyberspace, so too will the notion of reality change with the current technological drive. Like the introduction of the automobile, the advent of virtual reality will change the whole context in which our knowledge and awareness of life are rooted. And along the way, Heim covers such intriguing topics as how computers have altered our thought habits, how we will be able to distinguish virtual from real reality, and the appearance of virtual reality in popular culture (as in Star Trek's holodeck, William Gibson's Neuromancer, and Stephen King's Lawnmower Man). Vividly and entertainingly written, The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality opens a window on a fascinating world that promises - or threatens - to become an integral part of everyday life in the 21st century. As Heim writes, not only do we face a breakthrough in the technology of computer interface, but we face the challenge of knowing ourselves and determining how the technology should develop and ultimately affect the society in which it grows.
Raising a Bilingual Child by
Call Number: 404.2 PEA
Publication Date: 2008
If you would like your children to experience the benefits of becoming bilingual, but you aren’t sure how to teach them a second language, then Raising a Bilingual Child is the perfect step-by-step guide for you. Raising a Bilingual Child provides parents with information, encouragement, and practical advice for creating a positive bilingual environment. It offers both an overview of why parents should raise their children to speak more than one language and detailed steps parents can take to integrate two languages into their child’s daily routine. Raising a Bilingual Child also includes inspirational first-hand accounts from parents. It dispels the myth that bilingualism may hinder a child’s academic performance and explains that learning languages at a young age can actually enhance a child’s overall intellectual development.
The Bilingual Mind by
Call Number: 404.2 PAV
Publication Date: 2014
If languages influence the way we think, do bilinguals think differently in their respective languages? And if languages do not affect thought, why do bilinguals often perceive such influence? For many years these questions remained unanswered because the research on language and thought had focused solely on the monolingual mind. Bilinguals were either excluded from this research as 'unusual' or 'messy' subjects, or treated as representative speakers of their first languages. Only recently did bi- and multilinguals become research participants in their own right. Pavlenko considers the socio-political circumstances that led to the monolingual status quo and shows how the invisibility of bilingual participants compromised the validity and reliability of findings in the study of language and cognition. She then shifts attention to the bilingual turn in the field and examines its contributions to the understanding of the human mind.
The Stuff of Thought by
Call Number: 401 PIN
Publication Date: 2007
New York Timesbestselling author Steven Pinker possesses that rare combination of scientific aptitude and verbal eloquence that enables him to provide lucid explanations of deep and powerful ideas. His previous books—including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Blank Slate—have catapulted him into the limelight as one of today’s most important and popular science writers. Now, in The Stuff of Thought, Pinker marries two of the subjects he knows best: language and human nature. The result is a fascinating look at how our words explain our nature. What does swearing reveal about our emotions? Why does innuendo disclose something about relationships? Pinker reveals how our use of prepositions and tenses taps into peculiarly human concepts of space and time, and how our nouns and verbs speak to our notions of matter. Even the names we give our babies have important things to say about our relations to our children and to society. With his signature wit and style, Pinker takes on scientific questions like whether language affects thought, as well as forays into everyday life—why is bulk e-mail called spam and how do romantic comedies get such mileage out of the ambiguities of dating? The Stuff of Thoughtis a brilliantly crafted and highly readable work that will appeal to fans of readers of everything from The Selfish Geneand Blinkto Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
Language Matters: a guide to everyday questions about language by
Call Number: 400 NAP
Publication Date: 2010
Is Ebonics really a dialect or simply bad English? Do women and men speak differently? Will computers ever really learn human language? Does offensive language harm children? These are only a few of the issues surrounding language that crop up every day. Most of us have very definite opinions on these questions one way or another. Yet as linguists Donna Jo Napoli and Vera Lee-Schoenfeld point out in this short and thoroughly readable volume, many of our most deeply held ideas about the nature of language and its role in our lives are either misconceived or influenced by myths and stereotypes. Language Matters provides a highly informative tour of the world of language, examining these and other vexing and controversial language-related questions. Throughout, Napoli and Lee-Schoenfeld encourage and lead the reader to use common-sense and everyday experience rather than preconceived notions or technical linguistic expertise. Both their questions and their conclusions are surprising, sometimes provocative, and always entertaining. This thoroughly revised second edition updates the book with a new co-author, and includes new chapters on language and power, language extinction, and what it is linguists actually do. Language Matters is sure to engage both general readers and students of language and linguistics at any level.
Call Number: 320.5 FRE
Publication Date: 2003
Ideology is one of the most controversial terms in the political vocabulary, exciting both revulsion and inspiration. This book examines the reasons for those views, and explains why ideologies deserve respect as a major form of political thinking. It investigates the centrality of ideology both as a political phenomenon and as an organizing framework of political thought and action. It explores the changing understandings of ideology as a concept, and the arguments of the main ideologies. By employing the latest insights from a range of disciplines, the reader is introduced to the vitality and force of a crucial resource at the disposal of societies, through which sense and purpose is assigned to the political world.
Note by UWCSEA Librarian: Chapter 4 deals with political language.
Power, Prestige and Bilingualism by
Call Number: 370.117 DEM
Publication Date: 2002
This book describes a particular type of educational provision referred to as 'elite' or 'prestigious' bilingual education, which caters mainly for upwardly mobile, highly educated, higher socio-economic status learners of two or more internationally useful languages. The development of different types of elite bilingual or multilingual educational provision is discussed and an argument is made for the need to study bilingual education in majority as well as in minority contexts.
120 Banned Books by
Call Number: 363.31 KAR
Publication Date: 2005
Tracing the censorship histories of 120 works from around the world, this title provides a summary of each work, its censorship history, and suggestions for further reading. Updates to existing entries cover new controversies regarding such classic books as 'Huckleberry Finn' and 'The Canterbury Tales'.
How to Read a Film by
Call Number: 71.43 MON
Publication Date: 2009-08-31
Richard Gilman referred to How to Read a Film as simply "the best single work of its kind." And Janet Maslin in The New York Times Book Review marveled at James Monaco's ability to collect "an enormous amount of useful information and assemble it in an exhilaratingly simple and systematic way." Indeed, since its original publication in 1977, this hugely popular book has become the definitive source on film and media. Now, James Monaco offers a special anniversary edition of his classicwork, featuring a new preface and several new sections, including an "Essential Library: One Hundred Books About Film and Media You Should Read" and "One Hundred Films You Should See." As in previous editions, Monaco once again looks at film from many vantage points, as both art and craft, sensibility and science, tradition and technology. After examining film's close relation to other narrative media such as the novel, painting, photography, television, and even music, the book discusses theelements necessary to understand how films convey meaning, and, more importantly, how we can best discern all that a film is attempting to communicate. In addition, Monaco stresses the still-evolving digital context of film throughout - one of the new sections looks at the untrustworthy nature of digital images and sound - and his chapter on multimedia brings media criticism into the twenty-first century with a thorough discussion of topics like virtual reality, cyberspace, and the proximity ofboth to film. With hundreds of illustrative black-and-white film stills and diagrams, How to Read a Film is an indispensable addition to the library of everyone who loves the cinema and wants to understand it better.
In addition to the suggestions above, you can also try databases, such as JSTOR, Project Muse and ProQuest Central, on the Reference Sites page of the College Portal (website).
Online resources and articles