“Does language shape what
we think?” an article by Joshua Hartshorne (2009), who is a doctor of
psychology in Harvard University. Mainly in this article the author states that
the quantity of our thoughts depends on quantity of our words. To prove his
claim Joshua Hartshorne uses various type of examples. Firstly, the writer
gives an information about Eskimos and their rich vocabulary on snow depending
on its property. By this example he wants to persuade the reader that ordinary
people think of any kind of snow as snow, but the Eskimos they have more
concepts on snow. Secondly, he shows the example of Russian people, who have
names for all shades of blue. Again, by this he shows the approach of Russians
to the world in comparison to others. Another example, he talks about is the Piraha
people, who do not have numbers to count, that changes all their thoughts about
the world. The author uses a hard language, that is being complicated to
understand. That is why from here we can draw a conclusion that this article is
for an intelligent group of people, who want to learn more about this topic.
Even though, the author provides his readers with definitions to some
vocabulary, still many of them are staying incomprehensible. For instance,
“Whorfianism” is explained as  “people who
own different words live in different conceptual worlds” (Hartshorne, 2009).
Next disadvantage of this article is not enough arguments to prove his
statement, like in case of Eskimos words for snow, he claims that even though
there is a lot of words for snow, his thoughts about snow didn’t changed. By it
he says that he could not see the difference, however he did not explain his
point well enough. On the other side, there were many advantages as well. One
of them is using rhetorical elements, such as pathos, logos and ethos in terms
of introduction to article by a story from Hartshorne’s life, researches of
scientists and facts about numbers and colors accordingly. Overall, Joshua
Hartshorne could express his idea on the topic “Does language shape what we think?”
and could make the reader think more on this topic and choose is the language
shaping our thoughts or thoughts are expressed by language.