General Question

rebbel's avatar

If communication through language hadn't occurred in the evolution of men, would there have been thought?

Asked by rebbel (35553points) January 7th, 2022

And, if there hadn’t, would men have been on the same level (communication wise) as animals?

The second part of the question is an afterthought; I’m more interested in part one, about thought.

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16 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

There is evidence of thought in critters without language.

Evidence of language, without thought.


I think without language, technology would be limited, but certainly there would have been thought, and learning.

flutherother's avatar

Sure, there was thought before language. “Deer often come through the woods at evening to drink at this lake.” I’m sure observations and thoughts like this often occurred to prehistoric man before he developed language.

ragingloli's avatar

Thought is not limited to literally having words in your head.
You can think in images, sounds, smells, sensations, emotions. All things that cave humans had before they invented speech. Also all things that are not limited to humans, either.

kritiper's avatar

It’s difficult to have worded thoughts without language. Worded thoughts are, basically, conscious thought in humans. Our automatic, un-worded thought reactions are subconscious thought for the most part. Man is capable of both conscious (thinking, worded) thought and subconscious (reactionary) thought.
Animals only react in a un-worded subconscious way since they only possess the ability for subconscious (reactionary) thought. They don’t think consciously like humans do. They have no ability to determine “I” (self) and how it relates to them.

Forever_Free's avatar

It exists now with unworded thoughts, unworded reactions.
There are different levels for all animals so we would just be in a large ranking.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

You don’t need words to solve problems in your head.

Six's avatar

I think thought must precede language.

SnipSnip's avatar

There has always been thought.

kritiper's avatar

@Blackwater_Park You don’t need a conscious mind to solve problems either.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@kritiper That’s something else entirely

kritiper's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I’m sorry but I don’t know which mind you refer to. Only the conscious mind uses words. The subconscious mind uses logic, which doesn’t require words.

LostInParadise's avatar

I can’t imagine how the concept of number and counting could have occurred without language.

ragingloli's avatar

Yes, a mystery.
It is well known that humans only evolved fingers after they invented numbers.

LostInParadise's avatar

@ragingloli , Fingers are okay for counting up to 10, but then what? The idea of assigning symbols 0 to 9 to them and having a place value system requires abstract thinking, which in turn requires language.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Could be why our primary number system is base 10

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