Words are an abstraction of reality

We reason in words. But words are an abstraction of reality.

When we describe what we see as reality with a certain set of words, the connotations which these words bring about in our brains produce a certain feeling. However, if we were to offer a plausible alternative description to the same reality using a different set of words, due to the different connotations which these words have in our brain, we would produce a different feeling.

Sometimes the different feelings which emerge from these alternative descriptions aren’t that far apart. But sometimes they’re quite different.

There are two takeaways from this reasoning. One is internal and the other is external.

Internally, when we use words to reason about reality, it’s useful to describe the same reality with different words. Our first attempt presents a limited view of reality which is influenced by the specific words we choose and the connotations which these words have in our brain. If we perform multiple descriptions, the spectrum of our resulting feelings is likely to provide a more accurate assessment of actual reality.

Externally, we need to pick our words wisely when communicating with others. Expressing the same reality with different words which have different connotations can produce a very different reaction in the recipients of our communications.


Also published on Medium.