Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Sound vs Word

Today in one of the seminars that I attended, I came across the distinction between a 'cry' or a 'yelp' and a 'word'.  In other words, Aristotle seems to use two different words and with purpose: logos and phrene (not sure if I got the word right). While the latter is a cry, a sound, logos is an articulated sound.  So while one may claim that what counts is the logos, another may claim that unless you have the basic 'cry', you cannot articulate it.  The articulation does not happen without the basic sound. 

The discussion was as part of a political theory.  When in a public sphere what matters is only logos. If it is basically a 'cry' then it does not find a place in the public sphere. Even if it does find a place it is not really understood and thereby does not make an impact.  But on the other hand, it is basically the 'cry' that gives rise to the 'word'.  Perhaps an exaggerated example, but makes the point nonetheless.  At an international conference on world hunger, one would expect a well documented, scientific paper on hunger and means of addressing it rather than a hungry person's plea for food.  Even if a hungry person reaches the place and pleads for food, it is not going to get translated into a policy, affecting the political, at least not until someone 'articulates' the hungry mans cries into an 'international language'.  Strange but true! 

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