Speaking Through It: Being Fluent in a New Language as a Transformative Experience Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Tang, Min
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
Abstract
  • In this paper, I will argue that the experience of being fluent in a new language can be a transformative experience. The experience can be epistemically transformative in the following ways. First, having the experience of being fluent in a new language gives us the understanding of what it is like to fluently speak the new language. Descriptions or testimonies cannot replace that experience. This is what I call the Irreplaceability Thesis. Second, the experience of being fluent in a new language can give us new epistemic capacities to represent and understand the world. This is what I call the Capacities Thesis. Third, the experience of being fluent in a new language allows us to gain new experiences and grasp ideas that are only represented and understood in the new language. Besides being epistemically transformative, the experience of being fluent in a new language can also be personally transformative. The epistemic transformation of becoming fluent in a new language can scale up into a personal transformation.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Paul, L. A.
  • Roberts, John
  • Lycan, William G.
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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