There are so many languages in the world, each with words or expressions that do not exist in other languages. How can we truly communicate with one another without these ‘missing’ words?

Philosopher's reply

Dear Majella,

Your excellent question hits on a very important truth: to the extent that different languages have untranslatable words or expressions that are unique to them, there will indeed be things that we struggle to communicate to one another. Fortunately, the ‘missing’ concepts they express are not impossible to acquire in principle. This is done not through dictionaries but by sharing practices that make up another culture’s form of life. All the very best,


Philosopher's profile

Constantine Sandis

University of Hertfordshire, UK

Iris Murdoch teaches us the importance of moral perception - of attuning ourselves to the complex particularities around us so that we can see the world as it really is and respond accordingly.

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